We had predicted in this column throughout the season and its
immediate aftermath that major changes to personnel would be coming.
We have been fairly accurate in our predictions, thus far. I see a few more
major changes still yet to come. First lets review some of the recent
Ahmad Bradshaw – I was probably one of the first guys to go out
and buy this guy’s jersey in his rookie year and wore it to the first Patriot
Superbowl win. He had major heart and gave it to the team. The biggest
mistake they made with him was not sooner recognizing his talent. He
should have been given more touches than Brandon Jacobs and Ward a few years
back. However his foot problems caught up to him over the past couple of
years. He tended not to practice more than once a week and eventually the
physical tolls of his running style impacted his abilities. When he was
at his best, he was a very special player. It’s not hard to picture a scenario
where he could have run for 1400 yards if given the right opportunity at the
right time in his career. While he had a good season this past year, he
is no longer the special player he once was. Combine that with the
production showed by Brown and the extraordinary promise shown by David Wilson
and it made sense not to bring him back at his price, as difficult as that may
be for fans to accept. Prior calls made by Reese on Ward and Jacobs
turned out to be correct ones as well. Also, don’t forget third string
back D’arell Scott who will finally show something this year.
Canty –While a solid player his contract was going to pay him
well above that. Additionally, the way the slary cap works and the
proration of bonuses across the life of contract, the last year or two of his
contract was always intended to be a long shot to happen. The
Giants like what they saw from Kuhn before he got hurt. They need Marvin
Austin to step up . he showed little so far so that could be a stretch.
Linval Joseph is their number one player at the position and they did re-sign
Boley- He lost playing time late in the season so this was not a
surprise given his salary and its being the last year of his contract, when the
bonus amortization is at its lowest. The Giants, have a lot of depth at
this position with no clear substantial difference in talent from top to bottom
(unfortunately they all seem to be B /B+ types). Rivers showed some
promise early on, but cant stay healthy. Jaquan Williams should be
anive contributor and the Giants seem to be higher on Spenser Paysinger than I
A few more coming?
David Diehl will fit into the same category. He has a year
left at a very high price and he is now mediocre at best. They may wait to
cut him to see what else they sign so that they have a plan B in case of
emergency but I don’t see him being back without a major reduction in pay and at
a swing / back up role. Osi is gone. Tuck should be cut. One bad
year you can chalk up to injury, but two means he is over the hill. He is
no longer a force either against run or pass and is not cheap. With the
salary cap you cant be sentimental and you cant overpay for locker room presence
and leadership. Kiwi should be moved across from JPP as they have enough
linebackers. Adrian Tracey and Ojomo will round out the rest of the end
Blasphemy – They need to play hardball with Victor Cruz. He
is a very good receiver, but it should be noted that most teams feared Nicks more
than him and so he got less attention. Additionally, as you saw in the
Carolina game with Ramses Barden, many times with Hixon and late in the season
with Randle, a very good QB like Manning can make a lot of players look
good. See what Steve Smith did when he left after catching 107 balls a
year or two earlier. Cruz is also restricted and the negotiating leverage
lies with the Giants. He is a good player, but not an elite receiver. He is just good.
I’d take a healthy Nicks over him any day. Nicks you can
throw to when he is not even open. You can’t do that with Cruz. If
he went elsewhere he would be a 65 catch 900 yard guy. He doesn’t deserve
the $10m he is reportedly looking for I would pay him up to $6.5m.
would give Nicks more. They also need to sign Beatty.
Sign Boothe if you get him very cheap, otherwise he is very replaceable.
MArtellus Bennet should be re-signed and Kenny Phillips at the right price (he
may come cheap due to recent injury history). I suspect that Stevie
Browns flukishly good year could price him out of the Giants range. He is
not good against the run and even thgouh I like his ball hawking it is too
dangerous to take on a big contract for him I still have high hopes for
Will Hill at this position.
Cornerback, is the tricky position. Without a doubt Webster is
the classic cut guy. Overpaid, relative to this past years performance and
entering final year of contract. The problem is they have no one else to
come in and take the spot across from Amukamara. Holsey, is a nickel back
at best so unless Terrel Thomas has another good recovery from and ACL you need
a better insurance policy. I suspect they work something out at a lower
number but a game of chicken will ensue.
The reality is more tough decisions are coming. Another reality is
that there is no real instances where a player was let go by the Giants
and starred elsewhere in the recent past. Reese knows how much they have
left in the tank or how close they are to the next best thing for a much lower
price ion the team. HE needs to be given the benefit of the doubt.
Ari has been an avid Giants fan since 1979. He attends many home games and has attended the Giants last 2 Superbowl victories. This blog will talk about anything related to the New York Giants. Ari also blogs about the New York Knicks, at http://www.ariglassknicksblog.com