With the Giants winless (0-6) for the season, perhaps it’s time to look towards the future before the trading deadline (Oct 29th) with some pending free agents on the roster. Assuming the Giants have no intention of re-signing any of the players mentioned in this article, then they should consider trading them for additional draft picks in the 2014 or perhaps the 2015 draft.
I have compiled 5 players who are pending free agents and could provide the Giants with needed additional picks in the draft. Again, this is all on the assumption that none of the players on my list are going to be re-signed:
- Hakeem Nicks (WR): Clearly the most talented pending free agent on the Giants roster and most likely to leave; as the Giants may not be able to afford him or perhaps are not willing to sign him to a larger or long term deal. Nicks is in the final year of his contract at $2,508M; which is roughly $5M less than Victor Cruz. With the Giants salary cap tight as it currently is, it would be hard to imagine that the team will be able to re-sign him; even if it’s as the franchise player. Teams that have expressed interest in Nicks have been the 49ers, Falcons, Patriots and Ravens. According to many resources, Nicks value would net the Giants a 2nd or 3rd round pick; which seems under-valued in my opinion. If the Giants can’t receive a 1st round selection for Nicks, then perhaps the Giants could let Nicks walk and most likely receive a 2nd round pick in compensation once Nicks is signed by another team.
- Justin Tuck: (DE): Tuck is being paid 6m in his final year of the 5yr/$30m deal he signed with the Giants back in 2009. There’s no question that Tuck’s ability and talent level has diminished over the last several years (injuries), so what could the Giants get for him or even worse; are there any teams willing to take a chance on him for the short term or longer (re-signing him). If I was GM Reese, I would at least let it be known that Tuck is available and see who bites. Perhaps the Giants could find a team (playoff bound) that is willing to take a chance on Tuck for added depth for possibly a 3rd or 4th rounder.
- Linval Joseph (DT): I believe the Giants will not offer Joseph a new deal based on 3 factors: a) the drafting of Johnathan Hankins, b) the free agent signing of Cullen Jenkins and c) the confidence the Giants have in Markus Kuhn. Joseph has talent, unfortunately he might demand too much for the Giants to commit to. However; there should be interest in a DT like Joseph who may not have the stats to justify a hefty contract; but does all the dirty work (double teams, clogs the running lanes) so other players collect the tackles and sacks. The Giants should be able to acquire at least a 2nd or 3rd pick for Joseph in either the 2014 or 2015 draft.
- Brandon Myers (TE): For some reason, Myers has not fit in with the Giants offensive scheme and for this; it makes sense to look to deal the underachieving TE before the trading deadline. The Giants should give Larry Donnell and Adrien Robinson (Currently injured) all opportunity to showcase themselves for the starting TE spot in 2014. Myers might have some interest from a few teams looking to add a mobile TE to their offense. Perhaps the Giants could get a 3rd or 4th pick for him.
- Kevin Booth (OG): Booth signed a 1 year deal this off season and has been a disappointment thus far. I would be very shocked if the Giants have any intention of re-signing him. I would look to move the OL before the deadline approaches for perhaps a 4th or 5th round pick. There should be a lot of teams in the market for an OL who can play multiple spots on the OL.
The Giants have other players who are in their last year of their contract and are free agents next year. Players like (OL) Jim Cordle, (OL) David Diehl, (LB) Mark Herzlich, (LB) Keith Rivers, (CB) Aaron Ross (RB) Brandon Jacobs, (FB) Henry Hynoski (DT) Shaun Rogers, and (RB) Da’Rel Scott are most likely gone. Other players such as (RB) Andre Brown, (K) Josh Brown, (S) Stevie Brown, (CB) Trumaine McBride, (S) Ryan Mundy, (WR) Louis Murphy, (QB) Curtis Painter, (TE) Bear Pascoe, (DT) Mike Patterson, (LB) Spencer Paysinger, and (CB) Terrell Thomas are on the bubble as some will be re-signed and some will be let go.
The Giants could also release a number of players who are still under contract as well. The Bottom line here is that this off season must be the turning point for the New York Giants in terms of regaining a winning environment. It all starts from the top as Tom Coughlin will need to decide if he wants to return in 2014 (it’s his decision). If so, Coughlin can’t retain Kevin Gilbride, Perry Fewell or Tom Quinn. Coughlin needs to change the dynamics of the Giants and it needs to start with a new coaching staff.
However; if Coughlin decides to move on, the new Head Coach GM Jerry Reese decides on must be a defensive minded coach; with a proven track record (I hear Bill Cowher is available).