Future of Giants requires answers to five questions
Five questions facing the Giants this offseason:
Who will be the quarterback?
Eli Manning turns 38 this week. After never losing more than 8 games in any of his first nine seasons, he’s now lost 10 or more in four of his last five. It’s not all his fault, but at some point the one constant throughout this spell of miserable football might need to be changed. The draft probably doesn’t offer many options for a Day One starter, but free agency could be brimming with possibilities. Or, the Giants could decide that Manning showed enough in the second half of the season to warrant another shot.
What will happen to Landon Collins?
He’s due to become a free agent this offseason, and the Giants have some decisions to make. They can let him walk away to another team and lose one of their top young defenders (he’ll turn 25 in January) and defensive captains. They can sign him to a long-term contract. Or they can use the franchise tag on him (something he’s said he would not appreciate). The Pro Bowl safety missed the last month of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery, which further complicates things. But whether they keep him or not, the Giants need to address the safety position and give Collins a strong partner there after four years of a revolving door of wingmen.
How can they find a pass rush?
One of the most important areas for the Giants to improve this offseason is their ability to get to and tackle opposing quarterbacks. There was hope that Olivier Vernon would be able to provide that much-needed impact, but he was injured for most of the season and managed just 7.0 sacks (with 2.5 on Sunday). B.J. Hill had a solid season up the middle and had 5.5. But the Giants need to find outside pressure. Maybe they make a run at Cowboys defensivwe end DeMarcus Lawrence (which would be helpful to them in multiple ways). Or they can grab Nick Bosa or Josh Allen in the draft. However they do it, the Giants need to find sacks in 2019.
Will the Giants be clearing massive amounts of cap space?
There are some pretty hefty contracts which were negotiated by the previous administration that the current regime may decide to cut. Linebacker Olivier Vernon and cornerback Janoris Jenkins will have two of the top five salary cap hits next season, and if the Giants cut both of them they can save a combined $19.25 million. It’s possible Eli Manning is back, but the likelihood that it will be on his current contract with it’s $23.2 million cap hit is very small. Clearing the space can help make room for other key additions. It could also be a way of stomaching the $14.5 million owed to the cap if the Giants get a trade offer for Odell Beckham Jr. that they want to pursue.
Where can they find more help for the offensive line?
One piece is already here. Jamon Brown, acquired off waivers in October, is a free agent and given how well he has played and the connection he has made with his teammates he should be one of the team’s in-house priorities for a new deal. The draft is also loaded with talent on the line, including Jonah Williams (Alabama), Greg Little (Ole Miss) and Trey Adams (Washington). The Giants may also look at Daryl Williams, a free agent from Carolina (where Dave Gettleman drafted him in the fourth round). He would solidify the right tackle spot and with Nate Solder give the Giants two veteran bookends on the line . . . something of utmost importance if they are charged with protecting either a young quarterback learning the game or an immobile 38-year-old one.