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With trade deadline next Tuesday, Joe Judge keeps eye on long-term success

Giants head coach Joe Judge reacts in the

Giants head coach Joe Judge reacts in the first half against the Panthers at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

If the Giants are active before the NFL trade deadline next Tuesday, it won’t be with an eye on helping this year’s team.

Joe Judge made that clear Monday when he spoke about what are sure to be multiple decisions he and the team will mull in the coming days.

"I always think long-term," he said. "I’ve said from the beginning, I’m not about taking shortcuts. I’ve made it very clear in terms of my vision for the team and where I want to go that it’s being built for long-term success.

"I have a lot of faith in the people we have in the program right now, but ultimately my vision always goes long-term. I’m always looking at not only what our depth chart is now but what does it look like at the end of this year . . . what will it look like two years from now."

The Giants do have several players who figure to receive interest from other teams, most prominently Evan Engram and Jabrill Peppers, two former first-round picks who are due to become free agents at the end of this season. When Judge looks at those future depth charts, he might not see their names on it.

Peppers’ injury — he hurt his ankle and knee in Sunday’s game — complicates any market he may have. Engram, meanwhile, quietly led the Giants in receiving in the win over the Panthers.

Judge did say the Giants are not shopping or pursuing any deals, though he did seem keen on taking advantage of teams that do feel pressure to make moves that are present-focused.

"Sometimes people manufacture too much at the trade deadline and teams rush to make final moves," he said. "We’ll obviously talk about a number of phone calls we’ll get throughout the week, but I wouldn’t say we are anticipating anything. We’ll just have those conversations from now through the remainder of the week."

When they do, it will be with an eye on future teams, not this one.

In making these decisions, the Giants have a different dynamic from most teams. Typically it is the head coach who is focused on the present, on the next opponent, on getting victories now, while the general manager takes the long view in regard to the health of the franchise. With this team, Judge seems to have the security to worry about that future and general manager Dave Gettleman probably needs better results to keep his job.

"Whether you are going through free agency, trades, draft, whatever, to me, you are always looking down the road in terms of not where you are immediately but where do you have to get to," Judge said. "That’s my perspective on that."

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