2014 Team Needs: New York Giants
The 2013 Giants did not resemble a team that won it all in 2011 – they started out 0-6 before ending with a below .500 record for the first time since 2004 and their two-time Super Bowl MVP QB Eli Manning led the league in interceptions. 2014 is a new season though. Would anyone be shocked if the Giants made another Super Bowl run? In order to do that, they will need help on both sides of the ball.
Potential Cap Casualties
As of right now, the Giants are looking at a little over $16 million in cap space (per overthecap.com). Here are some potential cap casualties.
– Chris Snee is also Tom Coughlin’s son-in-law, which makes things a bit trickier. It seems right now that the Giants will give Snee one more year, but he did only appear in three contests last season before getting hurt. Even more alarming was his -6.4 overall grade in those three games. The team could save nearly $7m by cutting ties with him.
– Antrel Rolle had by far his best season in a Giants’ uniform in 2013 – and his only overall-positively graded one. Can Rolle, drafted in 2005 by Arizona, continue that level of play, or were his previous seasons a better indication of things to come? And is he really worth over $7m?
– Like Snee, center David Baas only played in three games last year. Like Rolle, Baas was also drafted in 2005, and isn’t getting any younger. Big Blue could save almost $2m by cutting the journeyman.
With long-tenured Giant Justin Tuck scheduled to become a free agent, New York needs to find another edge rusher to compliment Jason Pierre-Paul. Damontre Moore, a 2013 third-round pick, is not a sure bet to take over this season, playing only 136 snaps last year. Mathias Kiwanuka also failed to consistently contribute (-28.1 overall in ’13).
Free agent fix: Willie Young is a former 2010 seventh-round pick who compiled 60 total pressures last season and a solid +5.1 run defense grade. He should be remarkably cheaper than a Michael Johnson (who has never displayed the kind of consistent pass rushing ability New York has coveted) or Michael Bennett, is still young, and has proven he can contribute.
Aside from first-round rookie Justin Pugh, the Giants’ offensive line was a disaster last season, especially at the guard position. Aside from Snee’s limited season, Kevin Boothe, James Brewer, Dallas Reynolds and now-retired David Diehl all took turns on the interior of the line, and all ended with red grades.
Free agent fix: Re-sign Kevin Boothe, or look for a starter in the draft. Boothe struggled last year but did have to play both left guard and center. In 2012, when he only played left guard, he performed well (+9.2), He shouldn’t be expensive.
The three longest-tenured Giants’ CBs of 2013 are either gone (Corey Webster, who had quite a fall from grace after an outstanding 2011 campaign) or are scheduled to be free agents (the underachieving Aaron Ross and often-injured Terrell Thomas, who did manage to stay on the field in 2013). NYG’s best corner last season, 2007 seventh-round pick Trumaine McBride, is also scheduled to leave.
Free agent fix: Alterraun Verner. The 2010 fourth-round pick of the Titans, Verner has earned a positive coverage grade in all four seasons of his career. The 12th-best overall graded CB of last season, Verner is also still young and could provide value.
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