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New York Giants Must Begin Making Final Preparations for 2013 Offseason

January 11th, 2013 at 2:58 PM
By Paul Tierney

For many, it's still too early to focus on the offseason. The NFL playoffs are ramping up, story lines are still developing and the Super Bowl is a mere three weeks away. Unfortunately, for New York Giants fans, February 4th can not get here fast enough. Big Blue fell tremendously short of their goals in 2012, as they finished out of the playoffs for the third time in four seasons. The team is currently $4.7 million over the salary cap and has 27 free agents to make decisions on this offseason. Although there is talent on the roster, general manager Jerry Reese as some franchise-altering decision to make before the team steps on the field in 2013.

'Victor Cruz makes the catch' photo (c) 2011, Kathy Vitulano - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
 

Every decision that Reese makes this offseason will have a domino effect. First and foremost, the team must  restructure the salaries of several players who had questionable 2012 campaigns. Corey Webster is on the books for $7.5 million, Chris Snee is owed $6.45 million, David Bass is under contract for $4.25 million, while Chris Canty ($6.25 million), Michael Boley ($4.25 million) and Justin Tuck ($4 million) all underperformed this season.

After some cap room is cleared, getting Victor Cruz under contract is going to be a tumultuous task. Cruz was productive in this season, but he proved he's not a No.1 receiver that can line up on the outside and play against a physical cornerback. With Hakeem Nicks on the field, Cruz can get into the slot and make plays. However, No. 80 disappeared at times this season. He's going to be retained, but he's not going to get the $10 million per year contract he desires. It may take Cruz a while to realize that this offseason.

There's really no easy decision to make in terms of who to get rid of. In the aforementioned group of players, every single one has been a key influence in winning at least one Super Bowl. It's hard to cut someone that's been to the promised land and delivered results far beyond anyone's wildest expectations. However, the NFL, and sports in general, is an ever-evolving industry in which change is sometimes necessary. Change is coming in 2013, we're only three weeks away from getting a preliminary notion of how Big Blue's roster will look next season.

One change that fans should be expecting is the departure of linebacker Michael Boley. The Giants are squeezed for cap space, and Boley disappeared down the final stretch of 2012. His performance declined, his playing times was reduced and Spencer Paysinger began seeing more time at weakside linebacker. Boley lack of production could be just as much a product of defensive coordinator Perry Fewell's system as it is his natural decline. However, given the current salary cap situation, it makes little sense to keep a guy who can be adequately replaced for cheap.

It's still too early to tell where Jerry Reese is going to take the team this offseason. However, it's almost certain that next year's roster will be missing a few household names that have won a Lombardi Trophy in New York. It's unfortunate, but the NFL is a business and the Giants can no longer dwell on 2007 and 2011. They failed to achieve their goals in every way, shape and form in 2012. Uncertainty is looming in the near future, but it's the kind of uncertainty that could bring some good change to this roster.

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Tags: Chris Canty, Chris Snee, Corey Webster, Football, free agent, Hakeem Nicks, Jerry Reese, Justin Tuck, Michael Boley, New York, New York Giants, NFL, NFL Playoffs, Perry Fewell, Victor Cruz

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4 Responses to “New York Giants Must Begin Making Final Preparations for 2013 Offseason”

  1.  Krow says:

    I think we’re often guilty of having a geocentric view of free agency … or ‘Giantscentic’ if you will. We view our situation as somehow unique and the center of it all. We know and value our players … we hate to see them go. We grind our teeth over the salary cap. All the while assuming that the other 31 clubs are waiting like vultures to snap up our poor guys … who have no choice but to take these ‘soon to come’ wild offers of vast riches.

    The reality is that all the teams face the same challenges and limitations that we do. They have free agents of their own … who they want to retain. They have cap issues. Hold outs. Negotiations. Same as us.

    So while we most certainly will see some free agents depart it’s not like there’s a bottomless pit of money waiting for them.

    Let’s take Kenny Phillips for instance. Put him on another team … say the Vikings. Call him Phil Kenny. Good old Phil is a young safety … a former #1 pick with 5 years in the league. He’s had some good seasons, and tasted success. But he missed almost all of 2009 with the dreaded micro-facture knee surgery. He came back fine, and had two really good years. But this year it seems he hurt it again, and missed over half the games. Jerry Reese loves the guy, and has offered him a 4 year deal … $32,000,000 … $15,000,000 guaranteed.

    Would you want us to sign the fictional Phil Kenny at those numbers? What if that knee is serious? Will he be OK for summer camp? He’s already missed a year and a half out of 5. Would we be wise spending our cap dollars elsewhere?

    Conversely … how many GMs will line up to throw money at this guy knowing his history?

    •  Krow says:

      Disclaimer … KP is an example … just to illustrate that it’s a difficult decision for every team … on every free agent. No one has a blank check. Nothing specific to KP.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        Good point. One thing in common about our free agent signings is that they have all been healthy. Even Kiwi and TT were re-signed to deals that protected us. Given I think KP won’t have to settle for that type of deal so he’s likely gone given that JR seems to be careful about injury risks.

        The scary part is that all of the NFC East teams can use KP. At least I hope he goes to a team not in our division like the Jets.

  2.  G-MenFan says:

    I think KP is a goner. IMO, the 2 absolute goners are Kenny Phillips and Chris Canty. Canty’s cap number this year is $8.2 mil. If he’s cut, it’s only the $1.7 mil cap hit. JR saves the $6.5 mil against the cap for the salary. I can’t see him staying under any circumstances.
    The only reason I’m not putting Corey Webster in the absolute goner category is because I think he might accept a salary reduction that is palatable to the Giants. If he doesn’t he’s gone too.

    As far as Snee goes, his numbers are similar to Canty’s, however, replacing him via free agency would end up costing a lot anyway, so they may work something out if the team doctors feel he can rehabilitate the torn up hip.

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