The New York Football Giants are about to enter the official start to the 2013 NFL season with 17 free agents hitting the market. The dictator that reigns is the 2013 salary cap and the business aspect of football is what seems to bore those who just crave any action – no matter how ridiculous the picture painted. Head coach Tom Coughlin dislikes this portion of the season (as do many of the diehards), but understands and knows he must accept it.
"We have to wait and see," Coughlin said when asked about the Giants’ upcoming plan regarding free agency. "It is all cap-driven."
While coach understands, not all players do. The team has purportedly made a contract offer to safety Kenny Phillips, but #21 feels he wants and deserves more. He will apparently test the market when free agency kicks off Tuesday evening. The percentage of athletes that thrive once out of Giants’ blue is under-whelming.
Phillips isn’t the only one who has changed his feelings about the Big Blue privilege. Wideout Ramses Barden has made statements about moving on and feels it’s best for him and his career.
"Every so often, animals shed and they become bigger and grow into a new skin, a new coat. And this is just my process, my evolution as a receiver where I feel like I'm ready for something new”, Barden claimed in a Sirius XM radio interview.
Some players continue to benefit the cap by taking reductions in salary and/or restructuring in order to stay in blue. This is where it’s at. Worrying more about one player (umm, Victor Cruz) isn’t. Reiteration must be thrown out about the restricted free agent (RFA) factor and how majority of the time, the power lies on the side of the team. Fretting over players with this designation is unnecessary as well as a waste of time. Safety Stevie Brown and tailback Andre Brown are also still RFA. There’s time to tender them.
Now, back to those 17 unrestricted free agents that most are assuming to be “gone.” Here’s a much easier way to look at it. Of those, at least nine are far from starter material as they weren’t such with the Giants in 2012. It may have been a result of injuries, but the rest were beat out in camp.
Rocky Bernard, Keith Rivers, Ramses Barden, Travis Beckum, Sean Locklear, Kregg Lumpkin, Justin Tryon, Ryan Torain, and Brian Witherspoon shouldn’t damage the team by their departure. There is always a Plan B, C and D with General Manager Jerry Reese. Players like quarterback David Carr, wide receiver Domenik Hixon, offensive lineman Kevin Boothe and tight end Martellus Bennett have serious worth here. The question to ask is: how will they be replaced?
That leaves four more free agents: defensive end Osi Umenyiora, safety Kenny Phillips, linebacker Chase Blackburn and kicker Lawrence Tynes. As previously mentioned, the front office made their attempt to keep the University of Miami safety here, in blue; he declined. Provisions to replace the other players are in motion; we aren’t privy to that information – not yet.
No one is trying to make light of the state of the franchise, but losing your nugget over a player or two walking or being let go isn’t the apocalypse. It is early March and there is so much more to come. The business side of the NFL frustrates everyone. That is precisely why others are paid to sweat and fret for the G-Men. We are on the cusp of a week or two where information will blast us in the face.
Be prepared, but be realistic and trust the organization that has been in contention more than most.
Also…Andre Brown, David Carr, Domenik Hixon, Football, Kenny Phillips, Kevin Boothe, Martellus Bennett, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Osi Umenyiora, Ramses Barden, Stevie Brown, Tom Coughlin, Victor Cruz