Changes that will come for the New York Giants in 2014.
Linval Joseph—At 25 years old, I will be surprised if the young, ascending defensive tackle is resigned. The Giants are pleased with him and he’s been a valuable, consistent player for the New York Giants, especially against the run. But much like Barry Cofield when he left via free agency, the Giants most likely will not be able to match the money that a tackle like Joseph could command on the open market. The contingency plans were made when the team drafted DT Johnathan Hankins. I’d be surprised if the Giants devoted money to Joseph when there are so many gaping holes on the other side of the ball.
Brandon Myers—Lets face it, it just didn’t work out for Myers, for a variety of reasons. He wasn’t the tight end that the Giants needed this year or in the future, especially while Eli Manning is quarterbacking this team. The team needs to invest in a serious two way tight end. Although in the last few years the Giants have tried to fill this void with young veterans on cost friendly contracts, this could be the off-season they build for the future.
Larry Donnell and Adrien Robinson are unknown. Bear Pascoe has been solid and a true pro; however, he is not a franchise tight end. Depending on free agency, I would not be shocked if the team filled this void in round 2 or 3 during the draft.
The Offensive Line—Chris Snee and David Diehl have both been leaders and left everything they ever could give in their career to the Giants. Both players were starting linemen on two Super Bowl winning teams, however this most likely will be the end of the line. Especially for Snee who has battled injuries and is coming off hip surgery. The Giants will dedicate time and money to fixing the offensive line where possibly 2-4 spots could be available for new players.
The holdover when it is all set and done, depending on Will Beatty’s injury status and ability to be a lock down left tackle, is rookie Justin Pugh. Pugh, who started all 16 games, finished the year with a 7.1 rating from Pro Football Focus that ranked best on the Giants offensive line and best among “all” rookie offensive tackles who played at least 50 percent of their teams snaps this season.
Corey Webster—Webster had an up and down career but at one time, was the team’s best and most dependable corner back. This was his last season, but if you ask most Giants fans, they’ll tell you he hasn’t made close to any impact in two years. Again, the corner back position will be an intriguing one to watch in the free agency period and draft. The team currently does not have a corner back who can line up on opposite sides of Prince Amukamara.
These issues and more (Hakeem Nicks, Justin Tuck, Offensive Coordinator) make this one of the most interesting and important off seasons in the Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin era. We will all be watching.
Marco Imperati | Featured Columnist