Thursday, February 26, 2009

Giants off season moves

Brandon Jacobs Signs
I posted here a few weeks ago that I would be just as happy with Derrick Ward as Brandon Jacobs as the Giants regular RB. I am not moving off of that position now that the Giants have resigned Jacobs. I like Jacobs, he is a unique player and he gives the Giants something important - a player that the other defense has to game plan for. His combination of size, speed and nimble feet truly makes him one of a kind in the NFL. My inclination to sign Ward was that the he would probably cost the Giants less, he is a better pass receiver out of the backfield and though not as powerful as Jacobs, he would still be productive. RB's are not as important to the offense as WRs are nowadays. With the (apparent) departure of Burress and the decline of the offense after he left the team last year, it is obvious that the Giants need to upgrade there. If saving some shekels on Ward would have allowed the Giants to throw some extra money at a WR and get a more talented one, Giants offense might be better off.

But let me be clear - I am not whining about Jacobs. He is an outstanding RB and if the Giants can fulfill their off season roster upgrade with him taking up space on the salary cap, I am fine with that. I would not be surprised to find that there are some incentives in the contract around playing time. I am sure that Giants were somewhat hesitant about Jacobs concerned about his ability to stay healthy in the future.

Salary Cap is $4M higher than earlier calculated
The NFL just announced that the salary cap is going to be $127M this year, not $123 as previously announced. This doesn't particularly help the Giants - all teams get to use this additional cap money. It is not a competitive advantage for them.

Kurt Warner breaks off negotiation with Cardinals
This could be important to the Giants. Warner is a FA and is negotiating a deal to return to Arizona. If he broke off negotiations, I am sure there are several teams that would be salivating at getting him in. The Jets are one, but I think he would be a perfect fit for Minnesota. They have some talent at WR, they have a good OL, a great RB and Warner certainly likes to play in warm weather or in a dome. Lots of NFL experts think the Vikings are a good starting qb away from being a legitimate Superbowl threat. In fact, lots of experts had the Vikings a sfashionable pick to coe out of the NFC last year with Tavaris Jackson at qb. The reason this Kurt Warner negotiation is important to the Giants is that it greatly reduces the attraction of Cardinals to WR Anquan Bouldin and brings into his question his return there. Giants have a major need at WR and I would like to see them fill it with a proven pro rather than a draft prospect. Bouldin has stated that he wants to leave the Cardinals and the absence of Warner could make it an easier decision for him.

Giants Strategy
I would like to see the Giants go for a proven WR, either from the FA ranks or in a trade. Their other need, a stud OLB and a DT to supplement Robbins, who is getting a little long in the tooth, can be filled from the draft. There are lots of real good looking OLB's in the draft this year, at least 5 that are impact players and 1st round talent. The Giants could sit where they other at 29 and get a good player or package one of their 2nd round picks with their own 1st rounder and move up to a higher slot in the 1st round to get a particular player. I do not want to see the Giants trade a bunch of picks to move up to take Michael Crabtree. I know it may be blasphemous to say this, but I am not certain that Crabtrree is a sure fire lock to be a stud WR, as all the draft experts seem to be. I am not saying that he is overrated, and I am certainly not syaing that he will be a bust. I am just saying that you should be cautious with him. He played in a spread offense in college which always inflates a WR's numbers. He does not have blazing speed; his 40 time is about 4.58 and he does not have great size. He is a real good athlete and a natural football player, but there is a long list of NFL WRs with average speed who excelled in college and were only average in the pros. The list of moderate speed WRs who starred in the NFL starts with Jerry Rice and doesn't have too many other names on the list. He will probably be a very good player, I'm just saying that he is a not necessarily a slam dunk to be star.

There are lots of good OT's in the draft and if a stud falls to the Giants, it would not be crazy to take him, slot him in at LT when he is ready and move Diehl back inside.

Toomer was told to search for another team and it seemed cold that the Giants would do this to a 13 year veteran that has never taken a snap for antoher team, has been a model citizen, has restructured his contract several times to help the team's salary cap situation and has tutored the young players when asked. Toomer was not happy abot pushed out either. But when the Colts cut Marvin Harrison, the release of Toomer did not seem quite as unfeeling.

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