Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Giants - off season moves

Some facts and considerations for the Giants: Giants have an absolute gaggle of starting caliber DL-men. Giants have 9 sure picks in the upcoming April draft: 7 of their own picks and 2 picks acquired from New Orleans in the Shockey trade. They will probably also be awarded a 10th pick, which will be a compensatory pick for losing Gibril Wilson as a FA in 2008. They have only one major hole to fill at WR and otherwise are fairly well situated. They even signed a backup safety today, C.C. Brown, filling out a compliment of players at the safety group. Brown is also an excellent ST player. (Note: New York sports teams now hold the world's record for having players under contract named "CC" at 2, with Sabbathia of the Yankees). With all this wealth of talent on the defense, excess draft picks and moderate personnel requirements, I think we can draw the following conclusions about the Giants upcoming plans in player acquisition and the draft:

  • With all the riches on defense, it seems that the Giants will concentrate their player acquisition and drafting towards the offensive side of the ball.
  • With a team coming off a 12 win season and losing very few important players, it is extremely unlikely that there is room for 10 draftees to make the team or even to get a legitimate chance to compete for a roster spot. It seems pointless to waste draft picks to fill up the practice squad.
  • Consequently, it seems very probable to me that the Giants will not keep all 10 draft picks and will probably package some of them to move up in the draft. They will have fewer, higher draft choices, rather than many, lower ones. I wouldn't be completely surprised if the Giants include some of the excess talent in the DL to make a trade package more attractive. This package could be used to move up with a better draft choice and/or to haul in a proven pro WR.
  • In addition to WR, Giants need to do something in the OL. They have been very fortunate the past two years to have been largely healthy in the OL, but their depth at the T position is limited. At the interior of the OL, there is great flexibility with players able to move around to different positions. They have Boothe as a backup T but he is nothing more than a backup player. Guy Whimper is an unknown after spending 2008 on IR. He showed a little bit in 2007, but apparently did not progress as much as the coaches would have liked. If the Giants can move up and land one of the top OTs, it is a good bet they will go there. If not, they will certainly select OL depth later in the draft.
  • Even though the Giants have specific needs at OT and WR, the Giants do not stretch in the first round and take a player for need at a specific position that is not first round value. They will take the best athlete available and the best first round value, except for positions of great strength. For example - I don't expect them to take DL-man, but would not be surprised if they take LB if they find one of particularly good value.
  • I still think that the Giants should try to nab a pro WR because no matter how good the draftees are, very few rookie WRs have a huge impact in that first year.

Breaking news this morning has the Cowboys cutting TO. If I recall correctly, he signed a 4 year $34M contract last year, which has 3 years left to go on it. There was $12M of guaranteed money on it, which means that the Cowboys will take a $9M salary cap hit this year for the unamortized portion of the $12M bonus getting accelerated into the current year. Of course, I have not reviewed the contract and the foregoing calculation assumes that the $12M in guaranteed money was all one time, up front signing bonus. It may have been structured differently by the Cowboys changing the affect, but it potentially could cause a bit of a hit for the Cowboys. Of course, the accelerated bonus will be offset by removing the cost of TO's scheduled salary in 2009, but it is likely that there will be a net salary cap cost. (Note: Please be aware that these are my own calculations and assumptions, not based on any official word from Cowboys or NFL.) Perhaps the Cowboys relatively quiet behavior in this year's FA market was influenced by their contemplating the release of TO and the accompanying salary cap hit it would create this year, thus creating some constraint. It is also rumored that the very high priced PSLs that Jerry Jones has been selling for his new stadium have not sold quite as rapidly as he thought they would because of the economy. Cowboys had many more high priced tickets than, for example, the Giants did. Giants made a point of keeping most of the PSL prices relatively affordable. 90% of the PSLs in the upper tier at Giants Stadium were $1,000. The highest priced PSLs in Giants stadium are $20,000, and there are very few seats at those prices. In Dallas, the lowest priced PSL is $2,000 and there are not many seats at those prices. There are 30 years licenses that range from 2,000-5,000 and what they call permanent licenses range from $16,000 up to $150,000. It's the influx of cash and the revenue stream from the new stadiums that gives teams cash flow to pay big up front bonuses. Maybe there's a little pinch this year for JJ and the 'Boys.

Question of the day: would you try to sign TO and bring him to the Giants?


Yankel the Nachash said...

Hell no to TO!!

wolfman said...

I agree with you, but it is an interesting situation. There is a HOF WR on the market; the HOF WR still has lots of gas left in the tank; Giants have a need for a big threat WR; way do the Giants want to take him.

I am sure someone will take a chance on him. If Charles Manson was a great footbal player someone would sign him.

TO <> Terrel Owens
TO = Team Obliterator


wolfman said...

Update on the salary cap hit to the Cowboys:

Paul Schwartz of the NY Post, who always gets his facts straight, reports the following:

>> TO was scheduled to earn 2.67M in salary
>> TO was due a roster bonus in June of 3.1M
>> His upfront signing bonus was 12M, so the portion of that bonus that would have been charged to the salary cap this year would have been $3m.

If you add up these three numbers, TO's salary cap number would have been $8.77M

The Cowboys cut TO and absorbed a salary cap cost of $9M. Two ways to look at it. On the one hand, their overall salary cap charge is only .23M more than it would have been had they kept TO. But on the other hand - they have a $9M salary cap charge for a ghost player. They have to replace TO on the roster with someone and don't now have the cap room to go out and get a primary, talented WR that would theoretically cost them the same as TO, about $9-10M per year.

Faisal said...

IMO, big, BIG mistake if the Giants were to sign TO... you said it best, TO = Team Obliterator.

San Fran... cut... Philly... cut... Dallas... CUT. This ugly duckling is not turning into a swan any time soon. For the sake of his legacy, hopefully Buffalo gives him a dose of whatever the Patriots gave Randy Moss when he went to New England.

The Giants definitely need to re-package the crazy number of trades they have and finagle their way to a proven, stud WR. They need to move forward under the assumption that Plax won't be wearing blue in NY next year -- and if history has anything to say about it, chances are they're not going to be able to successfully do that through the draft: only 13 Rookie WR in the history of the league have hit 1,000 yards in their NFL debut season.

DSW said...

I thought I'd share the attached story, which I found very thoughtful and insightful.