Monday, March 23, 2009

Giants - some updates, reflections and rumors

There were rumors floating around a month or so ago that the Giants were interested in Braylon Edwards and that they had dangled Matthias Kiwanuka in front of the Browns as trade bait. There was no confirmation of this and I would say that it didn't even rise to the level of a "rumor", it could probably have been more closely characterized as pure unadulterated speculation. Apparently there is a new rumor floating around that has a little more substance to it because of its specificity (ok - tell the truth, have you ever read a blog post or even legitimate newspaper article about football with the word specificity in it?). Anyway - these new slightly more substantive rumors allege not only that there were trade discussions between the Giants and Browns about Edwards, but also outline what the actual proposals were for these trades. Giants offered the two draft picks that they got in the Shockey trade, a 2 and a 5 from New Orleans, slotted at 14 in the draft order. Browns rejected this and asked for Steve Smith in addition to the draft picks. Giants did not want to give up Smith but offered either Manningham or Hixon for Edwards instead of Smith, an offer that the Browns were not happy with.

We don't know for sure if these trade discussions actually happened, but they don't seem so far fetched. I am slightly surprised about the inclusion of Manningham in the trade. We have all been hearing that the Giants coaches are very high on Manningham from a size, elusiveness and speed perspective. He missed training camp last year because of injury and the coaches felt that set him back, significantly. But he is penciled in to be a big part of the offense this year, apparently. If that's the case, why would he be offered as trade bait for a player that had a serious case of dropsies last year? Even so, it's not surprising that the Browns did not want him, because Manningham has not shown anything yet in his career. The only team that could have a good read on him is the Giants themselves who see him in practice everyday. If the Browns had been impressed with him and wanted him after his college career, they had three rounds to draft him ahead of the Giants.

From the Giants perspective, relying on Manningham could be considered a risk and I would have more confidence in it if someone other than Gilbride was the Giants OC. I don't think Gilbride stinks as OC, as some Giants fans do. But neither do I think that he is a brilliant innovator, creative or possessive of a genius offensive mind. He is capable, but let's put it this way: you won't be running into Gilbride at a MENSA meeting any time soon. The reason I think counting on Manningham is particularly questionable is because the Giants seem so close to the promised land and slotting in an unproven player to be your deep threat seems full of downside. If the Giants offense were a bit more creative, I might feel safer about using Manningham. Having said that, I think the Giants personnel and talent evaluation is excellent and have proven their mettle over the last several years. Consequently, I will trust their instincts. It is possible that the Giants will sit tight with what they have at the WR position and draft someone appropriate in the 1st or 2nd round to augment the talent that they have on the roster.

Some of the rumors about the trade can be found:
Newark Star Ledger
New York Daily News

The same comments I made about Anquan Boldin apply to Braylon Edwards: the Giants would probably have to redo his contract and pay him some serious coin. With some of the open salary cap space spent on defensive FAs already, the likelihood of an Edwards trade is probably slight.

The NFL draft is now about a month away - look for some posts coming up about that soon.

7 comments:

wolfman said...

Several "official" sources denied the reports of the Braylon Edwards trade talks and said that specific player names were not mentioned in a trade. Steve Smith, Mario Manningham and Domenik Hixon were all mentioned as involved in trade talks in various media reprots, specifically sourcing Pro Footbal Insider reproted by Ken Palmer. These rumors were denied by the Gianst and the Browns.

Yankel the Nachash said...

Wolfman,

Good to see you aren't slacking in the offseason.
As much as I love the moves to pile up defenses players, if it comes at the expense of signing a decent wide receiver, I have to question it. Yes, it was apparent that the D-Line faded at the end of the year and that cost them, but the offense was lost after Plax went down. I fear without a top receiver, G-Men will be exactly what they were last year--a 10-13 win top contender, one impact player short of a Super Bowl Champion.
And I think losing Ward only makes this worse, because as much as I love Bradshaw, you can't expect him to duplicate Ward's 2008 output. Plus, you have to expect Jacobs to miss his usual few games, all the more so if the opposing defense is stacking the box every down because the passing game isn't much of a threat.
Summary: Without a top receiver, offense will be one-dimensional, which will lead to reduction in passing and running game, and likelihood of Jacobs taking even more of a pounding, missing even more games, without the comfort of Ward to lean on. They need a receiver. And I hate to give up on young raw talent like Kiwi, but there's a good chance he's just too small for DL and too big for linebacker and will never find his spot on the field. I would trade him for Edwards.
PS: I have no idea who Braylon Edwards is.
BRING BACK PLAX!!

wolfman said...

Yankel,

You have no idea who Braylon Edwards is, but you want to trade Kiwi for him? Now I see why they call you "the Nachash".

Edwards is extremely talented and athletic, but dropped more passes last year than TO and Toomer put together. He has hands that make Patrick Ewing's hands look sure. At least last year. Of course when he played against the Giants early in the 2008 season, he caught everything they threw to him and he got about 150 yard and a few TDs. And - in 2007 he had a huge year where he caught everything - 80 cathches and 1,300 yards. No doubt we need a deep threat at WR to make the offense go. The coaches remain very high on Manningham and there are a lot of good WRs in the draft this year.

I think the Giants will draft a WR, and will trade for a veteran WR also, though perhaps not a star, and hope that this works for them.

As far as loss of Ward at RB - watch for Danny Ware - he is this year's Ward and may compete with Bradshaw for carries.

-wm

Yankel the Nachash said...

I guess I should clarify my position. I assumed Braylon Edwards is a serious player based on the lack of outrage responding to the alleged trade proposal. If he's just an above average receiver, not a chance. If he's a pro bowl type, 1200 yards a year + deep threat (in other words, an adequate replacement for Plax), I'd do it. And trading Kiwi isn't easy, but he really seemed ineffective last year. I ordinarily wouldn't trade young defensive talent, but given the fact that: we just stockpiled a bunch of D-Linemen and are pretty set there for a long time; Kiwi didn't really do much at DL, a year after not doing much at LB; and last but not least, in my opinion, G-Men are in desparate need for a big time receiver; then and only then would I trade Kiwi.
I don't follow the AFC, or the American League for that matter.

Yankel the Nachash said...

One more point re Ward/Bradshaw. Don't get me wrong--I love Bradshaw. I'm the guy screaming at the tv all game last year, "Where the hell is Bradshaw??!" But Ward was really amazing last year and set a really high bar. I don't know much about Ware, but I trust the Wolfman even though you were a huge Jarrad Bunch fan. And Lee Rouson. Actually, I liked Lee Rouson.

wolfman said...

Yankel,

Pulling out the Jarrod Bunch and the Lee Rouson references - very impressive. But you forgot George Adams and all of the baby bulls (maybe before your time?): Tucker Fredrickson, Steve Thurlow, Ernie Koy, Chuck Mercein and Ernie "the Wheel" Wheelwright. (Not to mention Clarence Childs, of course.)

My favorite Giants RB, even more than OJ was Rodney Hampton. He had grit, guts, talent and a lot of heart. Dan Reeves single handedly took 3 years off his career by running him about 57 times per game. (I might give the ball to Rodney a lot if Dave Brown were my qb also, I guess.)

I hope Bradshaw has a breakout year, but I think Ware will be good this year and will actually compete for carries. With a back like Jacobs that gives and takes a lot of punishment and has injury potential, it's good to have 3 productive RBs on the roster.

-wm

wolfman said...

Yankel -

About Kiwanuka.... unless they think he's going to develop into a pro bowl type player, I would consider trading him for a WR that already is a pro bowl player.

Especially, as you said, now that the Giants have more DL-men than Newcastle has coals.

-wm