With the lockout over, as has been reported everywhere, this will be a very active period of time in terms of player movement and transactions. Three years worth of FA's are being accelerated into one year and the period of time to sign these players is compressed from about 4 months down to a few days. Because the player's end of the defined revenue pool dropped to 47% in the new CBA, the salary cap actually dropped this year from what it was in 2009. (2010 was an uncapped year because of the opt out by the NFL owners.) Giants have a bunch of free agents, and were over the salary cap and had to release a bunch of OL-men.
Seubert and O'Hara are the two best C's on the OL, but both are aging, coming off significant injuries, consume a fair amount of cap room and there was no way they could be retained. Shawn Andrews, while he looked good when he was on the field last year, was far from a guarantee to remain healthy with his chronic back issues and he would not accept a restructure of his contract, so he will be released. Same is true with Rocky Bernard, who will be cut. (Bernard is probably the only real bust FA signing of the Jerry Reese era.) Giants drafted two DTs in the second round of the last two drafts in Linval Joseph and Marvin Austin and it stands to reason that they will have to play and make a contribution this year along side of Chris Canty.
There was a report both on ESPN and in the Sacramento Bee that the Giants had come to an agreement with the very fine C/G of the 49ers, David Baas. On the one hand, the OL has been a very stable, very consistent unit for the Giants over the last several years. But there is also no doubt that they have declined somewhat over the last few years and it is time to make them younger, more athletic and better. Baas will surely play C and the right side of the OL seems set with Snee and MacKenzie. But the left side could see some change. Petrus, Beatty and Diehl will probably occupy the two slots. If Diehl keeps his LT position, perhaps Petrus starts at G. If Beatty outplays Diehl at LT, maybe Diehl slides into the LG position.
It is a real question about what to do at RB. It sure looks like the Giants are making a strong play for Bradshaw, by making all the cuts and by trying to renegotiate Brandon Jacobs' contract to free up even more space. They might be able to make a deal with Steve Smith, because teams will be reluctant to make him an offer coming off knee surgery. I still say that while it is a nice emotional story, it makes very little sense for the Giants to go after Plaxico. They have lots of weapons at WR - Manningham, Nicks, Smith (if he is retained), Barden, Hixon, draftee Jernigan and lots of other talent in Clayton, Hagan and Cruz. GiantS should not invest in Plaxico and instead should find themselves a LB. If Smith comes back, it is completely stupid to re-sign Burress, but even if Smith does not come back, it seems like a waste.