by Paul Wanecski
It wouldn’t be hard to make an argument that things have exploded for the Giants; it’s a popular argument to make right now. While there may be a population of Giants fans that are accepting of a team in transition, I can assure that you New York sports fans can only be patient for so long and even entering just his second season, General Manager Dave Gettleman looks to skating on ice as thin as a thin-crust pizza in Times Square.
To be fair, it would be unfair to call the salary cap situation with the Giants a total disaster, because that would infer that everything bad that could happen already has. No, plenty more can (and with as much faith as I have in Gettleman) and likely will still happen. So, avoiding calling this a total disaster, let’s keep it to a car crash…that happened at a train track crossing. The Giants are currently working with around $11m in salary cap space, which doesn’t sound too bad. They are having to account for immense amounts of the dead salary cap with the trades of Odell Beckham Jr, Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison, and Eli Apple, all totaling over $21.5 million. It is also important to mention that they will currently spend over $14m on their current draft picks, meaning that if nothing else changes from now to draft day, they will actually not have the salary cap space to sign all their drafted players. As I said, much like a car crash that happens on a train track crossing. Now it is important to note that the Giants could free up about $12 million by releasing Eli Manning, which would give them enough room to sign all their draft picks and remain under the cap, however, the Giants would be foolish at this point to release him now without securing another Quarterback.
Now it would be unfair to paint everything a dark shade of shame that Gettleman has done to try and improve his team this offseason. He lost Landon Collins to Washington and at the price tag he commanded, it is no surprise to see why the Giants knew keeping him wasn’t much of an option. They added Golden Tate, which was needed after losing Beckham, added a starting guard in Kevin Zeitler and starting safety and return man Jabrill Peppers, and was able to snag outside linebacker Markus Golden, who is likely the best move of the offseason for the Giants so far.
The Giants are in a phenomenal position to trade with Arizona or the 49ers to get into one of the top two draft spots, as the writing is (and has been) on the wall for Eli Manning at quarterback. It was worth the risk last season after adding Shaquon Barkley that Head Coach Pat Shurmur was going to be able to whisper some life into Manning and the offense but that simply didn’t happen. With the Giants owning the 6th and 17th pick, that is all the ammunition they need to climb that draft board and secure their next quarterback if Arizona really isn’t serious about their interest in Kyler Murray, who has been the consensus best QB in this draft class which isn’t littered with excellent options at the position. The Giants probably cannot afford to risk that position waiting it out. Even if they really like QB Dwayne Haskins from Ohio State or Drew Lock from Missouri, waiting until the 6th pick could be too risky for Gettleman and company to wait. Honestly, they could probably take Duke QB Daniel Jones with the 17th pick if it all fell apart for them on draft day. Rashan Gary, the Defensive End from Michigan, Linebacker Devin White from LSU, even grabbing a player like Florida Tackle Jawaan Taylor would make the Giants better (Nate Solder is making an insane amount of money and is 31 years old). The Giants are both exciting because they can make moves to get better and terrifying because of the man in charge of making those moves.