Let me be real frank and quick about this Giant fans. Just because the GM of our favorite football isn’t forthright about what his plan is for the Giants for this offseason and the coming years, doesn’t mean he doesn’t have one. The amount of people clamoring for Dave Gettleman’s head before Free Agency has even begun is OUTRAGEOUS.
Sorry I’m not sorry, but I just really needed to get that off my chest. This fan base has become so damn whiny! It’s becoming quite exhausting screen shotting (made that last word up) all of the stupid tweets that I am going to throw back in everybody’s face once Getty gets this thing turned around. I am a firm believer that this is the right man for the job. Call it a hunch. Call it my Glass-Half-Full disposition.
Anyway, it was a big week for us Giant fans. It started off with the Giants confirming what was rumored last week, that the team was not going to be tagging Landon Collins. Boy oh boy did the fan base react to this.
“We are paying Eli X amount of dollars at 38-years-old, but we can’t resign Landon Collins!”
“This franchise is lost and is a disgrace! We are letting a former All-Pro just walk out the door! We have no plan.”
“The Giants have no talent on their defense and just removed another vital piece that they could not afford to lose!”
Listen, I get that Landon Collins was an All-Pro in 2016. I get that he’s made 3 Pro Bowls in a row and is still very young. I even get that he has been a great Giant and a home grown talent that you hate to see walk out the door. I get that his teammates loved him.
Having said all of that, we aren’t letting the reincarnation of L.T. walk out the door here people. For Christ sake, some of you need to get a grip here! The Giants have finished in the bottom 5 in defense for 3 out of the 4 years that Collins was a New York Giant. Outside of his 2016 season, he has had a very average career thus far. You can say he has been paired with garbage alongside him at Safety (and you wouldn’t be wrong), but does that warrant paying him Top 5 Safety money if he is THAT dependent on needing talent next to him to excel?
I love Collins as much much as the next guy. I am sad to see him go. I respect all he has done as a New York Giant and I wish him success in the future. You just CAN’T pay a Safety Top 5 money in today’s NFL if they can’t cover worth a lick. That was the knock on him coming out of Alabama and he has not gotten any better at it in the 4 years since being in the NFL. There is no reason to think he will get much better at this. Tight Ends and Running Backs continued to kill us time after time the past few years with Collins in the lineup. He is a great tackler, but that is a skill set better suited for a Linebacker than a Safety.
Lastly on Collins, and I don’t want to burst anybody’s bubble here, but this wasn’t just a money issue people. The Giants clearly didn’t think LC was a fit for this defense going forward. In that sense, the Giants should have traded him last year and gotten the 3rd round pick they were rumored to be offered. Maybe they thought they could do better by tagging him and trading him this offseason? I dont know. Fact of the matter is, Gettleman would have tried to make it work if James Bettcher urged that Collins was a great fit for his defense. The Giants seem to prefer coverage skills over Collins’ skill set. I can’t blame them for that.
The other big news to come out of Giant land this week was the MONSTER trade of Olivier Vernon. It was rumored that the Giants were shopping the talented yet overpaid Edge Rusher, but we were told that they could not find any suitors. With a contract like OV’s, most Giant fans were just hoping some team would give up a late round pick if only to take the contract off the Giants books.
Then, from the heavens, the Browns came in and threw the Giants a lifeline. Not only did the Browns take on OV’s contract, but they threw in one of the top Guards in the NFL in Kevin Zeitler. WHAT A COUP!
The Giants also swapped one of their 4th round picks for a 5th rounder, but that’s not too relevant here. What matter’s here is that the Giants got the albatross that was OV’s contract off the books, and in return, added one of the premier pass-blocking guards in the NFL. Gettleman said he wanted to rebuild the trenches, and this my friends, was a huge step in that direction.
As for Vernon’s tenure as a Giant…….it left us all wanting. OV seemed to played well enough when he was on the field and was probably the Giants most consistent pass rusher whenever he was on the field. Therein lied the problem though. Vernon missed 9 games over the last two seasons. That is just way too much missed time for your highest payed player.
There is a saying that is used often in the NFL “A player’s best ability is availability” (please don’t quote me on that, but you get the point). Vernon was being payed huge bucks to be the best player on the Giants defense, but he was simply not available for huge chunks of the season. When he was on the field, he would contribute, but never really took over games. I wouldn’t call his time as a Giant a bust, but he didn’t quite live up to expectations. Good guy though, and I wish him the best of luck along with Collins going forward. As long as it isn’t against the Giants.
So with this trade, the Giants can now focus on the Right Tackle position and continue building depth on the offensive line. They are one legitimate Right Tackle away from having an above-average line, and that is not something you could say about a Giant offensive line in close to a decade. It ain’t flashy people, but to win in the NFL, you need a solid offensive line. Gettleman sought out to fix this when he signed on as the Giants GM, and hes taking the necessary steps to accomplish it.
Mr. Glass-Half-Full Take:
If you couldn’t tell by this whole article, I am fully on board with both of these moves. Would I have liked to get a 3rd Round pick for Collins instead of letting him walk for free? Sure. In the end though, the Giants can improve their overall defense and could get 90% of what Collins brought to this defense for a lot less money. The Giants want their safeties to be interchangeable and have the ability to cover. They will now be in the market for those types that better fit what they want.
We are now moving on to Free Agency, which starts next week. The Giants have already been rumored to talking to Right Tackles and Safeties. I would love to see them bring in Daryl Williams, Ja’Wuan James, or Jermey Parnell to shore up the Right Tackle spot. Whoever is more cost-efficient.
The Safety position is STACKED in free agency this year. This should give the Giants a ton of options to pick up a talented player for less than Top 5 money they were going to spend on Collins on a Franchise Tag.
Keep it rolling Gettleman. Should be a very exciting next few weeks for Big Blue.
Oh, and by the way Dave Gettleman wouldn’t be a very good GM if he let everyone know what his plan was for the Giants moving forward. Have faith my friends. These guys have been in the business for a very long time and they know what they are doing. He doesn’t owe it to fans to let them know what he has in mind before putting it into action. Chill people!
Go Big Blue