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Three Biggest Miscalculations Made By The New York Giants

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at October 23, 2021

After an encouraging 6-10 season to start the Joe Judge era, the New York Giants were brimming with confidence that they would be finally able to take the next step and compete for the NFC East title.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out that way so far. The Giants are off to a dismal 1-5 start for the second time under head coach Joe Judge.

Injuries have ravaged the roster, and the Giants have so badly regressed in Judge’s second season that unless things change, New York is looking at yet another potential teardown after the season mercifully ends.

Here is a look at the three biggest miscalculations made by the Giants under general manager Dave Gettleman. 

Offensive Line

When Gettleman was hired, one of the first things he vowed to do was fix the offensive line.

In his first draft as Giants general manager, instead of trading down from the No. 2 spot to acquire more draft picks or to select offensive lineman Quenton Nelson, Gettleman allowed himself to fall in love with Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, whom he viewed as a “gold jacket” (Hall of Fame) talent.

Barkley isn’t a bad player but given where the Giants roster was at the time—a team that had a shaky offensive line—he wasn’t the right player for them. Several years later, Barkley has had three straight seasons with lower-body injuries, not to mention he’s played for coaching staffs that can’t quite seem to figure out how to deploy his skill set best.

But that wasn’t the only time Gettleman whiffed on the offensive line. This past off-season, he was flippant about external concerns about the offensive line, which had underperformed in 2020 and was still young.

And he doubled down in his profession of confidence of the line when he added two veteran journeymen for depth who were always intended to be top-gap solutions while failing to land a young prospect worth developing at a position.

While left tackle Andrew Thomas has developed into the player they thought he could be, and center Nick Gates, before his season-ending broken leg was playing well, the offensive line, ripped to shreds by injury, has become a glaring week spot.

This is due to the lack of young talent in the pipeline, which forced the Giants to go out and acquire two veterans (Billy Price and Ben Bredeson) via trade to supplement a unit that should have been reinforced at the start.

Pass Rush

There’s a common belief that when a team rids itself of a player, either by trade or free agency, the team better have someone waiting in the wings to pick up the slack.

The Giants broke this principle not once but twice with regards to its pass rushers. The first time when they unloaded the hefty contract of defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, the last homegrown pass rusher they plucked with a first-round pick, to get out from under the hefty contract Pierre-Paul was carrying at the time so that they could clear cap space.

To replace Pierre-Paul, the Giants drafted Lorenzo Carter and, a year later, Oshane Ximines, the latter a player they acquired with a draft pick they acquired in the Odell Beckham Jr trade.

Both Carter and Ximines are third-round draft picks who have yet to step up and deliver on the potential the Giants thought they saw in their respective film.

Meanwhile, since landing with Tampa Bay, Pierre-Paul has 52 quarterback hits and 31.0 sacks.

The second time the Giants whiffed on pass-rushing talent was last year. After managing to get Markus Golden, their team’s sack leader in 2019, back on a one-year bargain deal, the Giants barely played Golden before trading him to the Arizona Cardinals for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick.

Since being traded, Golden, in 15 games played so far for Arizona, has 7.0 sacks and 19 quarterback hits.


The Salary Cap

The biggest blunder of Gettleman’s tenure has been his latest handling of the salary cap, ironic since when he was initially hired, he straightened out the cap.

However, as part of his high-risk, high-reward roster rebuild plan, Gettleman has now mucked up the cap again, not just for this year but for next year as well.

According to the NFLPA Public Cap Report, the Giants have $2,413,615 in cap space left to get them through the rest of this year.

And according to an estimate by Over the Cap, the Giants will have $2,729,725 of space (based on a projected $208.2 million salary cap) in 2022—with only 43 players under contract.

Simply put, the Giants are going to have to cut some of the fat off their 2022 cap, such as cornerback James Bradberry ($21.863 million cap hit) and receiver Sterling Shepard ($12.495 million cap hit), just to have enough room to fill out the roster and sign the draft picks.

If they come to fruition, those two moves will also dump approximately $17.719 million in dead money in the Giants’ 2022 cap, assuming both are made before June 1.

Where Do They Go From Here?

Unless the Giants somehow turn their misfortunes around, they are not only looking at having to make yet another significant change in their football operations structure, but they’re also looking at another rebuild that could potentially take multiple years.


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