Weekend mailbag: Long-view Giants

Sometimes, you guys email questions. On Saturdays, I like to pick through them and see if I can offer some answers. Today is Saturday, so...

Larry, who lists his location as "Anywhere but here," is rankled by the idea that the New York Giants always draft the "best player available," regardless of need. Larry asks if doing this "simply makes their decisions less informed."

Dan Graziano: The Giants' draft philosophy, which is almost always to take the best player available on their board regardless of need, is based on their belief that they maintain a deep roster and excel at developing their own players. It can be frustrating to watch them pass on positions like linebacker and offensive linemen when they appear to need them year after year, but they prioritize certain positions (defensive line, defensive back) more than others in the draft and believe that's where the value lies. The Giants have faith in their veterans and their coaching staff to manage the roster, and they don't view draft picks as quick fixes. They view them as assets to be developed and brought along in the program, and that's the way they manage them while they're picking them and after they've signed them.

Jake from the Death Star Command Centre (goodness, you guys are clever this week...) isn't awed by the Philadelphia Eagles' current backup quarterback situation, especially in light of the fact that the Eagles' starting quarterback has a bit of a history of missing a game or two here and there.

DG: Yeah, the top backups on the market got snatched up quickly -- Kyle Orton by the Cowboys and Jason Campbell by the Bears. So the Eagles have Trent Edwards, who didn't play in 2011, and Mike Kafka, who couldn't beat out scatter-armed Vince Young for the Eagles' backup job in 2011. As you point out, Jake, Michael Vick is far from a guarantee to play all 16 games, and unless Kafka takes a dramatic leap forward this offseason you're not going to have much confidence in whoever comes in to replace Vick if he gets hurt. I'll say this, though: As uninspiring as Edwards may seem, the Eagles' coaching staff saw something they liked when they worked him out. And they have a history of getting more than we expect them to get out of that backup QB spot. And besides, how much worse can he be than Young was? Don't be surprised to see the Eagles take a quarterback at some point in the draft.

Mark Reynolds from Roanoke, Va. (Hey! An actual place!) wonders why NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has yet to comment on the salary cap penalties handed down 12 days ago to the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins. Goodell gave some interviews this week, but the topics were limited to the Saints' bounty scandal, and he was not asked about the Redskins/Cowboys issue.

DG: You're right, Mark. He hasn't commented, and doesn't appear to have been asked. But he's giving a news conference Monday at the NFL's annual meetings in Palm Beach, Fla. I will be there, and I promise you, if no one else asks him a question about this, I will. And I'll make sure and tell you everything he says about it.