Wednesday, February 8, 2012
So, what now for the Giants?
By Dan Graziano
Over at ESPNNewYork.com, they're running one of these interactive "Take 'em or Trash 'em" features, where you can go clicking through the New York Giants' roster and pick which players you'd keep and which players you wouldn't for next year's team. Ohm's keeping everyone but free-agent right tackle Kareem McKenzie, but it's probably not realistic to think the Giants can bring back their Super Bowl champion roster that unscathed.
The Giants appear to have 21 unrestricted free agents, one restricted free agent (cornerback Bruce Johnson) and two exclusive rights free agents (tight ends Bear Pascoe and Jake Ballard). I could run through the whole unrestricted list, or I could refer you instead to Brian McIntyre, who tracks this stuff, and you can look through the whole list there if you want. I'm picking out a couple of the unrestricteds of interest and addressing them here:
WR Mario Manningham. If the Super Bowl hero wants top wideout money, he'll likely have to get it elsewhere. My guess is someone's willing to pay him more than the Giants are willing to pay their No. 3 wide receiver.
WR Domenik Hixon. Can he come back from a second serious knee injury in two years? That's the question. If he can, he could compete with Ramses Barden and Jerrel Jernigan to be Manningham's replacement.
McKenzie. He'll be 33 in May. He looked slower this year. Great Giant, great champion, but they need to keep refreshing things on the offensive line. Last year's casualties were Shaun O'Hara and Rich Seubert. McKenzie is likely this year's.
LB Jonathan Goff. If healthy, he should reclaim his role as starting middle linebacker.
CB Terrell Thomas. If healthy, he should reclaim his role as a starting cornerback.
CB Aaron Ross. No doubt he has value, and he played very well this year after Thomas went down in preseason. But if Thomas is back and Prince Amukamara is ready to take the next step, is there room for Ross?
P Steve Weatherford. Reports out of New York this week indicate they're already at work on a new deal for Weatherford, as they should be.
S Deon Grant. They moved on from Grant last year, only to re-sign him late in the preseason. He's well-loved in the locker room and a valuable veteran leader on which the coaching staff can lean. But he only comes back if he'll come back cheap.