Giants will likely need TE next year

Updated: February 9, 2012, 5:03 PM ET
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com

Jerry Reese will have to find a tight end in the offseason.

The general manager said that tight ends Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum will likely both start the 2012 season on the physically unable to perform list.

Ballard and Beckum suffered torn ACL injuries in Sunday's 21-17 win over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. Ballard is scheduled for surgery Feb. 21.

The Giants have Bear Pascoe, who will be a restricted free agent, and Christian Hopkins, who is on the practice squad at tight end. Ballard is an exclusive rights free agent but the Giants will re-sign him.

"We will see how they are health-wise after the surgeries and how they get back," Reese said. "From my perspective right now, they will probably both be guys that end up on PUP at the start of the season."

Reese praised Pascoe as the offense's version of Mathias Kiwanuka, a "joker" who can play multiple roles, from fullback to tight end to extra blocker.

Reese said the team will look at tight end in free agency and the draft.

Reese has other decisions to make as well.

He did not go into detail when asked about Osi Umenyiora. The defensive end is under contract for another season at slightly less than $4 million. Umenyiora said he wants to return but he will certainly be looking for a raise.

"We are in the early stages of the evaluation," Reese said when asked about Umenyiora. "Osi is under contract. We will discuss everything as a staff and all issues that can possibly come up for us. And we will come up with a game plan and we will move on day to day and see how things work out for us."

Reese will also have to make a decision on Brandon Jacobs, who will have a $500,000 roster bonus due in March.

Reese has 21 free agents and a few other restricted and exclusive rights free agents to worry about, and some will want raises.

There are stars who are underpaid like Victor Cruz, who has outplayed his contract signed as an undrafted free agent and will be looking for a raise.

"We're in the early stages of evaluating the team as a whole," Reese said. "We have not discussed anything with respect to salaries."

"It's a good problem to have," Reese continued. "Win the Super Bowl and everybody thinks they are the reason we won. It is a good problem to have. There are always contract issues in the offseason, who is going to stay, who is going to go."

Reese said he expects the Giants to be in the same vicinity that they are in salary cap-wise with the cap expected to be set somewhere in the same area as last season.

He also said he expects the core of the Super Bowl roster to remain the same but that there will be some changes. Reese said the starting five along the offensive line is undetermined.

Right tackle Kareem McKenzie is a free agent and left tackle Will Beatty has been cleared to play. David Diehl returned to his old position and started the final 10 games at left tackle.

Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com.

Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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