The question being posed to every and all Giants fans heading into next month's draft is whether or not they should take a top QB prospect or Saquon Barkley. It really all comes down to if the Giants are in love with one of these QB prospects or not. Well, that's actually not the only tell. If the Giants take a QB they clearly aren't trying to win now or else they'd use that draft pick to get a player that they can use to help win right off the rip. If we draft a QB he won't be taking the field as the Giants starter until the 2019 season at the earliest. If Eli plays well this season which I imagine he will now that the offensive line should give him more than .5 seconds to throw, then he'll play out the remainder of his contract and that QB we drafted wouldn't become our starter until the 2020 season. Are we really ready to give up two seasons to groom a quarterback while letting our franchise QB of the moment just kill time and play out the rest of his contract. That doesn't make much sense to me at all, which is exactly why I believe taking Saquon Barkley is the only practical move.
Adding Barkley is adding an elite offensive talent to a position that the Giants haven't had talent at since Tiki Barber was playing. That's basically Eli's entire career that he hasn't had an elite talent to lean on to help take the pressure off him. Sure the Bradshaw and Jacobs combo was good, but neither of those guys are capable of what Barkley is. Imagine how much more effective our pass game will be now that we have a left tackle that can block and the threat of a very real running game. Our offense would instantly be that much more explosive, finally opening up the passing game for what we know it can be with all the weapons we have with OBJ, Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, and Brandon Marshall all returning healthy. At that point if the offense doesn't succeed then I'll finally be ready to move on from Eli because there will be no excuse. I know that won't happen though because Eli has held this offense together for over a decade with out all these elements of the offense coming together at the same time.
It's going to sound pretty dumb when I say this but the Giants weren't as bad as their record last season. We still have more talent than a lot of the teams that finished with more wins than us. Our offense was decimated by injuries, our coaching staff was incompetent, and we lost a lot of close games that ended up snowballing into a very miserable season. Shit happens in the NFL, sometimes you look great on paper and then the ball just seems to continue to bounce the wrong way. Don't get me wrong, there was many of problems with the Giants team last season that led to that record, however the new front office is addressing them as efficiently as possible.
The Giants defense will bounce back. They'll return to 2016 form, maybe even better than 2016 form, and I'll guarantee that. If the Giants take Barkley the offense will reach a whole new level. A level that will elevate the defenses play because they'll finally be receiving support from their offense for the first time since they've been assembled. The addition of Ogletree will help tighten up our weak linebacking core as well. The Giants moves have been low key, but they've also been exactly what they need. A little fine tuning will go a long way, now the only thing to do is draft Barkley to complete the machine. Once he's on board the Giants will be put together where they can actually compete. Barkley is the answer if we want to give it one last run with Eli and the boys. Drafting a QB is basically forfeiting the next couple of seasons and watching the Eli Manning retirement tour. Tell me which one you'd rather see. In my opinion this decision is cut and dry, take Saquon Barkley.
The New York Jets have made their intentions clear when it comes to their plans on draft day with the move they made today. The Jets traded the #6 overall pick along with 3 second round draft picks to the Indianapolis Colts for the #3 overall pick in this year’s draft. The Jets basically used 3 second round picks to move up 3 spots in the draft order. Only reason they’d make such a move is to ensure they get one of the three big name QB’s available.
Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, and Sam Darnold are the big 3 prospects even though Baker Mayfield has entered the conversation. If they moved up to #3 to draft Baker Mayfield then the Jets are dumber than I thought because there’s no way Mayfield is going in the top 5. The Browns are supposedly going to take Sam Darnold at #1, Giants will either take Rosen, Allen, or Barkley at #2, which will force the Jets hand to take whatever one of those guys that the Giants don’t select. I’d be shocked if the Jets took Barkley at #3 if he’s available. Well, actually I wouldn’t be all that shocked, nothing the Jets do at this point will shock me.
The Colts are big time winners with this trade because not only did they add 3 extra second round draft picks, they’re still going to end up getting the guy they want anyways. The Colts want Bradley Chubb. Unless the Browns take Bradley Chubb at #4, which I don’t see happening since their defensive line is already pretty good and they need to address other positions first. The Broncos at #5 will probably take a QB, they have a great pass rush already so adding Chubb doesn’t make much sense for them either. That leaves Chubb available at #6 for the Colts. What a move by them and now their GM is going to look like a genius.
The Jets might’ve given up a lot to move up 3 spots, however if they get the right quarterback it’s more than worth it. What the Bears did last year to move up one spot was much worse, so anyone that thinks this is an outlandish move doesn’t know NFL history all that well. Jets continue to make smart moves this offseason and it’s starting to worry me. What the hell is going on, the Jets making smart moves, nothing makes sense anymore. Anyways, the draft is a month away and it’s going to be very exciting to see how these top 5 picks play out. I don’t think there’s ever been this much uncertainty about who is going where at the top of the draft.
Houston, the Honey Badger has arrived. Tyrann Mathieu is bringing his talents to Houston on a one year deal. This is a fantastic move by the Texans to acquire Mathieu to help bolster their defense to compete in a tough AFC South this season. With the Jaguars coming off an AFC championship game loss, Andrew Luck returning to the Colts, and the Titans improving their team with free agent moves, it was time for the Texans to answer. Boy did they answer.
The Honey Badger is a special player. He's essentially another linebacker when used correctly because he plays his best football when he lines up in the box. His ability to cover in the slot makes him so valuable because now he can play in the box to help with run support while having the ability to cover any slot receiver or tight end. The usage with Mathieu is unlimited, he can really do it all. The only issue with him is health. Can he return to the explosive player he was before the injury or will he be a lesser version of that player. Thus, the reason why Tyrann Mathieu signed a prove it to the league contract. After he has a monster season proving he's the same ole Honey Badger, then he can test the free agent market next year and break the bank. Also, the Texans get a great player that won't kill their cap for years to come, instead they just get a hungry guy to help right now. This is a deal beneficial to both parties, so everyone involved should be thrilled. I'm excited to see what this collection of talent in Houston is going to do this season, the capabilities seem endless. The x factor of how their season will play out will ultimately come down to if their star players can stay healthy or not.
Former Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman seems to be very upset with his departure from Seattle. It all started with him saying that part of the reason he signed with the 49ers is because he's vengeful. Meaning he wanted the chance to play his former team twice a year and beat their ass. Respect that move, respect that move a lot actually, but then he continued to not let it go. He went on Joe Thomas' podcast where he talked trash about Pete Carroll. I will say his criticisms were more than fair, nonetheless it was still trash talking his former coach. He said that Carroll's coaching style is more suited for the college game because there's continuous roster turnover. He stated that Pete Carroll's message was stale, he had told all the same stories, and the vets who had been there since day one were kind of over it. All these points are valid, however airing out your old teams dirty laundry is never a good look.
Sherman also voiced his displeasure with how the Seahawks handled the situation with him coming off an injury. He explained that other players such as Jimmy Graham and Earl Thomas weren't cut after injuries, yet he was. Clearly, Sherman is not taking being released from Seattle very well even though he's with a new team now making tons of money.
Honestly, I think Sherman is reading too much into this. The Seahawks were trying to move on from him last offseason before the injury, meaning this wasn't related to that whatsoever. The Seahawks core roster that had been together since their Super Bowl 48 win was getting old and expensive. The Seahawks front office decided that after missing the playoffs for the first time in 5 seasons that it is time for some culture change and roster turnover. It's no secret that ever since Pete Carroll decided to call a pass play instead of a run in Super Bowl 49 that Richard Sherman hasn't been his biggest fan. Seems like Sherman is still salty about that, mix that in with him being cut by the team, and you can guarantee he's going to have some strong words. Seahawks are building a new identity, one that revolves more around Russell Wilson instead of the defense. Can't do that when you're paying guys at every level of your defense $10 million. It's time to move on Sherman, start your new chapter in San Fran, and just do your talking on the field.
It's being reported, and while nothing has been officially announced, it seems that the Oakland (soon to be Las Vegas) Raiders have signed WR Jordy Nelson to a 2-year deal, and RB Doug Martin to a 1-year deal, all while releasing veteran WR Michael Crabtree.
First, let's start with Crabtree. Crabtree has been in black and silver for the past 3 seasons, after spending his first 6 in San Fransisco. Crab had a very down year last season, posting only 618 yards, while the Raiders offense as a whole struggled. It was rumored early on that Crabtree would be released, but those reports had died down, but clearly they were right all along.
I would love Crabtree to be picked up by the Arizona Cardinals, for the sole reason that Crabtree has three legitimate foes in the NFC West, with both Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters' joining forces in LA with the Rams, and Richard Sherman joining the SF 49ers. I would love to see Crab get his chain snatched by Talib, and thrown into the stands by Peters, and harassed for 4 quarters by Sherm.
Getting back to the Raiders, I think they took a step forward today, bringing in two established, veteran players, in Nelson and Martin, both of which can put up scary numbers when healthy. However, they are two very injury prone players who have struggled to stay on the field in recent years.
The Raiders are hoping that this is the year that both Jordy Nelson and Doug Martin get back on track.
The Honey Badger, who has spent his entire NFL career playing for the Arizona Cardinals, will be playing somewhere else next season. This doesn’t come as a surprise since they asked him to take a major pay cut as they looked towards entering a rebuild. Mathieu was a defensive player of the year finalist before tearing his ACL back in 2016. This year he wasn’t his usual self, however most athletes don’t jump right back to peak form after a devastating injury like that. Tyrann Mathieu is now going to be one of the most sought after free agents since a lot of big names came off the market already. The only question now, where does he go?
If I had to guess I’d put my money on Mathieu ending up in Dallas. This is the type of player Dallas needs on the defensive side of the ball. Mathieu is a playmaker, he’s one of those players that whenever you see the ball you know he’s not far away from it. That young secondary could use a vet to help direct traffic back there and just help the young guys get better. I don’t know what their cap situation looks like, but I’m sure if Jerry Jones really wants this guy he’ll make it happen, although I know Earl Thomas wouldn’t be too happy about that.
Other places that could potentially be interested in Mathieu are the Saints, Raiders, and possibly the Jets. The Saints are an obvious destination since they were already looking for secondary help and that’s his hometown. Raiders secondary is an absolute joke and could use any help they can get on defense so he’d be able to help them out big time. As for the Jets they already added secondary help, however with their cap situation it’d be silly not to add all the talent they can. I’m sure there will be other teams in on Mathieu these are just some obvious locations I could see him landing. Anyways, whoever does land the honey badger will be lucky to have him since I still believe he’s a helluva player.
Joe Thomas, the great left tackle for the Cleveland Browns, has decided to call it a career. What a career it was, Thomas didn’t miss a snap for the first ten years of his career. A truly incredible feat for any position in the NFL, even more so for an offensive lineman. Unfortunately, this season that streak came to an end when he tore his left triceps. Thomas had played over 10,000 consecutive snap for the miserable Browns. He was the one bright spot for the franchise during a decade of despair. His ability to stay on the field and play through injuries led him to be looked at as the Cal Ripken Jr. of the NFL.
Of course as soon as the Browns start to show some signs of life, and by life I mean competence, Thomas decides to hang up the cleats. He went through a decade of being at the bottom of the barrel, now the Browns start putting together some talent and might have a chance to not finish in last, and Joe Thomas retires. Can’t blame him, though. The Browns are still years away from competing for anything important, so why stick around and put your body through hell for a couple mediocre seasons.
Thomas goes out on top as most of the great one’s do. He’ll for sure be a hall of famer one day and will be on the Browns Mount Rushmore forever. The league lost a great player and even better man today, although by the looks of his new podcast something tells me Joe Thomas will be around the game of football for a long time.
Today, the Giants addressed a need that should've been addressed two years ago with the signing of left tackle Nate Solder. Solder has played his entire career with the New England Patriots. If he's good enough to protect Tom Brady than I trust him to protect my quarterback. Yes, that's my evaluation of the signing. We all knew the Giants needed to bring in an established guy to secure a spot in this line that has been disastrous the past few seasons. This move will send Erick Flowers to right tackle, the position he was meant to play all along. After whiffing on Andrew Norwell yesterday, the Giants were definitely feeling pressure to sign one of the few good offensive lineman in this free agent class. Did they overpay Solder? Probably, 4 years $60 million is a lot of money, however if he does his job to level we expect, it'll be money well spent. When you add players through free agency odds are you're going to overspend.
That wasn't the only move the Giants made to address the offensive line. Giants also attached a second round tender to restricted free agent Brett Jones. Jones filled in at center for Weston Richburg once he was placed on IR this past season. Jones did a solid job showing lots of promise along the way. By attaching the second round tender to Jones no team will sign him now and the Giants will get to keep him for less than $3 million this season. Now, we have a left tackle, a center, and right tackle in place for next year. Meaning the two guard positions are all that's left to fill to save our offensive line. I swear to God if I see that we are going to let Jon Jerry start for us this season at guard we might as well just call it quits on the season right now. Dude is a revolving door no matter where he plays on the line.
You know it's bad when I'm writing blogs about the Giants offensive line signings because they're doing nothing else to improve the team. Yeah we signed Johnathan Stewart, but he's so past his prime I'm just going to ignore the fact we brought him in to be Rashad Jennings part 2. The Browns did sign Carlos Hyde today. Most of you might be thinking why does that matter. Well, if they're bringing in Hyde they clearly aren't going to be taking Saquon Barkley with the #1 overall pick. This means the Giants are back to being the favorites of drafting this franchise changing running back. Gettleman said he loves to run the ball and lord knows Eli could use a run game to lean on. I'm smelling a perfect storm brewing in the distance and I'm getting very excited.
Wow, wow ,wow I can't remember a day this action packed with high profile moves for as long as I can remember. It seemed like every time I refreshed my twitter timeline today another free agent signing broke. Pure pandemonium all day long, as soon as I thought the day's news was beginning to slow down it picked right back up and hasn't slowed down since. The shake up happening in the league right now is pretty crazy as there's going to be a lot of familiar faces in unfamiliar jerseys come the beginning of the 2018 season.
The biggest signing of the day had to be Kirk Cousins to the Vikings. He signed a 3 year $84 million deal that is fully guaranteed. Yes, Kirk Cousins who was a 4th round pick in 2012 will now earn over $150 million in his NFL career. That's a whole lot of money for a QB that has accomplished a whole bunch of nothing. Yes, Cousins did lead the Redskins to the playoffs, mostly by default because of how bad the NFC East was that year, however I can't take the playoff appearance away from him. How he did in that playoff appearance is a completely different story. He stunk. He also stunk in week 17 against the Giants in 2016 with a playoff spot on the line when he couldn't beat the Giants second string defense. Cousins is certainly an upgrade over Case Keenum, no one can argue that, but I wouldn't get my hopes up that he'll bring Minnesota their first Super Bowl.
It was a busy day for the former Minnesota quarterback trio. Teddy Bridgewater, who was drafted in 2014 to be the Vikings franchise QB, will be moving on to the New York Jets. He'll start the season in the backup role as the Jets also brought back Josh McCown who was told he will be the starter. The Jets continue to be the Jets and I just can't help but laugh. Next, Sam Bradford found another team dumb enough to pay his glass bones to show up and shatter with the Arizona Cardinals. They're paying Bradford $20 million this season of which $15 million is guaranteed with an option for another year. Looks like the Cardinals are stuck in limbo at the quarterback position just like they've always been. Case Keenum signed with the Broncos, which I already wrote about so check that out here.
The Packers made a great addition today along with a surprising departure. The Packers brought in Jimmy Graham who I believe will have a career year with Aaron Rodgers if he stays healthy. Rodgers makes shitty tight ends look great, so I can't even imagine the connection him and Jimmy Graham will have. It was good thing they brought him in because Rodgers is losing his favorite target in Jordy Nelson. This was a decision that came down to money, age, and injury history, all of which were against Jordy Nelson. I still think this guy can ball out and be a productive player in the league so I'm sure he won't be on the market long. Davante Adams and Jimmy Graham will be plenty of fire power for Aaron Rodgers, who really doesn't need great weapons to be great.
Remember when Malcolm Butler got benched and the Patriots secondary got torched losing them the Super Bowl? Well, looks like Butler got the last laugh as he got the Tennessee Titans to pay him an absurd amount of money. The deal is 5 years $61 million with $30 million guaranteed. Obviously the Titans overpaid for a guy that's nothing more than just an average cornerback. With how poor the Titans secondary was last season anything helps, so Butler will be a huge upgrade for them at cornerback. He'll be able to compliment Adoree Jackson and now maybe the Titans won't get torched all year by Deshaun Watson and Andrew Luck. I highly doubt that'll be the case, though. Bill Belichick wouldn't have been so eager to get rid of this guy if he was as talented as most people think he is. The Jets also made a big splash in the secondary market by landing Trumaine Johnson. Johnson will be a huge upgrade for the Jets and to have him and Jamal Adams in the same secondary will be a force to be reckon with. The deal pays Johnson $15 million per year which is a lot, but not when you're the Jets and have $90 million in cap space.
The big boys up front on the offensive line got some love today. Andrew Norwell signed a monster contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The deal ended up paying him over $13 million a year for the next 5 years or something ridiculous like that. I wanted the Giants to get him, but clearly at that price we didn't feel comfortable deflating our cap to land a guard. Giants former center Weston Richburg signed with the 49ers. Not only did the Giants whiff on the guy they wanted most in free agency, they also let one of their only good offensive lineman walk. The only other good lineman they had was Justin Pugh, who is also a free agent that the Giants are showing no intention of resigning.
The Patriots didn't sign anybody worth noting which comes as a surprise since they're usually the ones making the big splashes in free agency. They did however lose a player that had been a cog in their machine for many years. Danny Amendola has decided to move on from the Pats and join the Miami Dolphins. Definitely a blow to the Patriots who had used Amendola as a security blanket for a long time. He also always seemed to make clutch plays in the biggest games. The Bears improved their awful receiving core with the addition of Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabrielle. Sammy Watkins went to the Chiefs to add to an arsenal of weapons there that are now at the disposal of Patrick Mahomes. Big day for the wide receivers.
The Eagles weren't going to miss out on the signing frenzy of course. Why wouldn't they add to their defensive line which already had 7 more than capable players in the rotation. Haloti Ngata is the most recent addition to the Eagles D-line that is going to wreck the league this season. Tough time to be a team from the NFC East that isn't from Philadelphia. That wasn't the only big time defensive lineman on the move today. Mo Wilkerson, the former star defensive lineman for the Jets, has decided to sign with the Packers. This comes as surprise since the Packers are generally quiet when it comes to making big free agent splashes and they already made a big time move today.
There was even more moves like Johnathan Stewart to the Giants, John Brown to the Ravens, and Drew Brees resigning with the Saints. Nothing that's really worth noting. I'm sure I missed something since there was a billion transactions today, but that should wrap it up for day one of craziness throughout the NFL. Let me remind you that the league year doesn't even start until tomorrow and we already have all this ridiculous commotion. What a time to be a fan of the NFL!
Update: Dion Lewis has signed with the Tennessee Titans. This is a fantastic get especially after the departure of Demarco Murray. Derek Henry is a good running back, however he can't be relied on to carry the entire load himself. Him and Dion Lewis will make for an explosive 1, 2 punch. Lewis provides speed and quickness out of the backfield with the ability to catch the ball very well. The Titans upgraded their running game, which was already phenomenal.
Case Keenum has signed with the Denver Broncos. The Broncos take themselves out of the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes with this move. To be honest, I'm a little shocked. I know Keenum is coming off a stellar year in which he put together a season that no one ever thought he was capable of. What are the odds that he can duplicate that same success in Denver, though. New offense, new coaching staff, worse offensive weapons, and a defense that isn't as talented. He saw an opportunity to be a starter and took it, but what the hell was John Elway thinking. Is Case Keenum really that much better than Paxton Lynch or Trevor Siemian, maybe a little bit, although he's not going to win Denver the AFC West. The Broncos needed a QB and they got one, problem is he just isn't very good. This also means that the Vikings are basically fucked if Kirk Cousins decides to sign elsewhere since they have no backup option anymore.
Allen Robinson has signed with the Bears. The contract is a 3 year deal worth up to $42 million. Robinson was the Jaguars #1 receiver in 2015 and 2016 posting very good numbers with a not very good QB. Coming off an ACL injury is tough and you're never quite sure if the player can be the same again. That's why I find it a little strange that the Jags let him walk so easily. They had maybe the worst wide receiving core in football besides the Bears and they don't want to bring back their best guy. That's definitley something to question. Anyways, the Bears dramatically improved their receiving core with this move. Now they'll have Cam Meredith, Allen Robinson, and Kevin White if can stay on the field. A huge upgrade over Kendall Wright and the rest of the no names that played wide receiver for the Bears last season. Mitch Trubisky, the pressure is on. Now you have no excuse to suck ass.
Sammy Watkins signed with the Chiefs on a 3 year $48 million deal. At first I saw this and thought the chiefs overpaid Watkins immensely. Then I saw that Watkins was only 24 years old, don't know how that's even possible since he's been in the league 4 years, which means this kid still has time to become the receiver we all thought he'd be out of Clemson. The Chiefs also don't have to pay a big QB contract since Pat Mahomes is on a rookie deal and will be for the next 3 seasons. That means they have a lot of money to spend elsewhere and why not use that money to help make Mahomes life a lot easier. Now, the Chiefs have Ty Hill, Travis Kelce, Kareem Hunt, and Sammy Watkins, that's what I call an explosive offense. Chiefs are clearly switching their identity from a defensive minded team to an offensive minded team and I kind of love it. Look for the Chiefs offense to put up lots of yards and points this season as they compete in a tough AFC West.