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Invictus fixes the Giants.


Sephiroth
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So there's this guy who calles himself Invictus, and he works over at Big Blue View. I've never heard of him, but he had a four part series about fixing the Giants that I found pretty interesting. They're all short-ish reads but there's four of them, so I figured I'd post them here. I don't agree with everything he writes, but for the most part I feel he's got more on the ball than Reese does.

 

Part One: The Core

 

 

Fouur years. Four years that I've been doing this series and I'm never very close. You didn't think I wouldn't come back to try again, did you? Let's do this. The first part is, of course, trying to come up with a young core. It seems like certainly a bit more work than it was beforehand, as it appears our core has whittled down.

Blame Tom Coughlin if you want. Blame Jerry Reese if you want. Blame John Mara if you want. Doesn't matter who you blame. It is what it is, and we have what we have to work with.

I've come up with criteria that I've held for the past couple years because I think it works. It is:

1) Must be under the age of 30 unless working as a special teams specialist. Your core must be young.

2) Must be under contract for the 2016 season at least. You can't be a core player if you aren't going to be on the team. The only exceptions are recently called up practice squad players that can be easily retained.

3) Must show upside and should not be overpaid. This is all subjective, and a player can be handsomely paid, but they need to prove worthy of a contract or at the very least show upside that in the future they can possibly uphold that contract.

So with that being said, the core includes:

Offense: Eli Manning*, Odell Beckham Jr., Shane Vereen,Dwayne Harris, Ereck Flowers, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, Ryan Nassib, Bobby Hart, Nikita Whitlock

Defense: Kerry Wynn, Devon Kennard, Nat Berhe,Owamagbe Odighizuwa, Jay Bromley, Johnathan Hankins,Landon Collins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Special Teams: Brad Wing, Josh Brown

Ouch. That's all I could really find. You could make arguments for Andre Williams, J.T. Thomas, Bennett Jackson, andGeremy Davis as well, but that's not a very large group at all.Victor Cruz was a difficult one to answer, but I don't know that I see him being able to qualify for my third criteria. Eli Manning made it despite being way beyond 30 because the Giants have made it clear that he is the QB of the near future, so by any means, he is not only a central figure but THE central figure of this team. At least for now.

There's multifactorial reasoning as to why the core is this small (nine on offense, eight on defense), the acquisition of talent, the development of talent, injuries, and mismanagement of talent all play a role.

The question now becomes, what of the other players on this roster? And how exactly do we grow this core? Who are the right people to lead this core? An abundance of questions abound as this offseason will be guaranteed to be one of change.

 

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Part Two: Tearing the Team Down.

 

 

Welcome to the second part of our four-part series in which I, Invictus, take you through a "mock" offseason and we try and fix the Giants all at once. An impossible task? Probably, but why not give it a shot. In today's section, we look at and examine why I believe Jerry Reese was retained and Tom Coughlin was not. Also, we look at veterans who might just be on the chopping block.

Let's jump right in and before we get to the players, let's get the big stuff out of the way. Let's be clear: I hate the blame game. Jerry Reese vs. Tom Coughlin. Blame goes to everybody. Traditionally, people will consider me pro-Reese, anti-Coughlin. That may have been true in prior years. However, at this point, screw it. I'm just pro-Giants. I probably make the same decision as John Mara did with regards to both and I explain my reasoning why as well as why I personally believe Mara made the same decisions.

The Front Office

For those of you that have been around when I was a writer here, you know that I have been probably a bigger fan of Reese than most. That doesn't mean I'm going to absolve him of blame for the pathetic display that our team has become over the past few years. Reese and his minions have created a roster that has been razor thin on depth, has ignored several positions for long periods of time, and has done an adequate job at best at gathering top line talent. If I am John Mara, do I fire him, Marc Ross, and the rest of the staff? Clearly he didn't, so my decision is moot.

I give it a long, hard thought as to why John Mara might think to do so. Ultimately, I think the problems with the roster stem from injuries (and yes, you can blame some, not all, of that on Reese for drafting a few injury prone players) and from a significant disconnect between what the coaching staff wants and what the front office wants, even though they both said that the decisions on personnel are made jointly. One side probably needed to go, and I'm assuming Tom Coughlin's age probably also played a factor here. The blame seems to be 50-50 in my eyes.

Therefore, while I think the results warrant at least consideration for Reese losing his job, for the 2012 draft, or from the day 3 draft choices that have never panned out, I think that keeping him and allowing him to find his own coach can likely form in a quicker turnaround and allow for more cohesiveness with the roster than starting anew with a completely different staff. That can fail quite spectacularly as seen by the Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars.

On top of that, I'd like to believe that in recent years, Reese has turned in his three best drafts to date. He's got one megastar in Odell Beckham Jr., one All-Pro level player in Weston Richburg, a couple Pro-Bowl caliber players in Justin Pughand Johnathan Hankins, and a handful of players that we've got high hopes for in Landon Collins, Ereck Flowers, Bobby Hart, Devon Kennard, Owamagbe Odighizuwa, Will Tye,Kerry Wynn and Nat Berhe/Bennett Jackson.

Is it good enough? I don't think so, and I think this is the reason why our depth is being tested, but he's certainly improved. That's a start. We're paying for his poor drafts from 2010-2012, but hopefully, the payment is fulfilled soon enough. That's really all I got as to why Mara might be keeping him around.

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Part 3: Reinforcements.

 

 

I always love part three. Now, after the depressing first two parts, we get to actually spend some money and look at the possibilities that we might have to really enforce this team's depth and get some talent. With more $62 million dollars that we were able to obtain, I imagine that this will be quite heavily involved in acquiring some real players to help this sad state of affairs. First and foremost, however, comes the coaching staff. Who are we going to hire to lead the New York Giants?

Head Coach

There are several candidates to choose from: Josh McDaniels, Hue Jackson, Sean McDermott, Adam Gase, possibly Mike Smith, Matt Patricia, Teryl Austin.

Do we go offense or defense? I think that I'd go offense. I think given Steve Spagnuolo's pedigree, he can handle the defensive side of things. I didn't really have a huge problem with the defensive play calling, just the personnel that were on the field.

On the offensive side, I appreciated McAdoo's play design, but not so much his playcalling. Having an offensive head coach who controls plays and has a meeting of the minds with McAdoo would do wonders, I think, in terms of how the offense is run.

Out of all the candidates, then, my vote would be Hue Jackson. He has head coaching experience and got a raw deal trying to handle that hot mess that was the 2011 Oakland Raiders. He's spent extensive time as an offensive coordinator and has turned the Cincinnati Bengals into one of the most threatening offenses in the league.

He isn't a WCO coordinator per say, and he used to be a running backs coach, but he had no issue running a WCO under Al Saunders with the Raiders. Having him make the calls with Ben McAdoo creating the plays will allow for a good back and forth for this team and hopefully take some of the stress off Eli Manning's back.

Addressing Our Free Agents

Jason Pierre-Paul

There is no way that the Giants tag Jason Pierre-Paul for another year. No way, no how. JPP has not done himself any favors by undergoing more offseason surgery to help his grip. He has been a disruptive player, but the limitations of his glove have become more than apparent. He had one sack in seven games. I don't think he will get any big multi-year offers in free agency, there is just too much risk. I do think the Giants bring him back on a one-year deal with fully guaranteed money to see how he does. That would give the Giants a disruptive presence and JPP time to prove his worth.

Year

Salary

Cap Number

2016

$8,750,000

$8,750,000

Prince Amukamara

There are several aspects to consider with Prince. One is, obviously, his injury history. He does get injured quite easily, and as of late, his play has been less than stellar. I'm fairly certain that is because he was rusty and recovering from his most recent pectoral injury.

The other issue is the lack of great corners on the market. Arguably, the only one better than Prince is Josh Norman. That will bump his price up. Ultimately, I do think the Giants make a deal and get him on a reasonable deal, I'm thinking a four- year, $28 million deal with a $7M signing bonus.

Year

Salary

Cap Number

2016

$5,000,000

$6,750,000

2017

$6,000,000

$7,750,000

2018

$6,000,000

$7,750,000

2019

$4,000,000

$5,750,000

Robert Ayers

Ayers has been the most productive Giants defensive player to date. He knows it. We know it. The front office knows it. He will be 31 during the next calendar year, however, and he's probably looking for a payday. Unfortunately, I don't know that the Giants can afford to give him a multi-year deal with big money given that he's been injured both years that he's been here and that he is growing older. He will not be re-signed.

Free Agency

Several heavy hitters will hit free agency, like Muhammad Wilkerson, Von Miller, and Josh Norman. However, the Giants need upgrades everywhere, and while a megastar might be nice to think about, spreading money around to get several high-level free agents seems more prudent. After retaining our own free agents, we've got a solid $47.14 million to play around with. So let's get to it.

Vinny Curry

Losing Ayers means that the Giants only now have Pierre-Paul,Owamagbe Odighizuwa, and Kerry Wynn under contract at defensive end. Adding Vinny Curry will solidify a solid four. Curry is a pass-rushing monster who is clearly misused in Philadelphia's 2-gap 3-4 scheme. He's an RE in a 4-3 scheme and has the ability to get after the quarterback, as seen by almost hitting double-digit sack numbers in 300 snaps in 2014. He's young too, at only 27 years old. A five-year, $33 million deal would make sense, with a solid $10 million signing bonus to sweeten the pot.

Year

Salary

Cap Number

2016

$5,000,000

$7,000,000

2017

$5,000,000

$7,000,000

2018

$4,000,000

$6,000,000

2019

$5,000,000

$7,000,000

2020

$4,000,000

$6,000,000

Tashaun Gipson

Gipson was an RFA last year and certainly someone that was the apple of many a BBVer's eyes last year. He's an unrestricted free agent this year and at the age of 25, he fits the mold of what the Giants would like to do. He would allow Landon Collins to come down in the box because he's a rangy cover safety that can cover quite a bit of ground. That would upgrade two spots on the back end at once and would protect that Giants corners as well. I'm willing to shell out significant money to help improve the back end. Let's give him a five-year, $46 million eal with a $10 million signing bonus.

Year

Salary

Cap Number

2016

$10,000,000

$12,000,000

2017

$7,000,000

$9,000,000

2018

$8,000,000

$10,000,000

2019

$6,000,000

$8,000,000

2020

$5,000,000

$7,000,000

Malik Jackson

Another player worthy of consideration that can greatly improve the front seven, Malik Jackson is coming off his rookie contract from the Denver Broncos. He broke out this year with five sacks from the defensive tackle/defensive end position. He's well positioned to be a successful three technique, replacing what Cullen Jenkins has given us over these years. He's also 25 years old. Notice a trend? Let's also give him a five-year contract. We want to control these players for a while. They need to add to our core. I say a five-year deal worth $29 million is fair, especially if we give him a $7 million signing bonus.

Year

Salary

Cap Number

2016

$5,000,000

$6,400,000

2017

$4,000,000

$5,400,000

2018

$3,000,000

$4,400,000

2019

$5,000,000

$6,400,000

2020

$5,000,000

$6,400,000

Mohamed Sanu

What is one thing the Giants have lacked when it comes to the wide receiver position after Odell Beckham Jr.? Does "reliability" sound good to you? How about "safety blanket"? Or "an actual threat to do something with the football"? I think perhaps Mohamed Sanu might be a good option.

He's pretty much everything that Rueben Randle was not for the Giants. He doesn't drop passes, runs appropriate routes, and fights for the ball. Adding him gives Eli Manning a reliable No. 2 wide receiver who can also do some things out of the backfield as well.

Let's give him a solid deal, four years, $21.5 million with a $6 million signing bonus.

Year

Salary

Cap Number

2016

$2,500,000

$4,000,000

2017

$4,500,000

$6,000,000

2018

$4,000,000

$5,500,000

2019

$4,500,000

$6,000,000

Dwayne Allen

Sanu isn't the only weapon that Eli Manning needs. This offense showed far too often that without Beckham there's nobody reliable to target. There's nobody that can step up and be "the guy" for the Giants. Will Tye is a great story, but he's not exactly a great blocker. I've had a man-crush on Dwayne Allen for a few years now, and he's as successful a two-way player as anybody in the league. Adding him would upgrade everything the Giants can do on offense. Hence, a four-year deal worth $24 million with an $8 million signing bonus.

Year

Salary

Cap Number

2016

$5,000,000

$7,000,000

2017

$5,000,000

$7,000,000

2018

$3,000,000

$5,000,000

2019

$3,000,000

$5,000,000

LaAdrian Waddle

The Giants need depth. They need depth everywhere. They've got Justin Pugh, Ereck Flowers, Weston Richburg, Geoff Schwartz, and Will Beatty as starters, with Bobby Hart as a backup right now. They need another young player with starting experience and upside. Waddle is capable of playing tackle and guard and is only 24 years of age. He was coming off a knee injury a year ago but was healthy enough to get time with New England this year.

In either case, he's not going to be too expensive. two years, $3.5 million should do it.

Year

Salary

Cap Number

2016

$1,750,000

$1,750,000

2017

$1,750,000

$1,750,000

Janoris Jenkins

There needs to be depth everywhere. Jenkins has quietly been a stabilizing force in the back end for the st. Louis Rams. He's probably a starting-caliber player, but for the Giants, who have almost no depth at the cornerback position, Jenkins would go a long way towards stabilizing the nickel corner position and can take over should Prince or DRC go down.

He won't come cheap, however. He'll probably go for a three-year deal worth $18 million. He'll take a $6 million signing bonus as well.

Year

Salary

Cap Number

2016

$3,000,000

$5,000,000

2017

$5,500,000

$7,500,000

2018

$3,500,000

$5,500,000

Whew. That's a lot of players. Couldn't fulfill every position, but we significantly expanded our core of young players with guys like Vinny Curry and Malik Jackson to add to the defensive front line. We brought back Jason Pierre-Paul for another year. We added Tashaun Gipson and Janoris Jenkins to the defensive backfield while keeping Prince Amukamara. We added two offensive starters in Dwayne Allen and Mohamed San. Finally, we added some depth to the offensive line with LaAdrian Waddle.

We filled the team with youth, and we filled it with talent. How much did we spend? How much do we have left?

Cap Space Prior to Moves

Total Cost of Moves

Cap Space Left

$62,640,000

$59,650,000

$2,990,000

Now I know that there are several areas that you guys will be screaming at that are not addressed, but of course, there's one big portion of the offseason still left!

Next time: We hit up the 2016 NFL Draft in the final part of ''Invictus fixes the New York Giants'!

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Part Four: The Draft.

 

 

ing a mock draft in opening days of January is pretty much guaranteed to be wrong. It is, however, a few things. It allows for completion of this mock off-season simulation and it's fun.

I'm not going to make any guesses about who is value at this point and who is a reach. Preliminary big boards are just about getting ready to be made by scouts everywhere. This is simply based upon a few things:

1) The players that I think would be good fits for the New York Giants.

2) A rough, rough, rough estimate as far as which round they might fall to.

3) Are slightly based on need coming off of our mock free agency in Part III

So with that being said, let's get down to it:

Round 1

Myles Jack, ILB, UCLA

A no-brainer type of a pick if he's there. Jack will be coming off a season-ending injury but he is expected to make a full recovery. It's pretty clear that there is a gaping void at inside linebacker for the Giants.

Jack is a better prospect than either Eric Kendricks or Anthony Barr before him, he's rangier, more athletic, and is the best pass-coverage linebacker in the country. At 6-foot-1, 245 pounds, he might be slightly undersized but it won't be enough to stop him as his aggressive, intelligent playstyle is perfect for Steve Spagnuolo's attacking style defense.

The only players ahead of Jack for me at this point in time are Joey Bosa, Laremy Tunsil, Jalen Ramsey, Vernon Hargreaves, Jaylon Smith, Ronnie Stanley, and Robert Nkemdiche. Other players in consideration here included Laquon Treadwell, Emmanuel Ogbah, DeForest Buckner, and Reggie Ragland.

Round 2

Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

The younger brother of Kyle Fuller, he might be even better. Fuller is coming off injury and has been recovering, which is why his draft stock has fallen slightly. Great size with fluid hips and intelligence, he's got great upside. We know that the Giants always get slaughtered on the back end, with both Prince Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie having injury histories.

It can't hurt to add extra talent even with the addition ofJanoris Jenkins. At 6-foot, 190 pounds, Fuller is also a candidate to play safety as well. The Giants will need all the talent that they can get on the back end. Others to consider at this juncture include Shilique Calhoun if he lasts, Noah Spence, and Vadal Alexander.

Round 3

De'Runnya Wilson, WR, Mississippi State

Ultimately, I don't know if Wilson goes earlier than this but I think he'd be a great pick if he lasts till the third round when the Giants pick. He's a huge target at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds and he's got sneaky good speed. He will definitely be able to compete for one of the outside spots and can jump in when Odell Beckham moves into the slot.

Eli Manning will need a couple of big targets and with the addition of Dwayne Allen, adding De'Runnya Wilson would be another great fit for the team.

Round 4

Charles Tapper, DE/DT, Oklahoma

Tapper didn't put up very many stats but he's a very solid player for Oklahoma. He has been consistently disruptive for them and has active, violent hands. He stands at 6-4, 283 pounds. The Giants can likely ask him to put on a bit more weight and have him as a developmental defensive end and tackle to back upMalik Jackson.

Tapper would also give them some attitude on defense. He plays angry and shows great hustle. He'll be overshadowed by Eric Striker on that Oklahoma defense, but he's the better prospect.

Round 5

Terrance Smith, OLB, Florida State

Smith was on my watch list on the preseason as one of the better WILL linebacker prospects, however his play was rather unimpressive but still flashed some of the speed and aggressiveness that made him a good prospect. He was getting better up until a high ankle sprain took him out in late October and stopped all momentum.

If he didn't get injured, he'd be in the conversation as a possible day 2 pick. Not so any longer and that will help the Giants who could use as many linebacker prospects as they can get. He's small, but he's fast and hits the hole hard. Let him develop behind J.T. Thomas and Jonathan Casillas at WILL and make one of them a cap casualty when 2016 is over.

Round 6

Storm Woods, RB, Oklahoma State

Woods is a late-round running back prospect that brings something that the Giants don't have to the running back corps. He's got speed. He's also got some shake 'n bake to him as well. That'll give him a chance against Andre Williams, who possesses none of these things.

He's also pretty proficient as a pass catcher and will absolutely help on special teams.

Final Summary

Let's go position-by-position and look at the new look New York Giants:

QB: Nothing changing here. We're sticking with Eli Manning and Ryan Nassib for the upcoming year.

RB: Rashad Jennings will reprise his role as the lead back, with Shane Vereen as the third down back. Who knows what to make of Orleans Darkwa and Andre Williams. Storm Woods brings a different element to the playing field here.

WR: A completely revamped wide receiving corps here, led, of course, by the incomparable Odell Beckham Jr. The new No. 2 is now Mohamed Sanu. Gone is in the ineffective Rueben Randle and the sad story of Victor Cruz. De'Runnya Wilson, Dwyane Harris, Marcus 'Soup' Harris, and Geremy Davis will make up the rest of this wide receiving corps. Certainly more respectable than the mish-mosh the team had this past year.

TE: Free agency brought us a top of the line tight end in Dwayne Allen. Behind him is pass catching TE Will Tye, withJerome Cunningham and Larry Donnell battling it out to make the roster as well.

OT: Ereck Flowers and Will Beatty are back. Hopefully both can stay healthy. If they can't, we added offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle to man the edge. Bobby Hart and Geoff Schwartz both also have experience at OT if needed.

OG: Justin Pugh is a pro-bowl level player at LG. Geoff Schwartz is oft injured but plays at a high level when he's healthy. Those two are the anticipated guards. We've also got John Jerry on another one-year deal possibly, Bobby Hart as the main backup, and LaAdrian Waddle as well.

OC: It's not out of the question to call Weston Richburg the best center in football. Behind him is Dallas Reynolds. Let's hope he doesn't see the field.

DE: Gone is Robert Ayers, but a hopefully new and improved Jason Pierre-Paul is back. In addition to him is big free agent signing Vinny Curry, as is Owamagbe Odighizuwa and Kerry Wynn. Charles Tapper can kick outside at DE as well.

DT: Johnathan Hankins is back to make a big contract push in 2016. Alongside him is new 3 technique Malik Jackson. Behind both of them is Jay Bromley and new draft pick Charles Tapper. It's up to the coaching staff if they feel Markus Kuhn is worthy of making the team or not.

ILB: Prized first rounder Myles Jack will step right in as the leader of this defense. Behind him are Uani Unga and Mark Herzlich. It will be interesting to see if both make the team behind him.

OLB: Still a bit of a weak point for the Giants, we've got Devon Kennard coming back at SAM. We have to hope he can stay healthy. J.T. Thomas and Johnathan Casillas are back as well at WILL. Mark Herzlich can spend some time at SAM. New draft pick Terrance Smith can absolutely compete with these guys.

CB: We've completely reloaded the cornerback group. Prince Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie return as the starters. We'll have Janoris Jenkins start in the slot and he's another starting caliber player. Add in 2nd round pick Kendall Fuller and the Giants have a lot of talent at corner. We've also got Trevin Wade coming back as good depth.

FS: Tashaun Gipson is the big free acquisition for this team. He's the starter. You can have Nat Berhe, Bennett Jackson, Kendall Fuller, and Mykkele Thompson fight over who the backups can be.

SS: Landon Collins has really come into his own as an aggressive box safety. Behind him is Cooper Taylor. I don't anticipate keeping Craig Dahl or Brandon Meriweather. Terrance Smith can also function as an SS.

K: I don't see anything wrong with Josh Brown

P: Brad Wing is pretty good.

LS: I don't anticipate Zak DeOssie being back at his old salary as he's gotten injured. Mark Herzlich can learn to LS, or the job can go to a cheap free agent.

That's it! I think we added a lot of talent and probably more importantly given our injury luck, a lot more depth to quite a few positions. I think with the amount of money we've gotten to spend, we can really weather a lot of storms coming through in the 2016 season.

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That's a dream free agency period and almost all those names have been endorsed by a few of us here.... Curry, Sanu, Gipson, and Jenkins. One of our guys said Malik Jackson as well. I will say we are not re-signing Prince AND getting Janoris Jenkins, and Jenkins isn't coming here to play nickel corner. He really underestimates Jenkins on the open market... Prince is NOT the #2 corner in this free agency class behind Norman... it's Jenkins. And there is no way Jenkins is going anywhere for 3 years at $18 million. Jenkins is going to get a LOT more than that. Additionally, he left us $2.9 mil after the signings. I don't believe that's enough to sign the draft picks... Overthecap estimates the Giants will need $6.4 million of cap space for the draft picks alone. And that doesn't include free agency. Then you need a little cap flexibility to go into the season with as well.

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I have read his stuff over the past year and not very different from what I have read here: moonshots, too much John Madden and the What If machine. I will credit him for the extensive breakdown, here all I get are names people want for cheap so we can save money for something else later on.

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Yeah, this whole debacle is a head scratcher. As it stands the Giants organisation has basically now only changed the 2 time super bowl winning coach. I'm starting to wonder if maybe Coughlin wanted out more than the Giants wanted him out.

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