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March 7, 2019

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It is offseason for the NFL.  The combine is done, and free agency is about to open.

The Jets should be well positioned to be big players in free agency.   They have more than $100 million in salary cap space, more than any other team except the Indianapolis Colts.   They also have the third pick in April’s draft, which should allow them to add a monster edge rusher to the defense.   That is, assuming they pick the right one.   The last time they tried, they got Vernon Gholston.  Let’s hope they pick better this time.   They could also trade down to pick up more picks, but unless someone makes them an offer too good to refuse, I would rather they didn’t.

The Giants pick sixth, and all the mocks have them drafting Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State, a quarterback to succeed Eli Manning.  Unless someone vaults ahead of them to snatch Haskins before he falls to Big Blue, which could happen.   But I am not in favor of the G-Men giving up a king’s ransom just to move up a few slots.   They have too many other needs.

And more needs every day, it seems.  They just let Landon Collins, their all-pro strong safety, leave as a free agent rather than using the franchise tag to keep him.   It’s inexplicable to me.   Jerry Reese, the former Giants GM, drafted a lot of busts during his tenure, the big reason he was let go… but Collins was one of the ones he got right.  He’s been a great player for the Giants, a key part of their defense.   Seems to me that you build around your best players, you don’t just let them walk, but maybe the Giants know something I don’t.   If they did not have the bucks to make Collins a long term deal, at least they could have franchised him and traded him.   Gotten something back, at least.   By letting him walk they get nothing… except the dubious pleasure of watching him excel for some other team next season.

This comes on the heels of two puzzling trades the Giants made during the season.   They traded Eli Apple, one of their starting cornerbacks, to the Saints for fourth and seventh round picks, and they traded Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison to the Lions for a fifth rounder.   Snacks was a huge presence in the middle of their D-line, one of the best run stoppers in the league.  Once he was gone, teams just started running up the gut on the Giants, gashing them again and again for solid gains.   It was painful to watch.   As for Apple, he was a first round draft choice, but he never lived up to that.   At best he was a good/ adequate cornerback; drafted that high, he should have been a great one.  So, okay, he was a disappointment.   But even so, he was better than the players who replaced him.   And now you have to wonder, can the Giants possibly find a cornerback in the 4th round as good as Apple?  Can they turn that fifth rounder into a defensive tackle as good as Snacks?  If not, they are going to get worse, not better.   And how are they going to replace Collins?

There are rumors out there that claim the Giants are shopping Odell Beckham Junior as well.   If that actually happens, it will prove that the G-Men are intent on getting rid of ALL their good players.   Maybe they really like some college kid coming out in 2020 and figure drafting sixth is not good enough.   Elsewise I really don’t understand what the hell they are doing.

I guess we’ll all know more in a few months, when free agency and the draft are done.

((Comments permitted, but ONLY on football.  Thanks.))

Current Mood: confused confused



  • Aaron Huffman says:

    Rumors are flying that the Cardinals will select Kyler Murray with the 1st pick overall. In that scenario, would you be for the Giants trading for Josh Rosen with the 2nd or 3rd round pick?

    Also, would you want the Jets to give a big contract to Levon Bell?

    Be well and good luck.

  • Mark million says:

    I think they should offer their 1st rounder to the Cardinals for Rosen and a 2nd rounder in return. Fixes a lot of problems for both teams and it still leaves them with a great pick along with picking up a previously top 10 drafted QB to sit under Eli for a year.

  • The Dragon Demands says:

    Your grace, I’m sorry to bother you with an off-topic question, but as has reported on, HBO’s longtime CEO Richard Plepler just left, and was replaced under the new AT&T administration by Bob Greenblatt – who made some disconcerting comments in his first interview Monday. He said that he doesn’t think they can realistically do two prequels at the same time (an idea which AT&T’s Stankey toyed with, which I never seriously considered) but more importantly, he went on to say “we might not even do one prequel if we don’t think it’s up to our standards”.

    I realize you can’t talk much about this but…in general terms, what are we to make of this change in leadership at HBO? Are you…broadly…getting positive feedback from them regarding the prequels? Is it possible that there might be no other prequels? You said one was “shelved” but three others besides LN were still being considered. Long Night is already casting…but is even that now thrown into question?

    No one tells us anything, even though the first pilot was ordered eight months ago. At this point all of our hopes have turned to ash.

  • Matt says:

    Giants are sounding like the Ottawa Senators of the NHL, what with trading away all the best players around whom they should build for a roll of the dice on picks. Doesn’t help the owner has a streak of atrocious public messaging, is chronically in debt, and is WAY too over-involved in the operations of the team. I feel you on the incredulity of the tire fire that is one’s chosen team. It’s a particular folly.

  • Tim Cressman says:

    Look, I know you’ve been on the wrong side of the tracks for some time, but if you want a spot on the wentz wagon, I’ll put in a good word for you…go birds!!

  • Matthew says:

    Hey George big fan. Not only of SOIAF but also a fan of the KC Chiefs. I think that the Jets could have a good shot in getting some good players yet I’m afraid the Patiots will continue to run the East as long as Belichick is still around. Although I would like to see the
    Patriots Dynasty finally come to an end. Do you think the Jets could do that or will it be another AFC East team? Good luck to your Jets! (as long as they dont come against my Chiefs )

  • JB says:

    All this trading and Manning is still with the G-Men… They need to get rid of him ASAP; an experienced, Superbowl winning QB would be great for some teams in their current state. Get some good value, draft a QB and beef up that defense!

  • Enyo says:

    I’m hoping the Giants find Eli’s successor. I’ve always liked the Giants (they aren’t my team but I like them) and I want them to do well but I just can’t stand Eli. I hope the Jets get better also for no reason other than another AFC team with a chance to beat the Patriots. AFC isn’t my thing. Be well, George.

  • Hammer says:

    Many baffling decisions for sure but the trophy for complete buffoonery goes to the Oakland Raiders and the massive dump of talent for nothing in return. I like what Cleveland is doing building the offense around Mayfield and stockpiling talent, picking up Kareem Hunt a top 5 back for nothing was crazy, I am glad he gets another shot after a stupid but minor incident. Go chargers.

  • Brad Bellomo says:

    A declining team going half way between ‘win now’ and ‘full rebuild’ is death in the NFL. Giants are going to keep getting worse slowly until Gettleman is fired. Enjoy the Jets, who should be fun to watch even if they aren’t serious contenders yet.

  • Rich says:

    Vernon gholsten, not one of the Jets best days. They will do better this time!

  • Sam says:

    I bet you a silver stag that the Jets will overpay for Le’veon Bell, which in theory isn’t a bad idea as this would remove pressure from Darnold and could really help is development. But I don’t think Bell will be as efficient as before with one year removed from the game and fewer playmakers around him.

  • Tom Akel says:

    Sadly, it doesn’t matter what they do if they’re never going to protect Eli and the way they’ve handled that is going to affect his legacy. Despite the rings and a HOF career he’s going to get undeservedly dinged for these past several years. At this point, I’d rather they let him go someplace where he can compete for his last couple of years in the league rather than get pummeled with zero support as they seem to be rebuilding. And if they let OBJ go I’m not watching a single game.

  • Gilbert MacDonald says:

    Letting Landon Collins go made sense. His All-pro season was a few years ago; he hasn’t performed that well since then. He wasn’t able to cover or tackle well enough this year to warrant a top contract. He also made it clear that he wouldn’t play on the franchise tag, which made tagging him risky. I loved him as a player, but we would have had to way overpay him to keep him.

    As for the Odell rumors… those are ever-present, and Giants fans have learned to ignore them at this point. As David Gettleman has stated repeatedly, “We didn’t sign him to trade him.”

    Snacks, they can hopefully replace in this draft. We already have a replacement for Eli Apple in Sam Beal, who we drafted in the supplemental draft last offseason. Unfortunately he was injured straight away and didn’t play a down, but hopefully he’ll be full recovered and live up to the hype by training camp. Other than him we’ve got Janoris Jenkins at CB1. It’s not enough, but we’ve got something to work with this season.

    • Ibbison says:

      I fully agree about Collins. The franchise tag for safeties is $11.2 mil. (Many will argue that safeties are undervalued, and they might be right.) Collins is looking for a long term deal, probably 3-4 years at $12-$14 mil per year. A FS might be worth that, but there are plenty of SS’s out there who are almost as good at a fraction of the price.

      Harrison was in the 3rd year of a five year contract in 2018. The 5th year was designed to never be honored, so he would have been cut at the end of 2018 or 2019 anyway. The Giants did well to get something for him.

      Last year, everyone said the Giants should draft Barkley and make one more run with Eli. After a 1-6 start, it became clear that the plan didn’t work. The mid-season trades were the start of a rebuilding process that will continue through 2019. I wouldn’t expect much from the Giants this year. Unfortunate, but necessary.

  • Eric Flynn says:

    Giants made nice move on Zeitler today. There really is no excuse with the line they have at this stage. Jets will be hoping the Kyler Cardinals rumours are true to be guaranteed Bosa or Allen. Love the non-scoring part of the season too. Draft season

  • Ben Washington says:

    The Giants. I feel for you, George. I have to admit there’s some satisfaction in my sympathy. Go EAGLES!!

  • Paul A says:

    Nice Jets blog, I wonder if our Jets have the right guy (GM) to spend that 100 million in cap space. He did pull the right strings to get Darnold but the team has so many needs. The awful drafting has killed us and we need offensive weapons to ensure Sam progresses. I think adress edge in FA and hope to trade back for an Olineman and picks.. Big fan!!!

  • James Spires says:

    The Raven’s will sign Leveon Bell George

  • Bruce says:

    They should take a good look at Foles and Bridgewater.

  • Arnel says:

    The Jets should pick up a proven edge rusher in FA. Steal Trey Flowers from the Pats. I’m scared of drafting another Gholston or Dewayne Robertson. They should concentrate on building that OL like that Wall up North in Westeros! Gotta protect Sam the Savior! I say trade the pick move back a few slots and get some 2nd rd picks take Jonah Williams from Alabama in the 1st rd and pick up another Edge Rusher prospect in the 2nd rd this Draft has plenty of them!

  • Melissa Holsman says:

    No insight on KC Chiefs? Can’t wait to see them go all the way this year!

  • Ibbison says:

    Eli actually had a pretty good year in 2018 – for Eli. His passer rating was above 90 – for only the 5th time in his career. He almost managed a 2-1 TD to INT ratio (21 to 11) and raised his lifetime TD/INT ratio above 1.5 (360/239). These numbers would have got him cut from any competitive NFL team long ago, but Giants fans keep harking back to his two justifiably lauded Super Bowl runs and refuse to think objectively. Note – the Giants have made the playoffs only once since 2011.

    The Giants drafted at #2 last year, and chose an RB. This year they are drafting at #6. The NFL is a QB’s league. Until the Giants get a good one, they will keep getting opportunities to draft very early on Day 1. They should be able to get Haskins at #6. Some idiot team might move up for Murray, but probably not for Haskins. If they have to move up to get him, do it.

    OBJ is locker room cancer, and should be excised ASAP. Apple played much better for the Saints than he did for the Giants, which points to problems deeper in the Giant’s organization. The disastrous 2017 season is still haunting this team. Attitude counts more than talent right now for the Giants. The formula – get a QB and fix the locker room.

    The Jets need to trade down to recover the draft capital they spent last year to get Darnold. There are enough high quality prospects at Edge/DT that they should come out ahead as long as they don’t drop below #15. After Bosa, there’s probably not much difference.

  • Josh says:

    I’m a Giants fan too and I say good riddance to Odell. He’s incompatible with Eli and the team played better without him. Too many off field issues.

  • Mike ryen says:

    The giants will get a 3rd round comp pick for Collins going somewhere new as long as they don’t pick up someone as valuable in FA.

    • grrm says:

      Maybe… but I am hoping they DO get someone valuable in free agency. God knows, they need the help.

      • Ibbison says:

        As of today, the Giants only have $24 mil in cap space, with no real prospects for clearing much more. They don’t have the ammo to bid for the big names; they’ll have to value shop.

  • Scott says:

    Not that I think we’re super bowl bound but how nice is it that for the first time since Chad Pennington and year 2 of Mark Sanchez do us Jets fans not have to think about the QB position?! Not to mention Sam Darnold has bigger upside, is younger and already flashed more talent than those other two (note: I love Chad. Literally have a picture of him in my office and tell people it’s because he was the ultimate gamer, see nyj@sd playoff game bomb to Santana moss with a torn shoulder)

    Also having Jamal Adams on the defense gives me hope. Need to solidify the oline, get more playmakers (I love Chris Herndon) and get edge rusher. Also need trumaine Johnson to live up to his contract which I still think he can once healthy. Jets future looking bright for once and I can say that with a straight face bc of #14.

    • grrm says:

      Chad was terrific. If not for all those injuries, he might have been a Hall of Famer. Certainly he was the best QB the Jets had since Namath.

  • MacCoy says:

    I agree that it was a bad move to just let Collins walk, but as a Packers fan with a new-ish GM it makes me rather hopeful for a free agency splash. We are in desperate need of a safety and a high end pass rusher. As for the Giants drafting Haskins at 6, I see no reason not to. Eli has been on the decline for a few years now and the team seems to be clinging to the fact that he is a 2 time super bowl champ to justify him staying on the team but that can only go on for so long. If they had a better O-line then the decline would not be so apparent as he can still be an excellent QB if he’s protected. They have OBJ, they have Barkley and with a revived O-line and a new QB, their offense could be fantastic. It all comes down to smart drafting and perhaps some free agency moves.

  • Steve Winer says:

    I warned you about Eli Apple a few years back. As an avid Buckeye, I can tell you that Haskins is the real deal. He is not very mobile, but his arm is golden. He is an old soul, a great teammate, and is the ONLY Urban Myer quarterback since Alex Smith to sling the ball around the field like he did. If the Giants can get him and give him some time to grow, he could be your quarterback for 15 years.

  • Peter Davies says:

    And it looks like the Jets have just signed Anthony Barr and CJ Mosley! You are going to be real competitors this year, I tell you! After years in the wilderness, Jets fans are finally going to see their team playing hard and being a serious force in the league.

    What do you think of the way Macc has been running things since the departure of Bowles?

  • Ibbison says:

    Well… how about that for a Tuesday before free agency has even started.

    I’m a Packers fan, and I love what Gutey did today. The contracts for the four acquisitions will obviously be heavily back-loaded, and not all will run for the full duration, but that’s how things work now-a-days. Two edge rushers, O-line, and a safety! The Pack should still probably take the best available edge rusher at #12, but still, maybe… maybe… Hockenson.

    The Jets are doing well, and not being too greedy. Mosley is a better grab than Barr would have been. They will still be able to get a great edge rusher in the 1st round. I like the Crowder signing as well.

    Congrats to the Giants for solving the biggest problem they have. It’s a damn pity that a player with OBJ’s talent is such an a-hole, but you have to get rid of those types. And Gettleman got a lot for him. A second first rounder – #17. The Giants long awaited rebuild has finally started, and has started brilliantly.

  • Ibbison says:

    I just took a look at the draft capital chart and … Seven Hells! The Giants now have by far the most draft capital in the league. The same number of picks as the Pats -12- but far, far higher. This can, should, and must be a draft to remember for the Giants. Have fun with your mocks.

  • Jeff says:

    OK, so how do you feel about the OBJ trade? They did a lot better than the Stealers did for Brown. I think, ultimately, a team should not commit that much cap room to a single receiver and the Giants will be better of in the rebuilding process with the picks and the cap room.

  • Brendan says:

    Are you excited to see the eagles of Philadelphia reign champions of the nfc east for the next decade?
    Regarding college there is a quarterback from Clemson in the 2021 draft who is poised to be the best qb prospect in years possible ever. If that is what the Gmen are going for expect 2 more years of top picks

  • Chris says:

    You were the first person I thought of when the Beckham trade was announced. Maybe Le’veon bell to the Jets can ease your pain.

  • Rich Palacios says:

    Take heart. The moves do accomplish some things albeit with some risk. Collins walked, but they will likely wind up getting a 3rd round compensatory pick in 2020. Snacks counted a lot towards the salary cap, and run stuffers are not hard to find in the second round of a draft. Think Linvall Joseph, Jonathan Haskins. Apple was a locker room problem. The draft picks will allow some draft maneuverability. The guard they got from Cleveland was rated by Pro Football Focus as the best pass protecting guard in the league last year. Peppers will replace Collins and may have more versatility. The Giants can now trade for Rosen, or trade up to take either Murray or Haskins. All the cards have not been revealed yet. Despite the distractions, Odell was fun to watch, and he is an interesting person to boot. I wish him well. Vernon had a high salary number and was recently oft-injured. The Giants were lucky to find a trade partner. The braintrust has a lot of work to do in deciding how to execute their options. As long as we build with good character players, I’ll stay loyal to Big Blue. Have faith

  • Mike K says:

    Dave Gettleman is a LIAR and they might be tanking for Tua like everyone else. nuff said! Hope the Jets can get the wild card now with Bell and the other off-season pieces.

    • Ibbison says:

      I don’t think the Giants are Tanking for Tua. If they try, they will probably go 8-7-1 and just miss the playoffs. (They are the Giants, after all.) Haskins will fit them well.

      This year’s receiver class doesn’t have much first round level talent, but is extremely deep in 2nd-3rd round types. The Giants should take Haskins at #6, the best available DT/Edge at #17, and a WR at #37. Let Haskins and his new WR develop together, like Dalton and Green at the Bengals. (Correction from my earlier post – NYG will have 11 picks in the draft. I forgot they gave up one in the Zeitler trade.)

      I still contend that getting rid of OBJ was a great move for the Giants. After the October interview, he was more than a distraction; he was poison. He will flit from team to team, never staying more than 2-3 years, always looking out for himself, and always leaving each team he formerly played for in disarray. This I foretell.

      The Jets seem to be doing quite well. So does Buffalo. And The Pack.

  • Jonathan says:

    I’m a Browns fan. For the first time in 20 years I’m not ashamed to say it. Nuff said

  • Elizabeth Phillips says:

    Hi, Mr. Martin. I understand that you’re a Jets fan. Mark Gastineau, who played for the Jets in the 1980s, is battling colon cancer. We’re working with his younger sister to get as many football fans as possible to send him get well cards and post messages for him online. I know you’re busy writing, but he’d be thrilled if you were to post a message of support. Thanks so much!

    • grrm says:

      Very sorry to hear this. Mark was a great player, the terror of the New York Sack Exchange. Here’s wishing him a speedy recovery.

  • Charley says:

    Oh George, they weren’t winning with OBJ, and haven’t for years. Eli couldn’t escape the pocket to make a play if his life depended on it and that is only going to get worse as Father Time turns the rest of his career into the red wedding.

    They’re stuck in limbo with an old QB, hardly any cap room, and no defense. They’re O-line collapses like the Wall when the NK is in town on Viserion. There’s nothing they can do other than rebuild and hope Lord Commander Gettleman is the right leader for the job.

    The Jets are a different story. They should be fun to watch. Darnold is their Dream of Spring and here’s hoping they can somehow defeat The Long Night(Patriots).

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