Now that Super Bowl XLIX is behind us, football fans can place their full focus on the always exciting offseason. This year will be a crucial one for the Giants, who are coming off of a 6-10 campaign but appear to have enough talented players to compete for the playoffs in 2015. If the team doesn’t want to fall short again, there must be some adjustments made to the weaker areas of the team. Here are three things the Giants must do during the 2015 offseason.
Strengthen the offensive line
While the Giants’ offense was boosted last season by strong performances from Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr., the unit didn’t quite play up to its potential. A big reason for that was the offensive line, which suffered from injuries and poor play. As a result, the running game often got stuck in the mud and Manning was pressured into mistakes against teams like the Eagles and 49ers. It will certainly help having Geoff Schwartz back, as last year’s big free agent acquisition played only two games due to injury. However, there’s still work to be done, which is why many analysts have New York choosing Iowa’s Brandon Scherff in the first round of this May’s draft. There are also plenty of free agents available, such as Michael Roos (Tennessee) and Mike Iupati (San Francisco).
Thanks to Beckham, wide receiver is one area that most fans aren’t worried about heading into next season. However, there’s no guaranteed that Victor Cruz is as good as he used to be after he suffered a devastating knee injury midway through the 2014 campaign. Add in the inconsistency of Rueben Randle, and you’ve got a spot on the roster that needs addressing. Most great passing attacks in the NFL have at least three solid targets to throw to, so the Giants should look to bring in a free agent like Eddie Royal or add someone in the later rounds of the draft like Rashad Greene from Florida State or Stefon Diggs out of Maryland.
Figure out what to do with Jason Pierre-Paul
It was nice to see players like Devon Kennard and Damontre Moore develop into useable pieces during the 2014 season, but the Giants still need to figure out how to add to their pass rush and make opposing quarterbacks more uncomfortable. How they attack this issue will be based on whether or not they bring back free agent defensive end Pierre-Paul. In 2014, the former first-round pick proved he was still a star with 12.5 sacks and great play against the run. While that performance makes the Giants want Pierre-Paul to return, it also makes him more expensive. If Big Blue can’t agree to terms with their man, the team should consider going after a big free agent such as Justin Houston of the Chiefs.