After a post-season drought that began after their Super Bowl victory in 2012, the New York Giants front office has made it known they intend to revamp the team in an attempt to make up for their recent mediocrity. And this commitment was certainly not taken lightly.
This past offseason, the Giants committed around $200 million towards the defensive side of the ball with the signing of DE Olivier Vernon, CB Janoris Jenkins, and slapping DE Jason Pierre-Paul with the franchise tag. This act is far from typical of a Giants front office. The Mara family and Jerry Reese have made key free agent signings of inexpensive vets and players capable of adding more depth at their respective positions, but this overhaul of defensive talent via some expensive signings could be seen as an act of desperation.
However, with the promotion of Ben McAdoo from offensive coordinator to head coach, the addition of new star talent given the new regime could be perfect timing.
With the entire team getting used to how McAdoo choses to run his brigade, any new talent on the team will be in the same spot as the rest of Giants left over from Tom Coughlin's tenure. Many of Coughlin’s underlings were left over, however a new coach is still a new coach. Adding new talent now in the midst of great change could be the best time to do so. As for the financial commitment, only time will tell if the Giants made the right calls.
Vernon should be able to expand the role of the pass rush on defense and Jenkins should be a dependable compliment to work opposite of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. But it seems curious that the Giants did not address their offense to some extent.
However, they may have played their hand by not engaging to bump up their offense with big free agent talent.
By playing the waiting game on former Pro Bowler Victor Cruz, the Giants have quietly amassed quite possibly one of the best WR combos in the league in Cruz and Odell Beckham Jr. Similar to allocating so much money on defense, the Giants are rolling the dice on Cruz and his legs. If the WR can return to his previous form, the Giants will be in a great spot on offense.
In the draft, the Giants addressed their thin CB depth behind Jenkins and DRC with the addition of 1st round pick Eli Apple and used their 2nd round pick to fortify the slot WR position with pro-ready wideout Sterling Shepard. While these picks and the addition of S Darian Thompson to work opposite of Landon Collins are good moves on paper, the Giants only effort to fortify the LB position was 4th round pick B.J. Goodson.
It is not possible to address everything in one swoop, but LB was a glaring need for the Giants. With a lack of consistent starters and frequent injuries at the position, the LB core has had little stability the last few seasons. The days of standout MLB Antonio Pierce are long gone. However, if the Giants can find a new leader to bring these LBs together, the Giants could sport a very balanced and fine-tuned defense.
In an offseason full of risks, the Giants are set to make a playoff push.