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[Off-season 2023] New York Giants: continue, but with whom?

To prepare for an NFL season, it starts with an audit: what are the strengths and weaknesses of the workforce? Then, how to strengthen via the market and the draft? The editorial staff of DNA of Sports invites you to take stock of the off-season of the 32 franchises. Today, the New York Giants.

Era 2 of the duo Joe Schoen – Brian Daboll looks promising. After a surprising 2022 season thanks to a journey that went all the way to Divisional Roundthe New York Giants must now do the most complicated thing in any sport: confirm and install the franchise among the best over time.

With Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley out of contract, Big Blue is already at a turning point in the offseason. Continue with the 2 stars, one of the 2 or none of the 2?
This is going to be one of Joe Schoen’s biggest decisions since the start of his tenure. The one that will probably condition the rest of the events on the side of the Big Apple.

The owners

1. Dexter Lawrence (DT)
2. Andrew Thomas (OT)
3. Xavier McKinney (S)

Sacks, pressure on the quarterback, forced fumbles, number of tackles: he broke his career season records in all of these statistical categories.
He became the new leader of this defense. Pro-bowler and eligible for a contract extension, Dexter ‘SexyDexy’ Lawrence should be rewarded.

He continues to progress but was inexplicably snubbed in the Pro Bowl nominees, this player is Andrew Thomas. The Giants left tackle is becoming a benchmark for this position and we understand better why he was taken very high in the 2020 Draft.

Captain in 2022, he nevertheless missed 7 games because of a stupid hand injury. These 7 games coincided with the poor form of the Giants this season (4 losses and 1 draw for 2 wins).

This proves how essential it is. Like Andrew Thomas, Xavier McKinney should see his 5th year lifted: a just reward.

Undesirables

– Kenny Golladay (WR)
– Darnay Holmes (CB)
– Leonard Williams (DT)

The first is obvious, and it’s going to be official from March 15th. Kenny Golladay has never justified his contract at 18 million per year given in 2020. Only 1 touchdown, and a relegation in the hierarchy of receivers.

Given the good things that Cordale Flott has shown in the same position as him, Darnay Holmes could pay the price for the contract extensions that the Giants are awaiting for 2023.

He concedes many receptions in addition to committing several penalties. It is therefore not essential and cutting it could still free up payroll. ($2.5 million)

The last case is thorny.

Indeed, Leonard Williams will be expensive in 2023 (20 million dollars) while his production in 2022 was minimal (2.5 sacks).

A restructuring or a trade would be welcome for one of the defensive leaders of this team to relieve New York’s finances.

Their salary margin remains substantial before the start of free agency (43 million dollars) but this could be used for one or two contract extensions.

The summer man

– Kayvon Thibodeaux (DE)

Sometimes endowed with a certain arrogance, the former Oregon Ducks was irregular during his rookie season. Capable of big performances (Washington) as well as games where he can be transparent (the 2 games against Dallas), he is expected and must progress next season.

What we will expect from him in 2023 is that he can increase his statistical production achieved in 2022 in order to be able to get closer to the great pass rushers that the Giants have known in the past: Lawrence Taylor, Michael Strahan or Justin Tuck among others.

In his division, he will be facing quality offensive lines. It’s up to him to silence the last skeptics who say he’s just a “show-off”.

The main free agents

1. Daniel Jones (QB)
2. Saquon Barkley (RB)
3. Julian Love (S)
4. Darius Slayton (WR)
5. Jaylon Smith (LB)

Other free agents: Sterling Shepard (WR), Fabien Moreau (CB), Jon Feliciano (OL), Landon Collins (S), Jihad Ward (DE), Richie James (WR), Oshane Ximines (OLB), Jarrad Davis (LB) ), Nick Gates (OL)

Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley have had career-best seasons so extending them should be a priority.
If Joe Schoen would be inclined to give the long-term contract to the quarterback, he might be inclined to give the franchise tag to the running back.
The general manager was confident in his ability to extend the 2 players over the long term.

Julian Love has become indispensable over the years. Extending it should make sense.
But with Xavier McKinney’s upcoming contract extension and Dane Belton’s outbreak, seeing him go wouldn’t be a surprise either, especially if he gets greedy.

The other players are not essential. Some are locker room leaders, and could have short contracts (Shepard, Feliciano, Ward).
Others who have rarely performed should be left free (Ximines, James).

Top 5 Needs

1. Linebacker
2. Receiver
3. Cornerback
4. Inside Offensive Line
5. Defensive Tackle

Despite its good 2022 season, New York must not stop there. On the contrary, they still need to strengthen their workforce where there are needs in key positions.

The Giants have one of the worst run defenses. With the only Micah McFadden under contract next season, the linebacker position must be a top priority.
Despite Isaiah Hodgins’ good end to the season, Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll will have to target a number 1 receiver for next season to allow Daniel Jones (or the future quarterback) to finally have a playmaker in this position. Since Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants are still looking for this player capable of more than 1000 yards in a season.

Despite his good season, cornerback Fabien Moreau does not represent the future. A player opposite to Adoree Jackson is therefore expected.
If the offensive tackle position is shielded, this is not the case inside the line. Shane Lemieux is often injured, Marcus McKheitan and Joshua Ezeudu are back from injury, Nick Gates and Jon Feliciano are out of contract. Other solutions will therefore have to be found.
The same goes for the inside defensive line, where Joe Schoen has publicly expressed concern about the depth of this position within his team.

Target

– David Long Jr. (LB)

If the first line can do its job in terms of pressure on the quarterback, the 2nd line embodied by the linebackers is sometimes unable to read the racing games.

With a player like David Long, New York would have a reinforcement of choice. He’s part of one of the best running defenses in the league with the Titans.
This would be a significant addition since this experienced player knows the playoffs well: two appearances in the playoffs in his first 4 years in Nashville.

Other potential targets: TJ Edwards (LB), Odell Beckham Jr. (WR), Jamel Dean (CB), Germaine Pratt (LB), Garett Bradbury (OL)

The new blood

– Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR)

If we judge the player on the 2022 season, you will not see anything. Indeed, the former Ohio State played only 3 games for only 5 receptions.
But in 2021, when the player was surrounded by Garrett Wilson (offensive rookie of the year) and Chris Olave (best receiver for the Saints) he was the best receiver of the magic trio of Ohio State (95 receptions for 1,606 yards , 14 touchdowns). Even Garrett Wilson confirms it.

The talent of the receiver is undeniable. Accuracy of lines, hands, separation: it has everything you need. He remains an enigma compared to his recent hamstring injury. Having him on the team would be a real added value compared to what the Giants currently have. With JSN, New York might hold its No. 1 receiver from Odell Beckham Jr.

Other potential players: Trenton Simpson (LB), Jalin Hyatt (WR), Christian Gonzalez (CB), O’Cyrus Torrence (OL), Cam Smith (CB), Jordan Addison (WR)

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