The New York Giants will conclude their disappointing 2018 season with a meaningless showdown with the division rival Dallas Cowboys this Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
There’s a lot of armchair general managers out there on social media, television and radio that think they know what’s next for Pat Shurmur’s crew.
Before I begin, here’s the plain facts about how the general manager Dave Gettleman approached year one of his tenure…
Gettleman took the best player in the draft in Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. Football nerds keep barking about how Gettleman messed up by ignoring “positional value” and bypassing a quarterback with the second-overall pick.
Nonsense. Barkley is a “generational” player who plays at a position that is highly undervalued by the football geeks. Here’s all you need to know: how well have the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams fared without Kareem Hunt and Todd Gurley, respectively? Look it up. I’ll wait. And just think where the Dallas Cowboys would be without Ezekiel Elliott? Not headed for the playoffs, that’s for sure.
So, Gettleman did not miss by taking Barkley. Had he taken a quarterback at No. 2, they would have sat behind Eli Manning and wasted his rookie season. Why? Because the Giants were (and still are) tethered to Manning contractually. Plus, there’s no way a rookie would have outplayed him. Not behind this offensive line.
That’s all water under the bridge now. Here’s five questions going into the season finale that need to be answered.
Let’s get this out of the way right now. The short answer is we don’t know. The Giants will have to make a decision on him before free agency because his $5 million roster bonus kicks in on St. Patrick’s Day, which is a few days after free agency begins. If they are going to release him or restructure him, it would have to happen before free agency begins on March 13 when the new NFL year starts.
The Giants do have some options in free agency, especially if Nick Foles becomes available. If you look at the free agent field this upcoming March, there’s not much. There’s been a groundswell of support for Teddy Bridgewater, but he will not come as cheap as people think and he’s also a player with a reconstructed knee who has not started an NFL game since 2015.
If the Giants finish 5-11, they will likely be selecting in the top five and can have their pick of any quarterback they choose since Oregon’s Justin Herbert has now decided not to declare. Who that player will be is anyone’s guess, and, again, would not be an immediate solution.