New York Giants Likely Preparing To Release Veteran Linebacker

As the New York Giants begin to address the mess of a team Jerry Reese and Ben McAdoo left behind, several players are fearing for their jobs in the wake of the staff overhaul.

Veteran linebacker Jonathan Casillas was known as a leader on the team, but after injuring his neck and wrist in 2017, his durability is in question.

According to ProFootballTalk.com, Casillas thinks his time in New York might be coming to an end:

“I’ve spoken to (the Giants) briefly. I didn’t have a formal conversation with them about any contract or getting me back there or anything like that,” Casillas said, via Alex Marvez of the Sporting News. “It doesn’t seem like they love me as much as the old staff did.”

There’s no doubt that Casillas brings a sense of professionalism and leadership to the team and locker room, but after last season’s melt-down, the new regime seems keen on gutting the team of aging veterans.

Finding young players that are obsessed with winning is the new standard for the Giants (OBJ anyone?), meaning Casillas might catch the short end of the stick this time around.

Casillas was allocated $3.6 million in 2017, but could find his way back onto the roster if he takes a steep pay-cut. The Giants are in dire need of linebackers and signing Casillas to a team-friendly deal ($1.5-2 million) might be a solid option. His leadership and wisdom could go a long way in helping to develop young players Gettleman may select in the NFL Draft.

“I’ve been around enough to understand the game,” Casillas said. “I might not be as hot a commodity as I used to be. But whoever gets me, if it’s somebody else and not the Giants, they’re going to get a great player and a great leader in the locker room.”

Essentially, teams would be paying for his presence in the locker room and leadership on the field, because his talent has surely seen a drop-off since his days in New England.

Pat Shurmur Says The Giants Need A Franchise Changing Player At No. 2

The New York Giants recently let out reports that they would be sending out false-information into the public, ensuring that media members and fans are completely lost in the NFL Draft process.

The latest news comes from head coach Pat Shurmur, who according to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, is keen on finding a franchise changing player at No. 2. Franchise changing could be a quarterback, running back, offensive lineman, you name it.

Shurmur referred to high-picks spent on Lawrence Taylor and Carl Banks in the past, which is absolutely a deterrent from their actual plans. It’s quite obvious the Giants will address the offensive side of the ball in the first-round, and throwing out two defense-men shouldn’t sway our opinions.

What did Shurmur say about Eli Manning?

The Giants are surely sticking with their old stead in Manning for at least one-more season, but we can’t rule out a potential quarterback being drafted in two months. If that’s the case, New York may decide to opt-out of Manning’s 2019 season, saving the team nearly $20 million in cap-space.

Saquon Barkley?

Dave Gettleman made it apparent that they would be evaluating Saquon Barkley’s abilities and worth at the No. 2 overall pick. Taking a running back in the first five picks is a rarity, but when a talent such as Barkley comes across your desk, you must consider the possibility that he might be worth the risk.

Davis Webb?

Coach Shurmur isn’t going to say anything negative about his second-year quarterback, but it’s encouraging to see his want to give him an opportunity. Webb spent the entire 2017 season learning from Manning and developing a pro-style skill set.

If the Giants choose to avoid the quarterback position in the upcoming draft, we can safely assume Webb has what it takes to be a starter in the NFL.

New York Mets 40-Man Roster Overview: Chris Flexen

The 23-year old and number 14 prospect in the New York Mets’ organization, Chris Flexen is up next on the New York Mets player overview.

Flexen’s Journey:

In 2012 the Mets took Flexen in the 14th round in the MLB Draft out of Memorial High School in Newark, California. Flexen spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons in rookie ball and his ERA went from 5.62 to 2.09. Flexen also earned Topps APP Player of the Year and Short-Season/Rookie All-Star honors.

In 2014, Flexen spend the year in regular A ball and posted a 4.83 ERA in 13 starts. After spending parts of 2015 in the Rookie, Low-A, and Single-A leagues, he had a 2.42 ERA and was moving up the ranks in the Mets farm system. Flexen continued his success in 2016 in High-A, pitching 134 innings and having aa 3.56 ERA.

2017 became a year of highs and lows for Flexen. It started in spectacular fashion by having a 1.76 ERA in 61.1 innings between High-A and Double-A. Flexen earned a call-up in late July to help a decimated Mets rotation but showed he was not ready to pitch at the big league level.

There was no number that could be used as a positive for him. From a 7.88 ERA to a .321 average against to a K/BB ratio of 36/35, he could not catch a break. Flexen is heading into his age 23 season and still has another year to develop in to the pitcher he has been in the minor leagues.

His body language showed defeat and a lack of confidence in September. The Mets will look for him to regain his confidence in the minors and learn from the minds of manager Mickey Callaway and pitching coach Dave Eiland in Spring Training. Flexen has good stuff but was still a raw prospect and would not have seen big league action if the Mets were not out of the playoff race. It will be a long shot for Flexen to make the team out of Spring Training, but a successful 2018 in the minors will give Flexen a good opportunity to come back to the Mets.

New York Giants Will Carry Over Less Than $1 Million In Cap Space Into 2018

With the New York Giants currently sitting at about $22 million in cap space, they will have to be cautious with the amount of money they spend in the offseason.

The Giants will roll over only $365,321 in additional salary cap from 2017, according to the NFL Player’s Association.

What will the Giants do?

When the start of free agency begins on March 14th, we should expect to see the Giants move quickly; both releasing players and signing them. Several players the Giants should consider releasing are wide receiver Brandon Marshall (save $5 million), kick returner Dwayne Harris ($2.4 million), and linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong ($1.24 million).

General manager Dave Gettleman could get the salary-cap up to about $35 million by cutting these players and adjusting a few contracts (DRC and Eli Manning).  If signing Andrew Norwell and another offensive lineman is a priority for Gettleman, we can assume several players will be cut during free agency.

 

Would You Be Happy With This Offensive Line For The New York Giants?

As we approach the 2018 NFL Draft, speculation is at an all-time high, and the most important thing to consider is how realistic some of these scenarios are for the New York Giants.

General manager Dave Gettleman’s top priority will be solving the puzzle that’s the offensive line for the Giants, and providing Eli Manning with the protection and time to run his offense properly.

So, when considering a realistic point of view, here’s what the offensive line could look like in 2018:

Left Tackle: Nate Solder

The New England Patriots inked Solder to a two-year, $20 million deal in 2015. They guaranteed him all $20 million at signing and he accounted for $10 million (2016) and $11 million (2017) of their cap space respectively.

If the Giants want to sign Solder, they’re going to have to splash the cash, but for a player of his quality paying $11 million per-season might be a good deal. If Gettleman decided to sign Solder on a four-year, $45 million deal with $30 million guaranteed, it would certainly pay off in the long-run. As long as he’s guaranteed his money, especially at 29-years old, Solder might decide to take security over risk.

Money allocated to the line per-season: $11 million

Left Guard: Andrew Norwell

Rumors have bubbled to the service in regard to Gettleman wanting to make Andrew Norwell the highest paid guard in the history of the game. The stud lineman recorded First-Team All-Pro accolades in 2017, in addition to First-Team All-Pro honors from Pro Football Focus.

Norwell was the only guard (guards who played 500 snaps or more) to not commit a penalty throughout the entire season. He also didn’t allow a sack, which elevates his stock exponentially.

There’s no doubt that Norwell would improve the Giants’ offensive line, but the question is: How much will he cost?

We should expect to see Norwell make anywhere from $13-15 million per-season if Gettleman decides to pay top-dollar for that type of quality. With Eli Manning preparing to move on from New York in the next few seasons, his massive contract could fit, but it would be tight.

Money allocated to the line per-season: $25 million

Center: Brett Jones

With the Giants already investing $25 million in the offensive line in this scenario, it’s time to locate value. Brett Jones took over for Weston Richburg in 2017 at center, showcasing his abilities and proving to be more than capable at holding down the fort.

Jones would likely only cost the Giants a measly $2-3 million per-season, which is a great price for a player that will be receiving help from Norwell and another big-time guard.

Money allocated to the line per-season: $27 million

Right Guard: Quenton Nelson

To add even more stellar talent to the offensive line, the Giants should heavily consider drafting Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson (Learn More About Him Here!).

Nelson is a bull, standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing in at 329-pounds. His immense power and agility is premier-level, offering potential that could even surpass that of Norwell’s.

If drafted, it would make the Giants’ line one of the best in the league on paper, and would certainly provide Manning with all of the time he could ever need to sling the football.

Money allocated to the line per-season: $30 million

Right Tackle: Ereck Flowers

Surrounding Ereck Flowers with talent might be the only way to drag his potential out from the depths of first-round busts. Finding a way to utilize the top-10 pick from the 2015 draft will be a tough task for Gettleman, but giving him the reigns to the right tackle position might be his best bet at salvaging anything.

Flowers has the build to be a tackle in the NFL, but forcing him to protect Manning’s blind-side is a whole different story. Placing him at right tackle would offer him a second-chance at life in the NFL, and would ultimately give him the opportunity to show what he’s really capable of. At the very least, the Giants can continue to develop Chad Wheeler and place him at right tackle.

Money allocated to the line per-season: $34.5 million

When considering the price for the offensive line, it’s less than two Eli Manning’s, which is a solid deal if you ask me. Paying less than $35 million for one of the best offensive lines in the league should be an enticing option for any fan.

 

 

 

 

 

Check Out How Much Davis Webb’s Footwork Has Improved Since College

If you’re one of the fans that think Davis Webb can’t be the next quarterback of the New York Giants, you’re going to want to check out his latest workout clips.

Here’s a clip of Webb from one specific game against Washington; where he struggles with his footwork and overall had a poor game.

In this play, Webb is hopping and his footwork seems sloppy, as he doesn’t provide any leg strength into his throw, or plant his feet. His decision to throw into near triple coverage is also questionable, and his vision due to lack of movement is a problem.

Now, let’s check out a video taken recently of his footwork:

Watch how Webb drops back and plants his back foot, using his hips to provide zip and power into his throw. That’s a VASTLY different throw when it comes to his old mechanics in college.

The hesitation right before he throws to ensure his foot is stabilized and his receiver is open is exactly what you want to see at the next level. Identify a target, stabilize quickly, and release with power and accuracy.

Here’s another example of his refined mechanics; as he drops back with quick steps and resets at the point of release. Compared to the first video, you can see a major difference in terms of length of steps backwards and his ready position to throw to a receiver.

Here’s a short play-action clip, where Webb steps back smoothly and delivers a strike with power. His transition from the ready position through his hips and into his delivery is flawless. There is no doubt he has improved since his days at college.

Here’s a clip from college to use as a comparison:

Just look how poor Webb’s drop-back was in this game against Washington… If you compare that to the clips above, there is almost no comparison to be made. Two completely different quarterbacks in terms of mechanics (footwork & throwing motion).

The bottom line, Webb is showing major improvements since being drafted in the third-round last year. If the new regime believes they have their future quarterback already on the roster, they can address other needs on the team which would put the Giants in great position moving forward.

It’s also important to mention Pat Shurmur’s success with quarterbacks, and how beneficial he could be to a player like Webb moving forward.

Here’s A Linebacker That Could Take The Giants’ Defense To The Next Level

Remember when former New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese decided to neglect the linebacker position nearly every year? Well, this year Dave Gettleman will surely fill a hole that has been empty for some time now on the defense.

If only he could fill it with a guy like Landon Collins, a second-round pick out of Alabama. But what if I told you he could, and the potential of this linebacker is Collins-high…

Would that interest you? Having a guy like Collins manning not only the safety position, but the linebacker position as well. That’s exactly what Alabama inside linebacker Rashaan Evans can be for the Giants.

Evans has a unique blend of speed, agility and power, similar to that of the Giants’ star safety.

His power is unparalleled, but there’s a very high chance Evans won’t find his way out of the second-round. If the Giants cant trade up to grab him, they must make the move, unless of course they trade down in the first-round and stockpile another second-round pick.

Evan stands tall at 6’3″, 234-pounds, built purely of muscle; and let’s not forget this is only in college. Once a professional, Evans will have access to top-of-the-line coaches that will help him elevate his speed and power.

The senior linebacker for Alabama sat behind Reuben Foster for several years before taking over as the starter. This gave him ample time to refine his technique and learn behind one of the top defenders in college football.

For the Giants, filling the hole at linebacker should be a priority, as it would solidify the defense and allow the remaining picks to be spent on the offensive side of the ball — hopefully solving the jigsaw puzzle that’s the offensive line.

Here’s A Cornerback the Giants Can Draft To Replace DRC

With Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie nearing the end of his contract with the New York Giants, and him supposedly being moved to safety, a new cornerback must be on the mind of Dave Gettleman in the NFL Draft.

With corners being in high-demand in the draft, the Giants must look for value in the third-round if they want to solidify the boundaries.

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A solid option would be Wisconsin cornerback Nick Nelson:

Nelson recorded the highest amount of pass breakups in the country, all while being tasked to over opponents’ top receivers on a weekly basis. His ability to play man-coverage is his top skill; as he doesn’t often require safety help over the top which is usually the case for most corners going up against the best receiver on any given team.

The fact that his man-coverage ability is superior to most corners allowed the Badgers to draw up aggressive schemes, enabling the linebackers to blitz and not drop back into coverage.

Nelson has received second-round marks from most draft experts (Walterfootball.com), but with a plethora of talent entering the draft, he could easily fall to the third. The Wisconsin product has good size  at 5’11”, 204-pounds, and has room for more muscle mass and speed.

He has been known to be an able tackler throughout his college career, and if he’s aggressive in the NFL, he shouldn’t have a problem maintaining that consensus.

With his 40-yard dash range between 4.48–4.52, he’s certainly not in elite level territory when it comes to speed. But with corners, it’s more about agility and being able to stick on your man on the intermediate routes.

Nelson could be a stellar option to replace DRC on the outside and complement Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple and Ross Cockrell. It’s always a good idea to add depth to a position of need, especially when the drop-off is as big as it is for the Giants.

A Potentially Great Trade-back Scenario For The New York Giants

If the New York Giants decide to pass on taking a quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft, there are several trade back options that should be considered, but which would be the most beneficial?

Ideally, New York would be looking to acquire several early-round picks and a potential player for the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.

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Rumors of the Buffalo Bills offering their first and second-rounder, along with left tackle Cordy Glenn have been bubbling to the surface. Here’s my issue with this trade-back: Glenn is set to count $14.5 million against the cap in 2018, far too much for the Giants to tack on to their allocated moneys. His base salary would be $9.25 million. Additionally, Glenn has missed 15 games in the past two-seasons due to injury.

The ideal trade-back situation:

No. 2 overall pick with the Denver Broncos No. 5 overall pick:

The Giants need value, and what better way to add value than to tack on the 40th overall pick in the second-round to complement the Giants’ No. 34 pick. Now, trading back from the No. 2 to the No. 5 will require the Broncos to give up a bit more than just a second-rounder. I would ask for guard Ronald Leary who starred with the Dallas Cowboys for the first five-years of his career, until signing with the Broncos last season on a 4-years, $36 million deal.

Additionally, I would take their third and fifth-round pick (potentially even more picks in 2019). If they want their franchise quarterback, they’re going to have to pay for him.

Getting a deal this sweet would take some serious negotiating from Dave Gettleman, but if the Jets swoop in and steal Kirk Cousins from under the Broncos, they might not have a choice but to listen to the Giants’ commands.

Of course, this is all a hypothetical, but acquiring these picks would open up the door for the Giants to address the offensive line, running back, and linebacker positions with first and second-round talent.  An influx of youth and skill that teams don’t normally see on a yearly basis.

A Letter To The New York Giants Fans Who Want Odell Beckham Jr. Gone

Dear OBJ haters,

I’m here to speak on behalf of all New York Giants fans that think Odell Beckham Jr. is a god-send, and is worth every penny the organization is expected to pay him.

In Beckham Jr.’s rookie season he played 11 games, recording 91 receptions, 1,305-yards and 12 touchdowns. In the three latter seasons he managed 222 receptions, 3119 yards and 26 touchdowns. That’s averaging over 1,000 yards per-year, all while playing in only 4 games (didn’t play the entire game for three of them).

Now, the star receiver wants to be the highest paid in the league; even more than Antonio Browns’ four-year, $68 million deal. Seventeen million is allocated per season to Brown.

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Odell Beckham Jr. wants Eli Manning money, and luckily for him, Manning is on his way out. Within the next two-years Manning will no-longer be a Giant, which is inevitable at his age and current state of ability. Dave Gettleman and the Giants will likely guarantee upward of $25 million at signing, giving Beckham Jr. the money he requires right off the bat.

For example, if we pay him $19 million per-season over four-years with $25 million guaranteed at signing, his cap hit will be $12.75 million; well within reach once Manning and his $20 million per-season contract disappears.

So, why should we pay him that money? And what makes him better than Julio Jones, Jarvis Landry, or Deandre Hopkins?

The question shouldn’t be what makes him worth more than the other receivers, it should be is he worth more than the next crop from the NFL Draft?

There are no receivers entering the draft that are in the realm of any of the receivers listed above, which ads value to Beckham Jr. He’s a generational talent and has the ability to take over a game at any moment, and that’s why he needs to be paid.

He’s what makes the offense continue to churn even when all of the pieces around him are falling apart.

I know what you’re about to say: But Alex, that makes no sense, the offense was TERRIBLE ‘with’ him last year!

You’re right, but Eli Manning had one of his best games during Odell Beckham Jr.’s only full-game played.

Completions: 35

Yards: 366

Completion %: 74.5

Touchdowns: 3

Interceptions: 2

Now, consider this:

The Giants haven’t had any balance on offense since Beckham Jr. was drafted in 2014. Once teams figured out OBJ was the team’s strength, they game-planned for him and they STILL couldn’t stop him.

With a few additional pieces to the puzzle, including a running game and a solid offensive line, Beckham Jr. will be well worth the investment.

Sincerely,

Alex

P.S. If we let Beckham Jr. walk, who on earth is going to replace him? That will just be ANOTHER problem we have to worry about moving forward.