Opinion: Why The New York Giants Should Take Kyler Murray No Questions Asked

Typically my writing is predominantly about the Yankees or Knicks, but today I’m wading into deep blue waters for one reason — KYLER MURRAY. This is a plea for Dave Gettleman to make the choice that will transform the New York Giants and avoid wasting the primes of Barkley and Beckham. I believe there are two sides of this argument, those that see Murray as the best player in the draft and those that are wrong.

I have spent most of the last decade of my life as a transplanted New Yorker living in Seattle. In that time I’ve watched a too short, deep ball tossing, third round pick totally change a teams culture. So many of the knocks on Murray mirror what was said about Russell Wilson, it’s like nobody learns from their mistakes.

I keep reading how Doug Flutie is the closest comp to Murray when Wilson is the same height and plays a similar style.

What makes Kyler Murray so special?

Murray has a big arm, good touch and accuracy on intermediate passes. He also makes good decisions and does not turn the ball over. Are these traits sounding familiar at all? Oh, and Murray took Oklahoma to the 4 team national championship playoff so along with the physical traits he’s also a winner.

The other contenders to be drafted if the Giants take a QB are Dwayne Haskins who led Ohio State to one of their most disappointing seasons in recent memory, and Drew Lock who could maybe be Blake Bortles if he reaches his potential. Or the Giants could skip the middleman and just sign Bortles if/when Jacksonville releases him. He and Eli can have a competition in the spring and the Giants can start looking at QBs at the top of the 2020 draft.

If you add Murray and his ability to extend plays and take shots downfield to the Giants offense you have a nightmare for opposing defenses. What d-back can cover Beckham and Shepard for 6-seconds? And a linebacker or safety on Engram or Barkley? There will be big play opportunities all over the field, and if defenses don’t keep someone in to spy Murray he is perfectly capable of gouging them for huge gains with his legs.

Look at what Lamar Jackson did for the Ravens and none is still sure if he can even throw a forward pass consistently.

The wrong decision can set the Giants back a decade and kill the prime years of two of the most special talents the team has ever seen. Kyler Murray has every trait you would want in a QB other than height, and in the new NFL with spread offenses, RPO’s and quarterbacks being moved out of the pocket the height concern is overblown.

I mean he even has the same baseball background as Wilson and Mahomes, who credit some of their more creative tosses and flips to it. Not to mention the fact that unless the Giants plan on magically getting Orlando Pace and Jonathan Ogden their quarterback wont be spending much time in the pocket anyway. C’mon Dave, swing for the fences in April and bring the best quarterback in the draft to NY, draft Kyler Murray.

 

New York Giants: Agent Believes Manning Would Love To Return

Eli Manning is the biggest question mark this season for the New York Giants. Going into the draft, fans are wondering less about who the Giants will pick and more about whether or not that pick will be a quarterback, and the eventual successor of Eli Manning. Following a poor showing from backup quarterback Kyle Lauletta, it looks like Manning will be the top quarterback on the Giants roster at the start of the season.

However, that assumes that Manning will be on the team at that point. While it’s likely, it’s not certain, as it would eat up a large amount of cap space if Manning doesn’t agree to a renegotiated contract. Both a trade and a change in contract have been speculated about, but do those talks have any truth behind them? Well, one source especially close to Eli Manning would be his agent, Tom Condon, and Condon has said recently that Manning has desires to come back to the Giants for another year.

“I think he’d love to come back. Guys love to play their whole careers with one team, if they have a good experience with that team,” said Condon. While Condon believes that Manning wants to come back, however, he isn’t sure whether or not the Giants will try to renegotiate Manning’s contract.

“I have no idea,” Condon answered when asked about the subject. It is still early in the offseason, as the Super Bowl hasn’t even happened yet, so that makes sense. The draft is another event that will have an effect on player contracts, and that doesn’t happen until April. For now, Giants fans will just have to speculate on the quarterback situation and on whether or not Manning will return.

If Manning does return, which looks like the most likely outcome, he’ll probably have a mentoring role to a younger quarterback. Who that quarterback is remains to be seen, as multiple names are in the running, most notably possible draft picks Dwayne Haskins Jr. and Kyler Murray. It makes the situation all the more complicated, but chances are we won’t have an accurate idea of what to expect until the draft comes around in April and shows everyone what the Giants will have to work with for the 2019 season.

 

New York Yankees Trade 2nd Base Prospect For Talented Outfielder

The New York Yankees traded starting pitcher Sonny Gray to the Cincinnati Reds in return for second-base prospect Shed Long and a high draft pick.

The New York Yankees complete a trade within a trade:

Immediately following the conclusion of the deal, Long was traded to the Seattle Mariners for outfielder Josh Stowers. With Gleyber Torres supplanting himself as the team’s future second-baseman, it made Long expendable, as they must have seen a flaw they didn’t like and were looking for a different skill-set.

Stowers currently sits in the Low-A Northwest League, displaying great speed and on-base running. He’s also a solid defender that could offer value in the future if his hitting develops.

Additional info:

The farm-system player was drafted just last year, which is why the Yankees are probably so high on the second-rounder. Adding speedy players with good base running to the roster is a major positive, especially for a team that relies so much on home runs.

In 2018, Stowers batted .260 with 5 homers, 52 hits and 28 RBIs over 200 at-bats. Not a bad showing from the 21-year-old. He has plenty of time to develop his game and climb the ranks with the Yankees’ farm-teams.

Personally, I like this deal a lot, as the Yankees outfield is aging and planning for the future seems to be a solid move. Hopefully, his talents will pay off down the road.

The New York Yankees Nolan Arenado Rumors Are Blasphemous

New York Yankees, Nolan Arenado

I’ve watched the New York Yankees/Rockies Nolan Arenado trade rumor develop over the last few days and went through various stages of emotion.

Initially I was detachedly bemused at what should have been on a non-story getting legs and starting to spread. Now I realize it’s a microcosm for the new and more often than not terrible state of sports writing on most sites.
I believe it was initially in the Martino article that this idea was first floated. The article stated that “people briefed” on the Yankees thinking said they were interested and were having internal discussions about trading for Arenado.

Is that too vague for you?

If that wasn’t vague enough the next line really grasps at straws “One source says they probably have talked already.” Then the author states he has no confirmation from either side about any of this.

At that point he then takes the unsubstantiated and unattributed rumor and uses it as the linchpin of his article including “Frankly it would be surprising if they haven’t talked by now”. So we’ve created a rumor and used that rumor as the foundation of a piece that then tries to sell you on why said rumor makes sense.

The big networks are engaging in the sensationalism:

Three days later Yahoo, CBS Sports, SB nation and every other sports blog or media site is acting as if this was a real thing and the teams were in active discussions.

First of all, Colorado was a playoff team last year and has aspirations to be one again this year. Unless Arenado tells them he will not come back to Colorado under any circumstance its unlikely they will trade him. The comparisons to Machado’s situation last year do not fit, as Baltimore was a last place team and was dumping their entire roster.

The second thing is that Arenado has expressed a desire to return to the Rockies, an admiration for Todd Helton and Derek Jeter for playing with one team for their entire careers, and an appreciation for what that could do for his legacy. He also has some serious home/road splits and leaving Denver could impact his production as he ages. While he also said he wants to play on a perennial contender, he has not given any sign he thinks Colorado cannot be one.

A realistic point of view:

Finally from a Yankee point of view why would you trade assets for a player you can just sign next year if your that enamored with him?

Also, are we sure his production without playing half his games in Colorado will be that much better than what Andujar (who is 5 years younger and will be 20 million per season cheaper) will offer over the next 5 to 8 years? Wouldn’t the Yankees prefer to sign Machado, who is younger and proven in the AL east over, Arenado and the questions about his transition from obscurity to the sports largest and most intense media market?

Not to mention having to give up Andujar and/or Frazier in likelihood as the centerpiece of the trade. This is exactly the type of trade that Brian Cashman has been refusing to make, why would he go back to it now?

It’s fun to make up trades and talk about then with other fans and your friends. You discuss the pros and cons and try to convince each other that your right. It’s another thing to make up a rumor, or to take it and re-post or link to it with no proof and call it news.

Sources tell me the Yankees are interested in dealing Domingo German for Noah Syndergaard and may have reached out to the Mets front office about it. In the words of Jay from Big Mouth “Your picturing it, were talking about it…that’s a win.”

How The New York Giants Can Address The Right Tackle Position

The New York Giants can approach upgrading the right tackle position in two ways – utilize the 2019 NFL draft to address the spot, or they can scour the free agent pool for a potential fix.

The primary right tackle option in free agency will be former Carolina Panthers’ Daryl Williams. Interestingly enough, Giants’ current general manager Dave Gettleman was the one that drafted the hog-mollie back in 2015. He was a fourth-round pick that has displayed quality at the professional level with top-10 grades in both run and pass-blocking in 2017, according to PFF.

Williams is the definition of what an offensive lineman is supposed to look like. He’s 6-foot-6, 330-pounds of pure killing machine. He would surely be an upgrade over Wheeler at RT who ranked dead last in the NFL among qualifying tackles.

According to PFF:

Williams is another player that is sidelined for the remainder of the 2018 season due to injury. It’s a tough break for the fourth-year tackle, as he was coming off a breakout 2017 season in which his 78.0 overall grade ranked behind only Ryan Ramczyk and Lane Johnson at the right tackle position. He showed effectiveness as a run blocker and as a pass blocker with top-10 marks in both among right tackles. Coming off of his rookie contract, Williams makes an intriguing tackle option in the 2019 free agency class. If his improvement in 2017 is anything to go by, whichever team ends up signing him could end up with one of the top tackles in the league.

While addressing holes through free agency isn’t the best plan, it surely will insert quality with less fear of developmental road-blocks.

What options are available in the draft?

Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida:

While Taylor will likely be a first-round pick, the Giants can’t rule out selecting a franchise tackle to solidify their line for years to come. Ultimately, grabbing a quarterback will be the priority, and if the front-office wants to take a risk on OSU’s Dwayne Haskins or Duke’s Daniel Jones, they will have to pass on establishing a dominant line.

There are options for the Giants, but Taylor is an absolute monster in both the run and pass game.

Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama:

I have seen several mock drafts that have Williams going in the top-10 picks of the draft this year, while some scouts claim he’s a late-round, possibly even a second-round draft choice.

If Williams drops to the second, I would anticipate that the Giants trade-up to grab him at all costs.

Here’s what Walter Football has to say about him:

Williams has played well for Alabama, and some team sources say they have graded Williams as a late first-round pick, while others have graded him in the second round. He is a smart blocker who is steady and reliable. Some sources say they are projecting Williams to right tackle or guard, and think he would only be an emergency left tackle who could finish out a game because he’s smart, but teams wouldn’t want him to start at left tackle in the NFL. Others think he could stay at left tackle, and some think he should be a center. The Alabama staff told scouts this year they wanted to play Williams at center as a senior but the other players on their roster forced them to play Williams at left tackle.

The Giants have 11-picks in the upcoming draft, which will allow them to address several important position that are in need of starting quality and depth. If they are able to draft a top quarterback and still snag an offensive lineman, they will be in very good shape moving forward.

New York Giants: Safety/Special Teamer Michael Thomas To Play In Pro Bowl

The NFC and AFC Conference Championship games took place this past weekend, setting the matchup for Super Bowl 53. With the Rams and Patriots set to face off in the Super Bowl, their players will not be able to play in the 2019 Pro Bowl. Because of this, alternate players will take their place. One of those alternates is the New York Giants‘ own Michael Thomas.

Highlights From Michael Thomas’s 2018 Season

Michael Thomas will be participating in the Pro Bowl as a special teamer. He is replacing the Los Angles Rams’ special teamer Cory Littleton. Littleton will be playing in Super Bowl LIII, so he cannot participate in the Pro Bowl.

Michael Thomas is a player that new GM Dave Gettleman signed in the 2018 offseason. Thomas spent his previous five seasons with the Miami Dolphins. Michael was Pro Football Focus’s Special Teams Player of the Year in 2017. He came to the Giants to don a captain’s patch and be the leader of the special teams unit.

Michael Thomas spent 2018 making key tackles on returns and downing punts near the goal line for the Giants. However, Thomas’s excellent play was not limited to just special teams.

Serving as a rotational defensive back, and filling in at safety for the injured Landon Collins, Michael Thomas played quality snaps on defense in 2018. Thomas totaled 58 tackles, a forced fumble, and a sack in 2018. In coverage, Michael Thomas was disruptive. He had 6 passes defended and two interceptions for the Giants this season.

The Giants now have four players set to play in the Pro Bowl in 2018. Michael Thomas will join kicker Aldrick Rosas, edge defender Olivier Vernon, and running back Saquon Barkley in Orlando on Sunday.

New York Yankees Receive Quality Prospect In Sonny Gray Trade – Who Is He?

The New York Yankees traded former starting pitcher Sonny Gray to the Cincinnati Reds in return for a second-base prospect and a high draft pick, but who is the player and what does he offer to a youthful team?

Shed Long, the piece that will come over in the Gray trade, is a legitimate prospect that could be of use down the line for a defensively unstable infield.

Long is 23-years-old who has demonstrated his talents at the plate in the minors so far, slashing .261/.353/.412 (120 wRC+) last season in Double-A ball. Receiving a player of this potential quality is impressive given what Gray has offered the Yanks the past 11/2 years. He finished 2018 with an ERA of 4.90, allowing 14 homers and 138 hits in 130 innings, averaging over one-hit per inning. A steep drop-off from what a dominant start to his career with the Oakland Athletics – 2.73 ERA on 2015.

Gray is a known fly-ball pitcher that struggles in smaller stadiums, which is likely why his talents didn’t translate to the Bronx.

Why the Yankees should be cautiously optimistic with the exchange:

While Long has displayed enough quality to offer reason for optimism, he has struggled with strikeouts (23.6% in 2018) and his defensive abilities don’t make him a sure-fire second-baseman. It’s possible the Yankees try to move him to an outfield position and utilize his skills in a more reserved way.

Having capable depth is always a positive, especially with a player like Gleyber Torres who’s still so young and featuring at second-base. If he were to suffer an injury or need time off, Long could fill his role as a stop-gap, offering him valuable experience at the professional stage.

It seems as if Long still requires a solid amount of development before he cn be a regular in the MLB, but he’s certainly trending in the right direction.