New York Giants Save On Zeitler Contract After Restructuring

New York Giants, Kevin Zeitler

One of the prime enemies of the New York Giants in recent years hasn’t just been the rest of the league, but the salary cap. The team’s cap situation wasn’t great going into the 2018 NFL season and it looks like one of the goals of the front office going into the offseason was to spend their cap space more efficiently.

This was seen in moves such as the trade of Olivier Vernon, whose production didn’t match up with his price tag, and allowing Landon Collins to walk and take more money with the Redskins. And after Odell Beckham Jr. signed a huge deal last year, his trade could be seen as partially a cap move.

The Giants have made another such salary cap saving move recently in the form of restructuring the contract of offensive guard Kevin Zeitler, who they acquired from the Cleveland Browns in the Vernon trade.

According to Field Yates, the Giants moved $7.5M worth of salary into a bonus and will save $5M against the salary cap this year. That won’t turn around the team’s cap problems by itself but it is a good move and based on the current numbers, $5M in salary cap is enough to pay a player such as Kareem Martin, Rhett Ellison, or Antoine Bethea, all of whom have cap hits within that range.

It also helps the Giants reduce their cap problems while still getting what should be an influential player who will start right away with former starting right guard Jamon Brown having moved on already to take a deal with the Atlanta Falcons.

There’s been plenty of things to complain about during the offseason but this isn’t one of them. The fact that the Giants were able to save a further $5M against the salary cap after acquiring Zeitler just goes to show that they won the Olivier Vernon trade with Cleveland.

New York Giants Rumored to be All In on Duke QB Daniel Jones

The New York Giants have drafted Daniel Jones with the 6th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Taking Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with the 6th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft would be such a “New York Giants” thing to do. The fourth-ranked quarterback in a weak class being picked in the top 10 is a possibility, according to Bleacher Report.

The Giants have been linked to several players, including quarterbacks Jones, Dwayne Haskins, Kyler Murray, and Drew Lock. Every passer mentioned that doesn’t have the last name “Jones” is better equipped to be the 6th overall pick. Haskins has immense tangible and intangible attributes, Lock is a potential home run pick with accuracy issues that if overcome, can be a franchise passer for years to come, and Murray is one of the most polarizing players in the draft.

If general manager Dave Gettleman does, in fact, make Jones his pick, not only will the fan-base revolt in absolute anger, but the reality of passing on multiple premium defenders for a mediocre collegiate signal caller will never settle.

The New York Giants are changing their ways:

However, the Giants took a different approach in 2018 than in previous years. They chose the best player on the board via their rankings, and that was by far, Saquon Barkley.

I believe they will take a similar approach in 2019, waiting to see how the draft shakes out until they reach the 6th pick – if Haskins or Murray remains available so be it, otherwise they will go defense and bolster a weak unit. There’s too much to overthink at this point and we shouldn’t believe a single rumor tossed out into the abyss of smokescreens.

What makes more sense in the draft?

The reality here is simple – the Giants cannot and will not reach for a player they’re not 100% sure on. Jones has too many flaws to be considered a top 10 pick and they should sit idly by until they’re on the clock. It allows them to take calls ahead of their pick and watch what other teams do. They can even give the Arizona Cardinals a call to see if Josh Rosen is available for trade. Ultimately, there are about 100 different scenarios that could happen, and predicting what the Giants will do is simply impossible.

Why The New York Giants Don’t Need to Draft a Quarterback in 2019

New York Giants quarterback, Eli Manning.

With the NFL Draft being this Thursday, Mock Draft season is at its peak. Many of these mock drafts have the New York Giants taking Eli Manning’s successor. Some have them taking one at pick 6, others at 17, and some even predict them trading up to find their quarterback of the future.

A few of these drafts, however, have the Giants passing on a quarterback for the second straight year. 

Why the New York Giants should wait until 2020 to draft their next QB:

Eli Can Still Play

Giants’ GM Dave Gettleman has said time after time this offseason that Eli Manning is still good enough to be a starting QB in the NFL. He has stated that Eli is the starter and that he can still help the team win a Super Bowl. Many fans are strongly in opposition to these repeated statements, which is understandable. But perhaps Gettleman has a good reason to believe the 38-year-old, 2x Super Bowl champion can still do it? His numbers from last year prove he is good enough to be a starting quarterback.

Manning statistically had one of the best seasons of his career last year. He posted a career high in completion percentage (66.0%), as well as a career low in interceptions thrown (11). Plus, he had the fourth-best passer rating (92.4) of his storied career. His 4,299 passing yards last season were the ninth-most of any player in the NFL. While none of those numbers really jump off the page, it still proves he is plenty good enough to be starting for an NFL team.

Yes…some of these numbers can be attributed to garbage time and the oh so frequent Saquon Barkley dump off, but that’s the reality of this offense. It runs through Barkley, so any quarterback will enjoy the low hanging fruit.

MUST SEE: 2019 NFL Draft Board – Know your rankings going into Thursday!

Why Manning Will be Better in 2019

Many doubters believe that Eli will struggle this next season now that he doesn’t have a true number one receiver with Beckham being gone. There is little reason to expect Eli to perform worse without Beckham though. If anything, he should play better this upcoming season. Manning has thrived in his career when he is spreading the ball around. He excelled last season in the final four games of the season which featured a Beckham-less offense.

In those four games, He threw for 1,036 yards, 6 touchdowns, and only 3 interceptions. During those four games, he had a passer rating of 93.85. If you were to expand those numbers over a full season, you’d get 4,144 passing yards, 24 TD’s and 12 INT’s. Plus, the 93.85 passer rating. Those are numbers that are extremely similar to Dak Prescott, Mitch Trubisky, and even Cam Newton. Yet rarely do you hear people saying one of those players teams’ needs to draft a new QB.

Also working in Eli’s favor, the offensive line will be greatly improved this season, something that prevented Manning from succeeding last season. He gains Golden Tate as well, a player who fits perfectly into the type of pass catcher that makes Eli perform well. Oh, and he has Saquon Barkley in his second season, who will make life even easier for Eli. Manning can still play at the level needed for a team to win.

The Weak Quarterback Class this Year 

Many draft analysts have called this draft one of the best for defensive players in years. With players such as Nick Bosa, Josh Allen, and Quinnen Williams, it is easy to see why they believe this. They have also said that the quarterbacks in this year’s draft are sub-par. With big names such as Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, and Jake Fromm expected to declare in 2020, why settle for a QB this year?

The main quarterbacks who have been tied to the Giants this offseason have been Dwayne Haskins from Ohio State, Daniel Jones from Duke, Drew Lock from Missouri, and Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray from Oklahoma. While each of these players is plenty good in their own reason, they all have at least one or two knocks on them.

What Each QB Prospect Struggles With

Haskins, who finished third in Heisman voting last year, had very little experience, something many teams do not like. He had only one season as the starter at Ohio State and very few QB’s have found success in the NFL with such little experience under their belt. His athleticism, or lack there of it, has been pointed out by a number of scouts as well.

Jones, who has been tied to the Giants a lot recently, has a number of issues when it comes to just playing the game. He struggles to throw with consistent accuracy and setting himself in a position to make good throws. While he is very athletic and mobile, he sometimes takes unnecessary hits instead of sliding or going out of bounds.

Lock, who has the highest ceiling of any Quarterback in this class, struggles when it comes to accuracy and footwork. There should be an asterisk next to the accuracy knock though, as he played on a Missouri team that struggled to give him time to set himself and make good throws. The footwork issue can be worked on, something that should help Lock’s stock.

Murray, the Heisman Trophy winner, scares many teams away because of his size. At barely 5’10’’ and 200 pounds, people are hesitant about his durability. Very few quarterbacks his size have made it to the NFL, and even fewer have found success while in it. But, if you can put those things aside, you get a freakish athlete who is arguably one of the explosive players in this draft.

No Clear No. 1 QB Prospect

If you were to look at each team’s QB big board you would find major differences between each. Some have Haskins as the best and Murray as the fourth while others have Jones at 1 and Murray at 2. There is no clear cut number 1 QB prospect in this year’s draft. Each of the top prospects has their own cons, so why settle?

The Team has Bigger Needs

The Giants have a number of gaping holes on the defensive side of the ball. They need help on defense, and they need it badly. With so many generational defensive talents in this class, you can’t risk passing up on one for a position that isn’t a pressing need.

As mentioned earlier, the quarterback class of 2020 features players who are significantly better than this years’. Tagovailoa, Herbert, and Fromm are all projected top 10 picks for next year’s draft. Each of them is going to be a player that turns a franchise around. And perhaps most importantly, if they were in this years draft, all of them would be graded higher than any QB prospect in this year’s class.

The Giants do not need to draft a quarterback in this year’s draft. They have too many holes on defense for them to draft a player that won’t help win now. The team should draft defensive players at both picks 6 &17, and draft a Quarterback next year. Eli can still play and can help Big Blue win.

New York Giants: The Top Positional Priority in the 2019 NFL Draft

New York Giants, Eli Manning

Passing on a quarterback in 2018 can be justified given the immense talent the New York Giants gained in sensational running back, Saquon Barkley. As a rookie, he earned over 2,000 all-purpose yards and displayed elite athleticism and strength in the open field. Barkley is far more than just a running back, and that’s where the argument ends what it comes to debating if the Giants should’ve selected a quarterback instead.

Fast forward one year later, Odell Beckham Jr. has been traded and veteran passer Eli Manning is in the final year of his contract. The expectation is that the Giants will move forward with Manning in 2019 and draft a signal caller to learn behind him – that would be the smart move.

The New York Giants are targeting defenders:

However, an extremely talented defensive crop puts that expectation in peril. Options like Kentucky’s Josh Allen, Alabama’s, Quinnen Williams, and various others cloud the judgment of GM Dave Gettleman.

“Dave Gettleman is crazed about getting a pass-rusher with this sixth pick, and they’ll deal with the quarterback later,” ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said on Monday’s Get Up!.

If the Giants elect to pass on a quarterback with the 6th pick, they must utilize their 17th pick on one. Even better, they shouldn’t hold back from trading up into the top-10 if Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins is available. Personally, he’s the only option I believe can succeed in New York. His intangible skills will allow him to deal with the harsh media and take advantage of the fame it brings.

However, a player like Kyler Murray could also revolutionize the offense, but the probability of him slipping past the 6th pick is unlikely.

The bottom line:

The Giants MUST prioritize the quarterback position this draft. They cannot wait until 2020 as they will likely have to give up massive draft capital to move up into a position to grab a top option. It’s now or never for Big Blue.

New York Giants can Win the 2019 NFL Draft in the First Two Rounds

Should the New York Giants consider taking Clemson pass rusher, Clelin Ferrell?

Drafting well boils down to value and filling high-price positions with adequate starters. The first round of the 2019 NFL Draft has plenty of talent to choose from, and the New York Giants can sit still and grab several premium starters in the process.

Rumors of the Giants trading up into the draft to grab their guy has bubbled, but the reality is, they don’t need to. They can still select their quarterback and bolster the defensive line with talent.

What should the New York Giants do in the draft?

With the 6th pick, general manager Dave Gettleman cannot pass on his choice at quarterback. With Kyler Murray off the board, he must take Dwayne Haskins without blinking an eye. Sitting behind Eli Manning for a season will do wonders for his development and give him the preparation tools to excel at the NFL level.

Haskins is a superb option at No. 6 as he brings tangible and intangible talents across the board. Solid arm strength, footwork, accuracy, and leadership abilities all paint the picture of his foundation. Bringing him into New York would certainly bring the best out of the young passer – the fame and attention seem to be something he feeds off of.

However, the Giants could go the defensive route and take a top pass rusher with the 6th pick instead, leaving the 17th as a passer allocation. Personally, I don’t see the Giants doing this. They are better off waiting for a top defensive prospect at no. 17 – options like Clemson’s Clelin Ferrel, Christian Wilkins, and Michigan’s Devin Bush could all be available.

The goal should ultimately be to fill impact positions with grade-A prospects, and these options would make the most sense.

What position should be filled in the second round?

Grabbing a quarterback and impact player on the defensive line would put the Giants in great shape heading into the 2019 season, and the only essential need left would be at right tackle. While there are voids in the secondary and at linebacker, solving the RT position should be a priority in the second round.

Just as Gettleman drafted Will Hernandez in the top of the second round in 2018, he will elect to take Dalton Risner of Kansas State this year. The line will finally be complete and Eli Manning will have plenty of protection to play at a high level. It will be his final shot at success and having a young passer waiting in the wings would only attest to that reality.

 

Voit’s Two Home Runs Lead New York Yankees Past Angels

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

Luke Voit had two solo home runs to extend his hitting streak to 10 games and his on-base streak to 34 games as the New York Yankees took down the Angels 7-5.

Milestones for the young fellas

Mike Ford and Thairo Estrada each had milestones at the plate on Tuesday.

Ford hit his first career home run in the fifth, over the high wall in right-center at Angel Stadium. Estrada collected the first two hits of his career, going 2-for-4.

Despite no RBI’s, Brett Gardner went off for a huge four hit night. His first hit came in the third inning, a triple to right-center. In the fifth, he singled to left before doubling to left-center in the seventh. In his final at-bat, he was just a home run away from the cycle, but instead singled for a second time.

Gleyber Torres also added two hits and an RBI, and Mike Tauchman and Tyler Wade each had a hit.

Green needs to go

Chad Green is struggling. A lot.

He managed to load the bases, then proceeded to give up a grand slam on a change-up right down the middle to Justin Bour. His ERA is now 16.43. Green needs to work out his problems in AAA, because he keeps getting put in low-leverage situations then quickly makes them high-leverage situations b y giving up runs. He continues to have an inability of getting outs.

Luis Cessa relieved Green and pitched the remainder of the eighth scoreless, and Zack Britton pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save of the year.

Chad Green came in for German, after he pitched 6 and 2/3 great innings.

He gave up just four hits and walked one, giving up a lone run. He threw 99 pitches and struck out five, throwing first pitch strikes to 14 of the 25 batters he faced.

German got nine swings and misses, and worked seven ground-balls and eight fly-balls. The young right-hander picked up his fourth win of the season, and sits near the top of the American League in ERA at 1.75.

Jonathan Loaisiga was brought up Monday night and was expected to start Tuesday, but was pushed back and will start on Wednesday.  Felix Pena will likely start for the Angels. Game time is at 10:05PM (ET) on MLB Network, YES, and Fox Sports Go.

 

New York Knicks: Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker?

Kyrie Irving Or Kemba Walker?  That is the question.

With the Knicks having the most cap space in the NBA for the upcoming summer, they are targeting Kevin Durant. After they hopefully sign Durant, they will still have enough cash to throw at one more big name free agent. A lot of people assume that second free agent will be Kyrie Irving. But will it, or should it be Kemba Walker?

Kyrie

Kyrie Irving is an enigma for many. Some consider him a great player. Some consider him a great player, but a cancer to the locker room. The 1st pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, now 27 years old, has averaged over 23 points per game this past regular season. Irving is known as a scorer, who does not play the best defense. He is also known as a great friend of Kevin Durant. So, if Irving does not land in New York, does that mean Durant won’t either?

Irving has had a slew of injuries over the past few years.  Even being injury prone, he will command a max contract from his next team. Which begs the question, is Irving worth a max contract?  While he may be a great scorer, his defense and injury report leaves something to be desired.

Kemba

Kemba Walker, the hometown hero. Drafted 9 picks after Irving, Kemba Walker, the Bronx native has been with the Charlotte Hornets ever since. For his career, Walker is averaging a hair under 20 points a game. But this season, Walker upped his scoring to 25.6 points a game, to go along with 5.9 assists. He can put the ball in the bucket, and is a better team player then Irving. However, Walker is also older, and not as big of a superstar as Irving is.

If Walker is the one to sign with the Knicks, then there is a chance Durant would not sign with the Knicks.  Since Irving won’t be running point for the Knicks. Does it make sense to spurn the hometown, New York native, so that Kevin Durant is a Knick next season?

Decisions, Decisions…

What if the Knicks don’t sign Irving or Walker. As of April 23rd, Frank Ntilikina, Emmanuel Mudiay and Dennis Smith Jr. are still on the team.  And Mudiay is also a restricted free agent. With the abundance of point guards for New York, does it make the most sense to let Smith Jr. and Ntilikina run the point?  Or do they spend the money somewhere else, like at shooting guard?

Is a starting five of Irving, Damyean Dotson, Kevin Knox, Durant, and Mitchell Robinson better then a Smith Jr., Klay Thompson, Kevin Knox, Durant, and Robinson? These are some big questions the Knicks will have to think about over the next few months.

New York Giants: Quinnen Williams, Josh Allen, Devin White all on the Board – Who do the Giants Take?

Should the New York Giants take Devin White with the 6th overall pick if he's available?

Here’s a hypothetical question that is far from reality but a genuine dilemma for the New York Giants. What position should be prioritized if a defensive prospect is at the top of the draft board?

Let’s consider this wild scenario – Quinnen Williams, Josh Allen, and Devin White are all available. What player do the Giants take, and why? The answer will give us a little insight into what position is void of premium talent and who has the most potential for success.

What does Quinnen Williams offer the New York Giants?

Williams was a monster interior defender for Alabama in 2018, displaying elite strength and agility off the line. His ability to beat offensive linemen is impressive – using quick bursts and great hand placement. The major knock against him is his lack of mass and length which could show up at the NFL level.

A single season of top-tier production thrust him into the national spotlight, but his positives are clear. Williams has Pro Bowl talent, but he’s not the most proven player of the three options stated above. However, he would fit in perfectly on the Giants’ defensive line – DC James Bettcher utilizes a 3-4 defense and having an exceptional down lineman with the ability to rush the passer would benefit the defense as a whole.

Lining up alongside Dalvin Tomlinson and B.J. Hill would make the front three one of the more underrated groups in the league.

2.) Devin White

The LSU linebacker is one of the most polished players in the draft – so much so, I simply cannot find a knock on him. He’s physical, fast, agile, and is a natural born leader. The only thing I could say is drafting a linebacker at No. 6 is a bit high, but a player if White’s caliber is simply too enticing.

In addition to all of these positives, he has a proven track record and is extremely efficient on the football field. White has earned over 120 tackles in two consecutive seasons and has 7.5 sacks combined to sweeten the deal. He wouldn’t replace Olivier Vernon’s production by any means, but pairing him with Alec Ogletree would immediately make the middle of the defense the strong point and increase the efficiency of the unit altogether.

White could be the most sure-fire player in the draft.

3.) Josh Allen

Allen would be a ‘perfect’ fit for the Giants in the 3-4 scheme. As an outside linebacker, Allen has the speed, length, and height to dominate offensive tackles at the next level and replace Vernon with ease. He’s also solid in coverage which improves his draft stock even more.

Earning 17 sacks and 21.5 tackles for a loss in 2018 only promotes Allen’s abilities even further. Coming from a  smaller school helped him gain recognition. My only reservation is that he didn’t perform particularly well against better teams.

Combining his efforts against Georgia and Texas A&M – 5 solo tackles, 0 sacks. If he cannot produce against greater teams, it puts a question mark on his abilities at the NFL level. However, it’s possible they managed to scheme him out of the game and forced other playmakers on Kentucky to step up, which they clearly failed to do. A minor reservation in regard to Allen, but I believe he will be a great talent at the next level nonetheless.

The final decision:

With these three options on the board, I would go ahead and select Devin White. Why? Because he’s the most proven and has performed exceptionally well against better teams in college football. Additionally, he’s a superb leader with the ability to elevate the play of the players around him. Taking him at No. 6 is more than justified. Given Williams and Allen are likely better fitted for the Giants, this goes to show how talented the defensive crop is in the 2019 NFL draft.