Should The New York Giants Trade Evan Engram In The Offseason?

New York Giants, Evane Engram

The New York Giants are at a crossroads with Evan Engram.

In the early season it looked like Engram was going to be one of the top weapons on the team, as a tight end who can also run routes downfield and put pressure on opposing defenses by essentially acting as another receiver.

Many projected Engram to be one of the top targets going into the season and with Sterling Shepard concussed in week two and Golden Tate starting the season out on a suspension, there was a time this year when Engram was the top receiver by the numbers.

However, injury has disrupted that, and Engram has ended up battling injuries all season long even after a decent enough start. At this point, even if Engram comes back in the next couple of weeks, there’s only a limited number of games left and there’s a large chance that this is considered a lost season for the player either way.

Many players struggle with injuries at various times but it’s a recurring thing for Engram – in fact, one of the main storylines around Engram entering the season was whether or not he could recover from last season’s injury. Instead of doing that, he’s been wrapped up in more problems and it’s not even known yet if he’ll appear in the team’s next matchup.

The situation will force the Giants to ask a crucial question in the offseason.

Will they have some faith in Engram or will they trade him before his value drops lower?

One could compare Engram’s situation to that of New England tight end Rob Gronkowski – both are pass catching tight ends who present value as offensive threats, but have struggled with numerous injuries. Both players have missed large amounts of time while hurt but the difference between them is that Engram hasn’t presented as much value to the Giants as Gronkowski did to the Patriots.

Engram is the younger player, of course, which will play into the decision the Giants make. There’s still potential for Engram to improve his game and make himself worth keeping, but waiting on that potential to develop is a gamble, both because of Engram’s injuries and certain things which have hindered his development, such as his catching skills which could use improvement.

Other teams, though, might see a value in Engram even if he does have his problems. For now, at least. Another poor season would likely cause is trade stock to dip dramatically. Having back to back poor seasons after a strong rookie year isn’t going to instill confidence in GMs about a player, after all.

But pass catching tight ends are valuable in the largely passing based modern NFL, and there may be some team out there willing to take a gamble on one and give the Giants something worthy in return.

Whether that’s a draft pick, another player, or both remains to be seen, although the latter would be harder to get from most other teams based on Engram’s recent slump and injury problems.

But if the Giants do receive an offer, it looks like it would be wise to accept it at this point – Engram does have potential, but the last couple of seasons leave too many question marks around his future performance.

Keeping him would be a gamble, and the Giants may just be better off letting someone else take that gamble for them rather than potentially ending up with a player that underperforms as a part of the rebuilt offense of the future due to not being able to stay on the field or catch consistently.

New York Mets have interest in Robinson Chirinos and Drew Butera

Will the New York Mets pursue Robinson Chirinos in free agency?

The Mets are looking to be active in the catching market, and have identified Chirinos and Butera as early targets.

According to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, the Mets are targeting Robinson Chirinos and Drew Butera as backup catcher options.

The Mets were expected to be buyers in the catcher market, so that doesn’t come as a surprise. What does come as a surprise is who they have chosen to target. Chirinos is going to be 36-years old in 2020 and is coming off the best season in his career. Those things don’t usually mix well. Chirinos is also a poor defensive catcher, he ranks below average in both pitch framing and pop time. Though, he did put up 3 DRS in 2019, the highest in his career. He put up a staggering -11 DRS in 2018.

For a Mets team that has been awful defensively targeting a poor defensive catcher would be a huge mistake. The upside is that Chirinos has been a consistently good offensive catcher. Over each of the last four seasons, Chirinos has put up a wRC+ over 100 in every year. Last season he put up a wRC+ of 113 for the Astros.

He does this despite a poor batting average and an incredibly high strikeout rate. He excels with his power and his ability to take a walk. He had a .790 OPS last season, and he has never had an OPS under .750 in his career. If the Mets are looking for a bat off the bench at catcher Chirinos would fit the bill.

However, it’s more likely that Chirinos would be able to find a starting job somewhere else coming off the year he had last season. Even if he did take a backup job, his poor defense would make him a poor choice for a Mets team desperate for defense.

Drew Butera is likely more of a depth option. Butera put up -0.4 fWAR in 2019. He hasn’t posted a positive fWAR since 2016. He’s not an MLB caliber player by any stretch. He’s especially poor defensively where he hasn’t put up a positive DRS since 2014.

He’s a player who shouldn’t even be on the Mets radar. Yet, for some reason he is. signing Butera to anything other than a minor league deal would be a massive mistake.

Whatever, the Mets end up doing it does look like they will be bringing in a new backup catcher this winter.

How The New York Giants Can Land Chase Young

The New York Giants are 2-8 and on the verge of being officially eliminated from playoff contention. The Giants have no meaningful games left to play, so fans are already looking ahead to the draft.

The 2020 NFL Draft will be an exciting one for Giants fans. New York currently holds the third overall pick in the draft and will almost certainly finish with a top ten pick regardless of what happens in December. There is one main prospect that the Giants should be looking to target: Chase Young.

Young is a dominant edge-rusher from Ohio State University. In 2019, Chase has recorded 13.5 sacks in only eight games. He has also forced an insane five fumbles, as well as racking up 15.5 tackles for loss. This is historic production through 8 games. According to Pro Football Focus, Young’s 13.5 sacks are “are the most by any defender through the first nine weeks of a college football season since Carl Nassib had the same amount in 2015.”

The Ohio State standout would be a perfect draft selection for the New York Giants. But it is not guaranteed that the Giants will land the generational pass-rusher. To land Chase Young, here are some scenarios that will have to play out in the Giants’ favor:

Washington Takes An Offensive Tackle

If the season ended today, the New York Giants would hold the third overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The division-rival Washington Redskins would hold the second overall pick. It is a legitimate possibility that the Redskins take Chase Young, crushing Giants’ fans hopes and dreams. Do not worry, though; the Giants would still land a superstar prospect.

There is no guarantee that the Redskins would take Young if they had the chance. Any team could use a generational pass-rusher, but Washington has a much more prominent position of need. The Washington Redskins desperately need an offensive tackle.

Two offensive tackle prospects could end up being top ten-selected players. Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas and Iowa tackle Tristan Wirfs are two prospects that the Redskins might value more than any edge-rusher. When considering that Washington drafted an edge in the first round of last year’s draft (Montez Sweat), it is not crazy to believe they might elect to pass on Young in favor of a tackle prospect.

On top of that, veteran left tackle Trent Williams’s time in Washington is coming to a close. A gross medical mishap with the team doctors has pushed Williams off the field and probably away from the Redskins. Their relationship seems beyond repair at this point. But the Giants don’t have to rely on Williams and Washington’s broken relationship to draft Chase Young.

The Giants Get The Second Pick

The Giants do not necessarily need to hope and pray that a team skips on Chase Young in order to draft him. New York could end up with a top-two pick on their own.

The Giants have three tough games coming out of their bye week. This week they will travel to Chicago to play the Bears’ strong defense. Then the 8-2 Packers will travel to New Jersey to spray canned cheese on Big Blue. After that, the Giants have a chance to get embarrassed on primetime again as they travel to Philadelphia to play the Eagles on a Monday night.

After these three games, though, the schedule softens up significantly. In Week 15, the Giants will host the 2-8 Dolphins in a real tankathon matchup. After that, the tank war continues. The Giants travel to Washington in Week 16, which could end up being the Chase Young Bowl, where the loser of this game ends up with the higher pick and first dibs on the Ohio State product.

If the Giants lose to the Redskins, they will likely secure themselves a higher pick than Washington. The first overall pick is more likely than not going to be a quarterback drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals. But that coveted second pick could and should be Chase Young, hopefully to the Giants, whether that be through a few more embarrassing losses or potential draft-day trade.

The Giants Trade-Up

So what if the Giants beat the Dolphins, Redskins, and maybe one or two other games between now and the end of the season? In that scenario, the Giants likely end up with a pick towards the back of the top ten, maybe even a few picks outside of it. So then how would New York be able to land Chase Young?

A trade would allow the Giants to move up to draft Chase Young. Granted, this would be a very pricey trade, but for Chase Young, it will probably be worth it. The kid totaled 13.5 sacks in 8 games this year. He would be a team-changing player for the Giants.

The last time the Giants took an edge rusher with the second overall pick, they got a team-changing, game-winning, Hall of Fame player: Lawrence Taylor. Now, I’m not comparing Chase Young to Lawrence Taylor by any means; no one can be compared to the greatest player of all time. But Chase Young has the potential to be a top pass-rusher in the league, and that would go a long way in rebuilding the Giants’ bottom-five defense.

So yes, this trade would be pricey. In fact, the Giants would probably have to sacrifice their 2021 first-round draft pick for Chase Young. Some might support that move, and some might consider it to be too much for one player. But it is an option the Giants could consider, and after failing their attempts to trade up for Josh Allen in the 2019 NFL Draft, it would not be shocking to see Dave Gettleman move up for Chase Young.

New York Mets: Keon Broxton Year in Review

When the New York Mets acquired Keon Broxton, it seemed like the fourth outfielder they needed. Broxton never found his stride, was hitting below his weight and was cut before June.

The Mets acquired Broxton from the Brewers in exchange for three minor leaguers, including relief pitcher Bobby Wahl. He made a name for himself in Milwaukee with his superb speed and outfield defense but was always held back by his inability to hit consistently. Broxton’s bat also had plenty of power, but could not figure out how to put the ball in play.

No Change in New York

Broxton started 4-for-9 (.444) in April but failed to find any success after. He finished his Mets career going 3-for-40 (.075). The Mets relegated him to pinch-running and defensive replacement duty during his final days with the team. In his 49 at-bats he struck out in 22 of them, with the final one coming with the bases loaded against the Nationals. The Mets had a chance to tie after scoring two runs in the ninth, but Broxton went down against Sean Doolittle.

Broxton was designated for assignment the following day since his bat was continuously getting worse. He added four stolen bases and was a good defender during his time with the Mets, but it was time for them to go in separate ways.

The move proved to be a smart one of the Mets. He bounced around from the Orioles to the Mariners and finished the year hitting .174. He will have to latch on to minor league deals to continue his career after three Mets pitchers had better averages than him this year.

Grades:

Hitting for Average: F, I had more confidence in watching Steven Matz or Jacob deGrom hit.

Hitting for Power: F, No home runs and one double.

Defense: A+, Undoubtedly, where he excels.

Speed/Baserunning: A-, 4-for-5 in stolen base attempts and was a good speed guy to have off the bench

Intangibles: C-, Seemed like the odd man out in the dugout when he continued to struggle.

Overall: F, Just a poor season. Could be a horrible trade if the Brewers get anything from the prospects.

New York Jets WR Jamison Crowder is Having a Quietly Great Season

New York Jets, Jamison Crowder

Jamison Crowder was one of the first free agents the Jets signed in 2019. So, far Crowder is overperforming his contract.

When Jamison Crowder signed his free agent contract with the Jets fans weren’t happy. They saw the big price tag and thought the Jets had overpaid. After all, they were paying Crowder the 26th highest salary of any WR in the NFL. A mark that made no sense based on his production in 2018.

Crowder currently ranks 36th in the NFL this season in receiving yards. However, that number is misleading. Crowder has spent three games away from his starting QB, a three-game stretch that saw him put up a combined 75. With Sam Darnold in the lineup, Crowder has averaged 69.5 yards per game. That’s a staggering difference.

Crowder is on pace to for 85 receptions and 899 receiving yards, both of those would be career-highs. He would need to average 73 yards per game to hit 1,000 yards this season. Crowder has over 75 yards in each of his last three games. his connection with Darnold is real, and it’s very possible that it leads to a 1,000-yard receiving season. Only 21 receivers broke 1,000 yards last year. The last Jet to have a 1,000-yard in a season was Brandon Marshall in 2015.

Crowder has also, been amongst the most clutch receivers in the NFL. Crowder has 14 first down reception on third down this year. That’s tied for seventh in the league with Stefon Diggs, Chris Godwin, DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones, George Kittle, James White, and Tyrell Williams. He’s only one first down reception on third down shy of Michael Thomas. Crowder is also on pace to set a career-high in total first down receptions with 43.

What really makes this remarkable is how consistent Crowder has been this year. Crowder doesn’t have a single 100-yard receiving game this season, yet he has a real possibility of breaking 1,000 yards. Crowder also has at least two receptions in every game this season. He has at least three receptions in every game he’s played with Darnold this year.

He’s also still on 26 years of. By the time his Jets contract ends he’ll only be entering his age 29 season. Crowder is slowly creeping into the conversation of best slot receivers in the NFL, and he’s only getting better.

Could The New York Giants Target a Wide Receiver in Round 1?

When Dave Gettleman and the New York Giants sent Odell Beckham Jr. packing some thought it would break the offense, but it hasn’t seemed to have much of an impact. Daniel Jones is doing a great job as far as passing with 15 passing touchdowns in 8 games, per football-reference. So what should be appealing about drafting a wide receiver in the first round?

Track Record

When trying to figure out what a General Manager will do, his track record is more important than what any of us think is most logical. Dave Gettleman has now been a General Manager in the NFL for 7 seasons and has left us a large sample-size of 1st round selections to analyze.

Of the 9 first-round selections he’s made, here are the positions he has invested in:

  • Quarterback
  • Running Back
  • Linebacker
  • Defensive Tackle
  • Cornerback
  • Wide Receiver

Notice how he’s never drafted a pass-rusher or offensive tackle in the first round. The two positions most fans are calling for most. The running backs he selected were both top-10 picks in the draft.

Gettleman’s Draft Philosophy

Dave Gettleman hasn’t been afraid to disregard positional value in the past. When asked about feeling pressed to draft certain positions he has responded with “not forcing it” and “drafting the best overall talent.”

Dave Gettleman passing on a quarterback for Saquon Barkley should say everything about how Dave Gettleman wants the best possible player, rather than filling important team-needs.

Special Wide Receiver Class

It’s hard to disregard wide receiver prospects like Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb. Both are considered to be “blue-chip” or “do-it-all” wide receiver prospects. Both are also considered to be some of the best overall draft-eligible prospects.

When speaking to NFL Draft scout Brad Kelly he told me: “Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs are at the top my board in overall talent.” Indicating many see wide receiver not only as a deep position but one that contains the very best players in the 2020 draft class.

While another wide receiver isn’t the largets need, there’s a good chance Dave Gettleman and the New York Giants see the best player in the draft at wide receiver. He’s made it clear in the past he drafts the best player first and figures out what he needs later. If Chase Young is unavailable to Dave Gettleman on draft day, don’t be surprised if he drafts a wide receiver.

 

 

 

 

 

The Yankees must keep Miguel Andujar for one significant reason

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

With speculation that the Yankees will look to deal third baseman Miguel Andujar this offseason, it’s justifiable to analyze his value. Andujar is coming off a season on the injured list after a torn labrum, a serious injury that will require plenty of recovery time.

“I’m definitely getting a lot of interest in Miguel Andujar while I’m sitting down here,” Cashman told ESPN Radio on Wednesday while in Scottsdale, Ariz., for the MLB GM Meetings. “I’ve got clubs asking me, ‘What are you going to do with him? We’d have an interest in him. Mark us down.’”

The youth product’s value undoubtedly took a hit from his spell on the injured list, and that’s the primary reason general manager Brian Cashman shouldn’t consider trading him away. Allowing him to return and show he can replicate his rookie season is the ideal scenario for the Yankees.

Best case scenario, Andujar develops into the team’s everyday third baseman, and worst case, he can be used as trade bait next offseason with a full-campaign of productivity and statistics under his belt. This will give Cashman more value to work with and allow him to pursue other top players.

The Yankees can expand on Andujar’s value:

From an objectional standpoint, Andujar’s cost isn’t only low because of his injury, but Gio Urshela also factors in. Urshela resembles a regular starter on the hot-corner for the Bombers, and that lowers Miguel’s value as well. Teams know the Yankees don’t necessarily need Andujar and will utilize that reality to drive down his price.

With Andujar’s defensive struggles playing a part, Cashman mentioned the idea of moving him around in the infield to test different scenarios. This could be a good idea, but the Yankees have answers at nearly every position. Shortstop is filled with Gleyber Torres or a free agent, DJ LeMahieu houses second base, and first base will likely rotate between Luke Voit and Mike Ford.

Third base is the only realistic option for Andujar, and that’s where he should continue to develop. However, Urshela’s defensive prowess places significant value on his head, but that shouldn’t deter Cashman from holding onto Andujar for at least one more season in an attempt to increase his value. If his bat comes to life next year, the trade deadline could be an excellent place to start shopping.

New York Mets: Luis Guillorme Year in Review

The slick-fielding Luis Guillorme received the same amount of playing time he earned in 2018 for the New York Mets. He improved his pinch-hitting and made the most of his minimal opportunities in the big leagues. For the third straight season, he will head into Spring Training as a fringe roster guy.

Guillorme started the season on the opening day roster but was optioned twice before the month ended. He was only 3-for-18 (.167) in April, and all of those hits were singles. Guillorme received a doubleheader call up on June 11 but was not formally back on the roster until July 3.

On the Roster, But Barely Used

At that point, he was on the roster for about three weeks but only received four at-bats. All of them were pinch-hitting opportunities and only recorded one hit. Guillorme ended up being sent back down on July 18. When August came around, Guillorme finally returned to the big leagues because of Robinson Cano’s hamstring injury.

Guillorme seemed to figure things out with the bat in his third opportunity of the season. From August 3 to the rest of the season, he was 11-for-39 (.282) and had a .462 slugging percentage, which is almost double of what it was for his career. He even hit his first career home run, which was a big pinch-hit home run against the Washington Nationals.

In limited opportunities, Guillorme was solid on defense and turned nine double plays in 33 innings at second base. He turned two in 48.2 innings at shortstop. His late-season showing on offense, along with his stability on defense, should put him in an excellent spot to make the roster next season.

Grades:

Hitting for Average: C-, His bat seemed to get quicker towards the end of the season

Hitting for Power: D+, .361 slugging percentage is over 100 points better than last season

Defense: B-, Versatile defender, only one error in just under 100 innings

Speed/Baserunning: C? Did not attempt to steal any bases and did not have enough opportunities to distinguish himself

Intangibles: A, No reason to give him anything less. A good teammate who others embraced

Overall: C, Nothing amazing from him, but played the way we expected him to. Hopefully, he adds more power for 2020

New York Giants Bye Week Analysis: A Fan’s Perspective

New York Giants, Pat Shurmur

The bye week came and went – and it was a thankful reprieve for not just the New York Giants team but also the fans. Without proper perspective, this season could be a hard one to stomach for a lot of Giants fans.

Let’s let the therapy begin:

Work in progress

The Giants season was dependent on staying healthy on the offensive side, and how quickly the young defense could develop, jell, and get on the same page. Both proved to be an issue early in the season.

The defense faced three main challenges: Young players adjusting to the speed of the NFL, many needing to learn a new complex defense, and communicating and developing chemistry with new teammates. NFL offenses try to be proactive – dictating to the defense what they’re going to do. NFL defenses, most of the time, are reactive – needing to continually react and adjust to what the offense is doing on the fly. It’s underrated how vital communication is on the defensive side. That takes time.

There’s “tweaking,” there’s “needing improvements,” and there’s “going back to the drawing board.” This defense early on showed it wasn’t going to be able to be competitive. Frankly, it’s a work in progress. Normally I would view that as a huge problem. But let’s be honest, once the WRs started to drop, the defense was non-existent, and the rookie QB Daniel Jones came in for Eli, the season shifted from a “hopeful best-case scenario” to full-blown developmental season mode.

Once that happened, I no longer viewed this season as about wins and losses. It was about the development of its rookies and its other young players – including 2nd-year players OLB Lorenzo Carter, DL B.J. Hill, DE R.J. Mcintosh, and CB Sam Beal. But most importantly, the development and maturity of rookie QB Daniel Jones.

Expect 6-8 weeks for delivery

On a week to week basis, I’m not overly heartbroken if the Giants lose. Like I said earlier, that’s not what this season is about. It’s about seeing improvement with the Giants’ young players. Deciding which players you can build around, which players can be good supplemental pieces, and which players aren’t part of the answer.

In shipping, there’s a saying: It’s better to under-promise and over-deliver than over-promise and under-deliver. You ever see “expect 6-8 weeks for delivery”, but your package comes in 3 weeks? You’re pleasantly surprised. If they said: “expect 1-2 weeks for delivery”, and your package arrives in 3 weeks, your expectation is different, and your reaction is much different.

We’re at a point in time now as Giants fans where we need to understand what stage we’re at in building a winning organization. We need to temper expectations. Don’t focus too much on wins and losses – but on individual player progress and development. When looking at upgrading NFL rosters, the hope is some of that upgrade comes from your roster in the improvement of current players. Especially when you have a lot of young players, let’s not forget that and focus on progress – not necessarily the win and losses. There are always 31 disappointed NFL fanbases every year. The goal is always to win a Super Bowl. Let’s keep perspective.

The good

Daniel Jones. Daniel Jones is good. We can’t get too crazy when it comes to making assessments of young QBs – good or bad – but so far, so very good with Daniel Jones. He’s checking every box, and so far, he appears to be a future franchise quarterback (FQB). Some say his ceiling is Matt Ryan. I think its higher than that. Think Ryan’s pocket skill, but with open space scrambling ability, and a Manning-like preparation, professionalism, and perfectionism. Picking the next FQB was Dave Gettleman’s number one goal as Giants GM, and it appears he nailed it. This alone makes this season, not a waste. Daniel has some flaws, too – but I see them as fixable. I wrote about them in an article that will be posted in a few days.

Dexter Lawrence looks like a force on the defensive line. A player you can build around. He has shown the ability to stop the run and push the pocket on passing downs. A necessary skill set when creating a defensive line. Ryan Connelly proved to be a steal in the 5th round at MLB. It was a shame he tore his ACL. Let’s hope when he comes back, he’ll be able to make the impact we saw before his injury. Oshane Ximines hasn’t jumped off the page, but he’s shown some pass-rushing flashes that you can build upon.

Darius Slayton has shown some ability to be a playmaker as a WR. We know about his speed to stretch the field, and he’s shown some agility and route-running ability. His hands have gotten more consistent, as well. Still not to the level I’m comfortable with, and I feel he catches the ball with his body still a little too much –but he’s part of the individual progress I’m talking about.

Will Hernandez is solidifying his place as the LG of the future, as well as Kevin Zeitler at RG. Second-year pro Nick Gates held his own in his start against the Jets. I like Gates’ makeup as an offensive lineman. He’s well-built and well-proportioned, moves well, smart, has shown the ability to be versatile, and is a hard worker. It says something when you get thrown into action for the first time and play well. It shows ability, but most importantly, it shows preparation and professionalism. Let’s see what Gates does at right tackle for the rest of the season. Perhaps the Giants found an answer there moving forward. Jabrill Peppers, a product of the OBJ trade, has shown a propensity to make plays. He’s a high energy, versatile, impact playmaker. Any successful defense needs playmakers and players like Peppers. I feel if the Giants pair him with a more athletic free safety, that will allow Peppers to flourish even more.

The not so good

DeAndre Baker hasn’t been quite as good as hoped so far. He has talent, we’ve seen that. But he’s also looked lost out there at times. It’s recently come out that perhaps Baker didn’t approach his profession as studiously as he should have. Relying more on a natural ability in college rather than preparation. In the NFL, natural talent isn’t enough. The successful players accept it as a profession and put in the work. If not, they don’t become successful – and, eventually, get phased out of the league. It’s disappointing that was his initial approach, but I respect his honesty and openness. Hopefully, we can chalk that up as immaturity and a lesson learned. Let’s judge him now on how he finishes the season.

Aldrick Rosas seems to have come back down to earth a little bit from his Pro Bowl performance last year. Rosas has talent, he has a great leg, but being a Pro Bowl-caliber kicker is about consistency. We’ve all made the green after a drive in the fairway once in a while. But what makes professional golfers the best in the world? Consistency. They can do it almost every time. Rosas needs to make 95% of his extra points, 90% of his field-goal attempts 52 yards and under, and 70% of his kicks 53 yards and over if he wants to be upper echelon. Other than that, he’s just another kicker. Right now, he’s 8 of 10, his long is 36 yards, and he’s missed three extra points. He needs to be better.

Grant Haley is a heckuva tackler. But that’s kind of it.

So, no love for Julian Love? This has been a point of frustration for some fans. Why is Julian Love not seeing the field? Well, let me try to make sense of it. Since Love came to the Giants, he’s been learning multiple spots: free safety, nickel corner, and even some outside corner. My guess is they envision him in a sort of versatile, Tyrann Mathieu role from Bettcher’s Arizona Cardinals days. Learning one spot in James Bettcher’s defense is hard enough. Three, I’m guessing takes some time. To be on the field, you need to know what you’re doing. But let’s hope that time comes soon. This is a developmental year; the idea is to take a look at the young players.

This is looking like a lost season for Sterling Shepard. Dealing with multiple concussions, he’s missed 6 of 10 games, and it’s unsure how the rest of the season will play out. This isn’t Shep’s fault. It’s just unfortunate for a player that just got a new contract and is part of the future plans of the Giants. I like his skill set and what he brings to the Giants. Let’s hope moving forward; this is behind him, and he is the impact player he can be.

Evan Engram. He hasn’t been bad, but this year hasn’t been what we hoped. Before the season, I had him as my “Prove it Year” guy. Not because he’s not talented, but because the Giants are going to need to decide on Engram soon, and he needs to prove two things: That his drop issues are behind him and that he can stay healthy and productive for an entire year. Be that mismatch guy that can be an offensive game-changer. Although he does have the occasional drop, I don’t view his drops as big an issue as it was in the past. Engram has worked hard on that, and it’s shown to have an impact. Engram has missed two games this year after missing five last year. Although on the surface, two games may not seem like a lot, there are many games that Engram plays hurt and far less than 100%, which limits his effectiveness on the field. The games where Engram is 100%, versus the games he’s not, is noticeable. It’s not merely how many games you play; it’s how effective is the player when he does play. I like Evan; I’m rooting for him. I hope he gets healthy and tears it up for the rest of the season.

What happened to Saquon?

I won’t get too deep into this. He hasn’t “regressed.” He didn’t forget how to run the football from last year when he won OROY and gained over 2000 yards from scrimmage. First, let’s be honest. Eli at QB presents a better platform for Saquon. Eli played under center more than Daniel Jones (who’s almost strictly shotgun), and this allows Saquon to gather momentum and approach the hole in a rhythm and cutback if necessary. The same thing was said with Adrian Peterson. In a way, Shurmur is sacrificing Saquon’s comfort for Daniel’s comfort. Eli also is better at reading the defense, establishing protections, and getting the offense, and subsequently, Saquon in the right play. Daniel Jones will get better at this, but he’s not on the same level as Eli.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, he’s far from 100%. A high ankle sprain can make cutting and anchoring difficult. Saquon can still be useful because he’s a physical freak, but he’s not 100%. Once Saquon gets 100% healthy, and perhaps Shurmur works Daniel into more under center looks, Saquon will be back.

What’s up with Shurmur?

So, this seems to be the popular topic of conversation among Giants circles lately. First, I’ll start with I like Shurmur, and I don’t have a problem with how he deals with the New York sports media. Ask stupid questions, get stupid answers. I’m philosophically and fundamentally on the same page with him when it comes to football, the importance of the offensive line, and the traits and characteristics you want in a quarterback. He’s made some questionable in-game decisions – but that’s not what I’m most worried about.

Remember Ben McAdoo? I try not to, but occasionally I can’t help it. He was hired as head coach because of his “offensive system.” It turns out; he was a slicked back hair snake oil salesman, and his system was garbage. Not only was his system garbage, but he was also so in love with his garbage system that he was unwilling to change it, adjust it, or adapt it. Now I’m not putting Shurmur in the same category as McAdoo – he’s in his own category.  But I want a creative offensive mind. That views his players as chess pieces, and that can adapt a system based on those chess pieces — not just pieces to plug into their system and hope it works out.

The best coordinators adapt based on the environment. They don’t say “this is my system” and give me the personnel to run it. Yes, sometimes that works. But that can be rigid and specific. Bill Belichick essentially comes up with a new defensive scheme every week if need be. Andy Reid comes up with new plays every week if need be. I see a lot of the same things from Shurmur over and over that don’t seem to work. Similar plays. Similar concepts. I understand he has a system that has worked for him in the past. But Shurmur needs to be more creative in changing things up and using his offensive personnel in the best possible spots. Don’t simply react to the defense. Be creative, proactive, dictate to the defense, and force the defense to react to you.

Saquon is a generational talent. I understand he got injured, so it’s hard to make an accurate evaluation from the outside. But if Saquon isn’t providing the same production as Christian McCaffrey, with a similar dominate run/pass skillset, then something is wrong. This is an example of having a generational offensive talent and utilizing some offensive creativity to ensure he produces like a generational talent. Now, this year may be a wash because of Saquon’s ankle, but if he’s not getting 2000 yards from scrimmage every year, there needs to be some self-scouting on the offensive coaching side. For reference, McCaffrey is on pace for 2,522 yards from scrimmage this year.

I don’t think Shurmur will be fired after this season, nor should he be. This is about Daniel Jones and maintaining a stable environment for him to grow, mature, and develop his first years in the league. In my opinion, it takes four years for a young QB to learn and mature in the NFL before they become that FQB that can navigate the playoffs and win a Super Bowl. There are outliers – but they are the exceptions, not the rule. The Giants aren’t about 2020. It’s more like 2021 and 2022. Daniel needs to develop, the rebuild of the OL needs to be completed; the defense needs the draft picks to grow and mature. A team usually needs three straight years of good drafts to be a contender, supplemented with free agents to fill holes. The Giants are a couple of years away. But the last thing the Giants should consider is destabilizing the relationship and the environment created for Daniel Jones – his continued development is a top priority.

Evaluating Shurmur the rest of the season — as I said earlier – shouldn’t be about focusing on wins and losses as the top priority. Focus on his offense and if he’s willing to be creative, adapt, and adjust. I want to see progress on that front. I haven’t lost all faith in Shurmur. Let’s see if Shurmur shows some creativity on offense and which individual Giants players stand out these last six games.

What Should The New York Yankees Do With Greg Bird?

We have forgotten about the existence of Greg Bird in the New York Yankees organization, and time is ticking to make a decision on his future. The Yankees have until December 2nd to make a final decision, but the first deadline is today.

It is the final day to protect players from the Rule 5 draft by putting them on the 40 man roster. They could DFA him and risk losing him in the Rule 5 draft, or keep him on the 40 man for now.

But, they need to decide by December 2nd weather to tender him or not, meaning decide if they want to keep him or release him to free agency.

So what should the Yankees do with him? In my opinion, they should let him walk.

Bird has yet to put up solid numbers with the Yankees and the team has a lot of depth. His career average is .211 in 611 at-bats, and is only really known for his homerun in game three of the 2017 ALDS, a game that the team won 1-0 and staved off elimination from the Cleveland Indians. As we all know, the Yankees won that series and came a game away from the World Series.

There are also several other guys that can play first base for the Yankees. DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit are the obvious ones, Miguel Andujar may shift to first base, and Mike Ford has proven lefty power.

Keeping Greg Bird around would just eat up roster space. He would also be in AAA and probably extremely unhappy. Injuries have been a huge issue for him too, but may thrive on a different team or even overseas.