Are the New York Giants already past their rebuilding window?

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

Every team in the NFL has an expiration date. The New York Giants found that out after their last victory in the Super Bowl during the decline that followed. Even teams regarded as some of the best and most consistent in the league, such as the Patriots, look very different than they did even three to four years ago. The Patriots are third in the AFC East right now. And the Legion of Boom no longer makes up the Seattle Seahawks secondary.

But have the Giants hit the point where cap rules and contracts will break apart their progress towards a rebuild? That may be the case, even if the team does move on from Dave Gettleman as their GM after this season.

The fact of the matter is, the NFL’s rules aren’t designed to keep a team together forever. When a team hits its expiration date, it either has to reload or rebuild. But the Giants already missed their chance to reload – bad roster management and drafting after their last Super Bowl win led to lackluster performance in the years that followed. And the team doesn’t have the assets right now to make moves at the trade deadline aimed at winning now.

The Giants have a crossroads at the trade deadline

There’s been a lot of talk after the Eagles game about how the Giants should move Evan Engram before the trade deadline, but it’s not just about Engram. The team has problems in a number of places and only has so many years to fix them before contracts push them into rebuilding again. The Giants have been in a state of rebuilding since before Gettleman took over as GM, and Gettleman has only continued that process with little success.

They have a couple of options in front of them.

There’s the more painful option of giving up on this current rebuild – including Saquon Barkley, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2023. And likely, on others such as Daniel Jones. Not because Jones is a bad quarterback, but because he’s a major piece from Gettleman’s rebuild. This is the ‘tanking for Trevor Lawrence’ option. But if the Giants do pull the plug on this team earlier, they have a better chance of improving quicker with high draft picks and a new front office.

On the other hand, they can continue to see if this group of players will win. But they run the risk of falling into the trap of mediocrity even if they do improve in the coming years. That is, rebuilding slowly and becoming a middling, but not contending, team. After falling into this trap, it’s easy for a team to crash back down to Earth once free agency and retirements break up the core of their talent.

It’s hard to know which route the Giants are leaning towards, but we’ll likely have a better idea of it as the trade deadline approaches and they make moves.

Alex Rodriguez ‘had a plan to save New York Mets’, including a payroll increase

New York Yankees, Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez, the former New York Yankees’ star, and his fiancée Jennifer Lopez had a plan to acquire the New York Mets. The Wilpons, who had owned the franchise since 2002, put the team on sale and the “J-Rod” combo was a finalist to end up with exclusive negotiating rights.

However, their attempt was unsuccessful in the end, as hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen, a lifelong New York Mets’ fan, entered an agreement with the Wilpons and is now on his way to finalize a deal to own the club.

While Cohen’s deep pockets represent a glimpse of hope for Mets’ fans that their team could eventually become a perennial contender in the National League, Rodriguez claims he had a plan to save the team, one that included an increased payroll.

Rodriguez talked to Newsday, and said:

“The Mets were a team I grew up watching. I thought that the Mets did — and do — have an opportunity to be one of the great franchises around the world, with an incredible fan base, and we were really excited to take payroll from like $150 [million] to $225 [million] and bring a championship back to the city of New York. What I learned is that these national treasures [sports franchises] are coveted very badly.”

Cohen is expected to be the new Mets’ owner

MLB’s ownership committee approved the sale to Cohen earlier this week, but to be considered the new Mets’ owner, Cohen needs to gain approval from at least 23 of the remaining 29 ownership groups. It should happen in November.

The final numbers of the Mets’ sale are said to be around $2.4 billion. According to Forbes, Cohen’s net worth is at $14.5 billion.

Rodriguez and Lopez had gathered quite the supporting group to his bid, including Washington Wizards star shooting guard Bradley Beal, Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee, former NFL stars Brian Urlacher, Joe Thomas, and DeMarco Murray.

The Mets failed to qualify to the MLB playoffs, but have an impressive core of talented players to make a run in the near future. Jeff McNeil, Jacob deGrom, Michael Conforto, Dominic Smith, David Peterson, Pete Alonso, J.D. Davis, Edwin Diaz and company are still under contract.

New York Giants: Daniel Jones is not the problem

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants, once again, suffered a heart-breaking loss last night. The Giants fought valiantly on the road against Philadelphia but came up short to fall to 1-6 on the season. Meanwhile, the Eagles rise to the top of the division as the Giants fall off to the bottom.

The Giants were leading by 11 points last night with under five minutes left to play. The team had a quick meltdown that saw them blow their lead and lose the game 22-21.

It is easy to point fingers and play the blame game after losses like this. Often times, the quarterback gets the bulk of the blame when NFL teams lose close games. But for the Giants, the quarterback is not to blame this week. Daniel Jones is not the problem with the Giants. In fact, after last night, he looks like the solution.

Expanding the Offense

Daniel Jones is providing the Giants’ offense with a versatility that they have never had out of the quarterback position. New York spent the better part of the last twenty years scheming an offense around an immobile quarterback that could only make plays while standing in a clean pocket.

While Daniel Jones does his best work from a clean pocket, he can make plays happen elsewhere. The young quarterback has sneakily elite athleticism. Jones put his athletic ability on full display last night, ripping off an 80-yard run that put the Giants in scoring position.

That was the longest run by a quarterback in New York Giants history. That run was also longer than any rushing attempt by Saquon Barkley since 2018. Jones’s ability to make plays with his legs is special and allows the Giants to expand their offense and open up the playbook. Jones’s running ability should be treated as a real threat from now on and there should be far more designed quarterback-runs called on gamedays.

Coming Up In The Clutch

When the New York Giants needed their quarterback to mak a play last night, Daniel Jones delivered. Unofortunately, the same cannot be said for Jones’s teammates, which is ultimately why the Giants lost this game.

This season, we have seen Daniel Jones make the same mistake on multiple occasions. We have seen him put together long, 14+ play drives to get his team down in the red zone before throwing a heart-breaking interception. This happened in Week One against Pittsburgh, in Week Four against the Rams, and even in the Week Six win against Washington.

In Week Seven, the Giants put together one of those long drives to get in the red zone. This time, Daniel delivered, connecting  with Sterling Shepard on a touchdown pass to finish off a 15-play, 75-yard drivee.

So Daniel Jones passed one test; he proved he can put together long scoring drives. Check. But Jones was faced with a much more difficult and important test later in this game.

In the fourth quarter with a one possession lead with just over two minutes left in the game, the Giants are driving. Their running game is on point but stalls out. The Giants’ offense finds itself in a third and six, must-convert situation. Daniel Jones has to step up and make a play. Daniel Jones delivers with a perfect pass to Evan Engram down the left sideline.

Dropped. Evan Engram dropped it and the Giants had to punt the football. Philadelphia responds with a scoring drive and the Giants fall to 1-6.

This play changed the narrative of the entire game. If Evan Engram catches this football, fans are not talking about the upcoming “fire sale” at the trade deadline. Instead, fans would be talking about how their young, second-year quarterback marched into the belly of the beast and took down the Giants’ biggest division rival with one clutch play after another to thrust the Giants to the top of the NFC East.

Thursday night’s game should have been Daniel Jones’s coming of age. Not the reminder of the Giants’ impending doom. But if fans extract Daniel Jones’s performance from this game and analyze just the way their quarterback played, they might feel a lot more confident in the direction the team is heading. Daniel Jones had a breakout performance last night that will be forgotten due to the ineptitude of the rest of the New York Giants’ roster. The quarterback position is the lone bright spot, despite the contradictory narrative. Daniel Jones is not the problem. In fact, he just might be the solution.

Yankees: Didi Gregorius doesn’t think they want him back in New York

New York Yankees, Didi Gregorius

After the 2019 season, the New York Yankees chose not to re-sign shortstop Didi Gregorius and handed the keys of the position to Gleyber Torres. Didi, a fan favorite, had defended the Bombers’ uniform for five seasons, from 2015 to 2020, but instead, found a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.

With the Phils, where he played under the tutelage of former New York Yankees’ skipper Joe Girardi, he had a good season. In 60 games, Didi slashed .284/.339/.488 with a .348 wOBA and a 116 wRC+, playing his customary good defense and being an All-Star teammate.

Yankees fans surely miss Gregorius, who was a beloved figure in the late 2010s teams. He appeared on WFAN’s Moose & Maggie show, and spoke about several subjects regarding the Bronx Bombers.

He said that, unfortunately, he doesn’t think the Yankees are interested in bringing him back into the fold.

The Yankees don’t seem too interested in Gregorius

“I don’t think they’ll want me back in New York, to be honest right now,” Didi said. “I think Gleyber Torres is your shortstop. It’s just the one year, and from my understanding, he was hurt for some of it too. Once you get hurt, you take a step back on everything. If he comes back next year fully prepared and ready to go, everything should work smoothly and everything will be fine.”

It’s worth noting that while on the Yankees, Didi had a fantastic relationship with Torres, on and off the field.
On another subject, Gregorius said that the Yankees’ catcher Gary Sanchez could use a change of scenery.

“If he’s still there next year, he’s going to take it personal. If he lost his job, he’s trying to come back and win it; knowing Gary, that’s what he’ll do,” Gregorius said. “I think people don’t think that he tries hard, but he does. He works really hard, but you’ve been hearing all that stuff for years because you play for a big market team. You get labeled quickly in this game, and when you get labeled, you have to prove yourself even more. He may be frustrated with all that though, so he may need a change of scenery.”

New York Giants trade OLB Markus Golden to the Arizona Cardinals

New York Giants, Markus Golden

Well, with the New York Giants dropping to 1-6 on the season, management made the executive decision to sell at the November 3 trade deadline. They’ve already begun making moves, as the Giants traded outside linebacker Markus Golden to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round pick.

In fact, I am quite surprised at the Giants even managed to gain any value out of Golden, who signed his free-agent tender this past off-season with Big Blue. He was looking for a multi-year contract worth big money, but teams ultimately weren’t looking to sign him for his asking price. He stuck around with the Giants, and their intelligent move paid off in draft capital.

Golden had only played in 36% of defensive snaps this season, compiling 1.5 sacks, six quarterback hits, and 10 combined tackles. He was essentially put on the back burner in place of Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines, who are both now on injured reserve.

Golden only played in 33% of snaps against Philadelphia in week seven, which is quite surprising given the Giants don’t have a significant rotation at the moment.

Nonetheless, adding a sixth-round pick is essential, as the Giants previously only had five picks in the 2021 NFL draft. I expect they will make more moves in the coming days as we draw closer to November 3.

UFC booking Khamzat Chimaev – Leon Edwards per Dana White

There have been two fighters in the UFC‘s welterweight division that the promotion has struggled to get booked. One being the rising superstar, Khamzat Chimaev (9-0). Chimaev debuted back in the summer on Fight Island.

He’s fought three times so far with the UFC and he’s ran through all three opponents with no issues. The UFC has him on the fast track, but because of his lack of a ranking, there have been few top fighters who wanted to take the risk in fighting Chimaev.

On the other side of things there’s Leon Edwards (18-3). Edwards was the third ranked welterweight in the world on the heels of an eight fight winning streak. Edwards had been holding out for a top contender or a UFC title shot.

However, nothing ever materialized on either front. Due to his inactivity, he was recently removed from the UFC‘s welterweight rankings. Following the removal, Edwards tweeted that he wanted to fight and called out Chimaev. The promotion seemed to work quickly on this one.

UFC booking Chimaev – Edwards

I’m honestly a little shocked that this is the fight that the UFC ultimately landed on. I know that they really want to move Chimaev up the rankings fast, but it’s pretty unprecedented that an unranked fighter would move right into challenging someone in the top three.

However, this is a little of an unprecedented situation for the UFC. You have a top ranked fighter who can’t find a fight and you have a top ranked contender who no one wanted to fight. Now the two will clash in a headliner for the promotion on December 19th.

Given Edwards’ spot in the rankings, Chimaev will likely earn a title shot if he’s able to defeat Edwards. Meanwhile, if Edwards wins, he will finally get the shine that he’s felt he’s deserved given the mass popularity of Khamzat Chimaev. I for one am very excited for this matchup.

New York Mets Player Evaluations: Catcher Robinson Chirinos

The New York Mets received minimal production from the catcher position all season, and bringing in Robinson Chirinos at the trade deadline did nothing to change that. At 36-years old, the veteran catcher did hit 100 points better with the Mets.

Chirinos struggled mightily as a member of the Texas Rangers. He went 5-for-42 with a .119 batting average in 14 games and was a very questionable acquisition by Brodie Van Wagenen. The Mets had Tomas Nido healthy and ready to return from the COVID injured list, but the Mets opted to go outside the organization for another catcher.

Time in Queens

During his month with the Mets, he received consistent playing time and found some consistency with the bat. Chirinos had seven hits in 32 tries and hit his only home run of the season. His defense behind the plate was anything but consistent, with four wild pitches and failing to throw out a runner in five attempts.

Chirinos hitting struggles likely came from half of his batted balls being on the ground and only an 84.5 average exit velocity. He also only had one ball hit on the barrel all season and showed a much longer swing than he had in the past. The pitch framing also continued to hamper his game as he had a -2 runs extra strikes.

At this point, Chirinos is just a platoon catcher who can do damage against lefties (.259 AVG, .444 SLG). He is heading into his age-37 season and only hit .162 on the season with poor defense. Chirinos has an option year for the 2021 season. The $1 million buy out to decline it seems like pettiness for the Wilpons to leave Steve Cohen to spend money on a player he does not want. There is no future for him with the Mets and likely only receives minor league offers in the offseason.

2020 Grades On 20-80 Scale (2021 Projection)

Hitting: 20 (20), Only one season over .250 in his career.

Power: 20 (30), Career .431 slugging.

Run: 20 (20), Might be slower than Wilson Ramos (5.01 average home to first time).

Arm: 35 (30), -2 stolen base runs saved in 2020.

Field: 25 (20), -5 defensive runs saved in 2020.

Overall: 20 (20), Hard to believe there is anything left for Chirinos in 2021.

New York Knicks 2020 Mock Draft (with trades)

Tyrese Maxey, Knicks

With the 2020 NBA Draft less than a month away, there have been the usual slew of rumors connecting the Knicks to various prospects and speculating what they might do come draft night.

With that being said, I figured I’d join the party with my take on what I think the Knicks might do on November 18.

TRADE: Knicks send pick 8 to the Celtics for picks 14, 26, and Romeo Langford

Marc Berman of the New York Post recently reported that the Knicks might be looking to trade down if prospects like LaMelo Ball and James Wiseman aren’t available at their pick, which is most likely going to be the case. Berman also noted that the Knicks would be looking to acquire another player on his rookie deal while still picking in the lottery.

The trade I have listed above fulfills both of those desires. The Boston Celtics have three first-round picks, and they are probably going to use them in order to trade up into the top 10 and grab a guy they love.

This would be a win-win for both teams, as the Knicks get an extra first that they can pair with the 27th pick to move up, and they also get an intriguing young player in last year’s 14th overall pick Romeo Langford who simply has too many guys ahead of him on the depth chart for him to get any consistent playing time in Boston.

Langford only appeared in 32 games as a rookie with two starts for the Celtics and put together an underwhelming stat line of 2.5 points and 1.3 rebounds while averaging roughly 12 minutes per game. He’s also dealt with a long list of injuries dating back to college, so his health is a legitimate concern that diminishes his trade value.

Nevertheless, he’s a very talented player with a good all-around skill set, and he would be a nice throw-in for the Knicks. Langford would be able to find more playing time in New York, and if he can stay healthy, the Knicks could have themselves another young building block.

Pick 14 (from the Celtics): Tyrese Maxey, G, Kentucky

With the 14th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, the Knicks select guard Tyrese Maxey from Kentucky. Maxey has been a player that has been linked to the Knicks heavily over the last few months, and he would likely be a player they target if they indeed trade down.

A one-and-done with the Wildcats, Maxey had an inconsistent but promising freshmen year. In 31 games played and 28 starts, Maxey averaged 14 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and roughly 1 steal in 34.5 minutes per game. His shooting percentages were a bit low, shooting 42.7% from the floor and 29.2% from three, but he has a good offensive skill set and can score from all three levels. He is also a solid defender and plays hard on both ends of the floor.

New York would be a very good landing spot for Maxey, as the Knicks need more scoring, and he would be a nice fit alongside RJ Barrett. The Knicks also have former Kentucky associate head coach Kenny Payne on Tom Thibodeau’s staff, who coached Maxey and has reportedly been praising him in draft discussions.

TRADE: Knicks send picks 26 and 27, 2022 2nd to the Timberwolves for pick 17

Surprise! After collecting another first-round pick from the Celtics, the Knicks package their now back-to-back first-round picks along with their 2022 second-round pick to move back up into the late teens. Leon Rose is not messing around and is willing to move all over the draft board to get his guys.

Pick 17: Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama

You know what they say: speed kills. And the Knicks are getting themselves a lot of that with Kira Lewis Jr.

The 6’3” sophomore point guard had a great second season with Alabama, averaging 18.5 points, 5.2 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and almost 2 steals per game while shooting 46% from the floor and 37% from three. Lewis’s speed and burst allow him to get up and down the court in the blink of an eye and get to the basket quickly and effectively. Lewis also possesses a strong jump shot, a good handle, and a high IQ, and he would be a great pick for the Knicks.

He’s still a little raw, but Lewis has all the tools and is exactly the kind of high-upside prospect who I would love to see new associate head coach Johnnie Bryant work with. Having a speedster like Lewis would do wonders for Barrett and the players around him, as Lewis would draw a lot of defensive attention and maximize open looks for others.

If Lewis is able to be properly developed and reaches his full potential, the Knicks very well could have found themselves their franchise point guard and a huge steal outside of the lottery.

Pick 38: Isaiah Joe, G, Arkansas

To close out the draft, the Knicks add more shooting with Isaiah Joe out of Arkansas.

The 6’5” guard, while erratic at times, was a great shooter from all areas of the floor over his two seasons with the Razorbacks. He has a very smooth stroke and was effective finishing around the basket as well. He averaged 15.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.5 steals over his two collegiate seasons.

Joe is pretty raw and needs to develop a stronger shot selection and improved decision-making, but the talent and upside is there both offensively and defensively. He can end up being a valuable role player for the Knicks down the line if he’s able to tighten up some of the loose ends to his game.

The Knicks were one of the league’s worst shooting teams last season, so they need to add as many scorers as possible. These three draft picks provide exactly that with the potential for much more. This would be a very promising first draft class for Leon Rose, and the new front office, one that should have Knicks fans very excited and could go a long way in getting the team closer to basketball relevance once again.

New York Islanders: Is Casey Cizikas a cap casualty?

New York Islanders, Casey Cizikas

Casey Cizikas has been a New York Islander for over nine years now. Cizikas has been a fan favorite since the day he started because of his hard-hitting, brash style. Cizikas has made the MC^2 line one of the best in Hockey. But, now his spot is in danger due to Garth Snow’s terrible contract making decisions.

It’s crazy to think that Andrew Ladd may be the reason a true Islander has to leave the Island. Does any Islander fan want to see this? Definitely not, but that isn’t a choice, Cizikas’ spot is in danger.

Cap Issues

The Islanders have even less cap space to spend next year, but have the same amount of key players to resign. Adam Pelech and Anthony Beauvillier are obviously the priority in the 2021 offseason. Where does that put Cizikas? It puts him in the Devon Toews boat. The 3rd key guy, the Isles, must re-sign, but there’s no money to re-sign him. The Islanders must do everything in their power to move cap space in order to keep Cizikas. Andrew Ladd to Seattle and Johnny Boychuk to Ottawa.

The problem is, this isn’t NHL 21, you can’t just move players because you want them gone.

Injuries

Don’t get me wrong, I love Casey Cizikas as a player, but he does get hurt way too often. Cizikas has never once played a full 82 game season. It’s awesome having a great 4th line center, but it doesn’t mean much if he can’t get on the ice every night.

There are other younger guys like Mason Jobst and Otto Koviula who are ready to take a spot. I wouldn’t be surprised that if Cizikas got hurt this year, and one of the younger guys does well, that Cizikas gets traded. No Islander fan wants to see that happen, but the NHL is a business. Players come and go all the time.

Report: New York Giants have put Golden Tate and Kevin Zeitler on the trade block

New York Giants, Kevin Zeitler

According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, the New York Giants have discussed wide receiver Golden Tate and guard Kevin Zeitler in trade talks.

The Giants are open for business as well. Veterans Golden Tate and Kevin Zeitler are two names that came up pretty consistently with other teams. Tate’s contract and declining production could make him difficult to move for anything significant. Zeitler, on the other hand, might fetch a return based on, again, the crying need for experienced linemen across the league.

With Big Blue falling to the Philadelphia Eagles in week 7, they are now 1–6 on the season and quickly seeing their NFC East hopes die before them.

Losing to divisional games against the Cowboys and Eagles puts them in a disastrous situation, one that will likely see management sell at the November 3 trade deadline.

Adding value for next year is essential, given the Giants only have five picks in the 2021 NFL draft. Next year’s draft class is stacked at multiple positions, in which the Giants are week at, including wide receiver. Adding more draft picks and developing their own talent is a necessity, but it also requires the Giants to part with some of their better players.

Breer reported that Zeitler will be on the trade block, and he has had his worst season to date, so far. Having never fallen below a 73 overall grade, via PFF, he now sits at 60.6. While this could fall back on Jason Garrett and his blocking schemes, Kevin is simply having a poor campaign, something he is not used to.

If the Giants retain him in 2021, he will count $14.5 million against the cap, which seems to be a questionable allocation of money considering how poor the unit has been.

There is a justification for retaining his services, as parting ways with Zeitler would put quarterback Daniel Jones under immense stress and potentially hurt his development even further. The Giants don’t have the depth to supplement Zeitler with a quality player, so trading him has its pros and cons.

Realistically, I would like to see more reps for Shane Lemieux, before sending Zeitler packing.

The New York Giants have an easy decision to make with Tate:

As for Golden Tate, I would be surprised if any team is willing to offer the Giants a conditional late-round pick. General manager Dave Gettleman signed Tate to replace Odell Beckham Jr. after the trade, which seemingly hasn’t gotten the job done. He had his first touchdown of the season in week 7 against Philadelphia, but it was the only catch he made the entire game. If the Giants were to keep him in 2021, which I highly doubt will happen, they would be on the hook for a $10.1M cap hit. They have an out after the 2020 campaign — the buyout with be a $4.7M cap hit.

We can all but guarantee Tate will no longer be a Giant next season, as allocating the money in a different direction is a necessity.