Giants could target top pass-blocking offensive tackle in 2022 NFL Draft

charles cross, giants

The New York Giants have holes all across their offensive line. The team should be pleased with the development of their 2020 first-round pick, left tackle Andrew Thomas. Thomas has turned into quite the tackle, ranking 80th overall on PFF’s top-101 players of the year. But opposite of AT, the Giants have a major question mark at right tackle. This is a question that could be answered in April during the 2022 NFL Draft. Offensive tackle prospect Charles Cross could be a home-run selection for the Giants this spring.

Charles Cross is widely considered to be the third-ranked offensive tackle in this year’s draft class. Evan Neal and Ikem Ekwonu are the consensus top-two tackles. But right on their heels is Mississippi State pass protector Charles Cross. Cross’s ability to hold down the fort in pass-protection should make him a top target for the New York Giants in April.

Why the Giants should target Charles Cross in the NFL Draft

In 2021, the New York Giants offensive line was pitiful, as it has been for years. They fell to 30th overall in Pro Football Focus’s final offensive line rankings of the year. Andrew Thomas was really the only bright spot for the Giants upfront. As Joe Schoen steps in as the team’s next general manager, his main mission should be to fix the issue that has been plaguing the Giants’ offense for years: the offensive line.

2020 was a step in the right direction for New York. They drafted Andrew Thomas fourth overall and he has developed into an exquisite player over two seasons. The team needs to continue building their line through the draft, though.

Charles Cross makes perfect sense for the Giants with one of their two first-round draft picks in 2022. Andrew Thomas allowed only 18 total pressures on 517 pass-blocking snaps this season, aptly protecting the blindside. Charles Cross could have a similar effect on the right side of the Giants’ offensive line.

Charles Cross allowed only 16 pressures on 719 pass-blocking snaps in 2021 (PFF). Cross has good length from the tackle position and eye-opening agility that allows him to excel in pass protection. If the New York Giants want to add another bookend on their offensive line, Charles Cross would make for a perfect selection with one of their two top-ten picks.

Knicks on crossroads heading into NBA All-Star break

There were ominous signs that this year’s Valentine’s Day would be a heartbreaker for the New York Knicks.

Stranger things have happened in New York this season, so it was only fitting that Netflix’s hit series ‘Stranger Things’ actors David Harbour and Noah Schnapp were on hand to witness the Knicks’ spiraling season hit rock-bottom in a 127-124 overtime loss to the tanking Oklahoma City Thunder.

The latest debacle was the Knicks’ 12th loss in their last 15 games. Strangely, the Knicks could have won four of their previous five games, including Monday night’s embarrassment at the hands of the youngest team in the league.

“We’re just letting a lot of them go. Our last five (were) very winnable games,” said Julius Randle, whose first triple-double of the season went down the drain. “The story and narrative probably a lot different.”

But the reality is the Knicks are two games outside the play-in tournament, with nine of their next 10 opponents heavily in play for playoff contention.

Randle had been playing his best stretch of the season. But also, during this stretch, his late-game decisions have cost the Knicks some games. Like the four turnovers, he coughed up in the fourth quarter and overtime and the atrocious 1 of 5 shooting, including missing the potential game-winning fallaway jumper at the end of the regulation.

It was just the tip of the iceberg. The Knicks’ woes run deep.

There were the 60 Thunder points in the paint as the Oklahoma City guards and wings repeatedly attacked the paint. In another monster effort, Knicks center Mitchell Robinson had four blocks and four steals (14 points, 17 rebounds, a career-high nine coming from the offensive glass). But it didn’t matter as 19-year old Thunder rookie Josh Giddey shattered the Knicks’ defensive wall from the point of attack, leaving Robinson by his lonesome, protecting the rim to no avail. Giddey bent the Knicks defense to his every whim and repeatedly found his teammates.

Giddey represented what the Knicks don’t have — a young generational prospect. For all their blown picks and missing on the likes of Thunder’s current top player Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, the Knicks have a collection of young talents that are either underutilized or miscast. They might have a star somewhere in RJ Barrett, whose floor is a high-level role starter. They have high-level role players in Robinson and rookie Quentin Grimes and fringe rotation players in Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin, who are losing confidence as the Knicks’ turbulent season drags on.

Giddey became the youngest player to come up with a triple-double at Madison Square Garden and the youngest player to log in consecutive triple-double games. The Australian kid punished the Knicks with a career-high 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists. His backcourt mate Tre Mann also stepped up. Once a rumored Knicks draft target, Mann played his best game of the season with 30 points, eight in the overtime.

It was just the 18th win of the season for the Thunder, who were missing their top two players, Gilgeous-Alexander and Lu Dort, due to injuries. But they have more upside than the current middling Knicks roster.

In the final minute of the regulation, Tom Thibodeau’s brain cramp made the loss all the more strange.

With 1:07 left in the regulation, Thibodeau caved into Evan Fournier’s plea to challenge a foul called on the Frenchman, who clearly had contact with Giddey’s arms while going for a steal. The unsuccessful challenge cost the Knicks a timeout. Then, in the ensuing Thunder possession, Thibodeau uncharacteristically called a timeout to challenge a rookie Quentin Grimes foul, which they no longer have.

“That was my fault,” Thibodeau said. “I screwed that up.”

Perhaps the mounting pressure brought upon by the piles of losses and blown leads are taking its toll on last season’s NBA Coach of the Year.

“I just lost my train of thought there for a second,” Thibodeau said.

For once, Thibodeau publicly admitted to a mistake, a tactical miscalculation. He didn’t flinch when he removed Kemba Walker out of the rotation; when Randle was under fire for poor effort and body language; when Barrett got injured after he left him on the court with the game beyond reach; Toppin’s sporadical minutes; Quickley’s dwindling minutes amid a shooting slump; miscasting Burks as a point guard while refusing to give rookie Miles McBride a chance, and the list goes on.

Last season, teams feared the Knicks as they came well-prepared and oozing with the confidence that they could beat anybody at any given night. This season, teams are routinely beating the Knicks in every imaginable way. If there’s anything this Knicks team has established consistently, it’s playing wildly inconsistent.

But to be fair, Thibodeau didn’t have the luxury of a healthy roster, unlike last season. But when they are banking on a healthy Derrick Rose to save them again after the All-Star break, then they are inviting more trouble moving forward. Rose is supposed to be a mentor, not a savior; a placeholder, not the starter of a playoff team at this stage of his career.

From top to bottom, the Knicks are a mess this season. The front office tried to untangle their messy miscalculations in the offseason, but they found no takers for their overvalued veterans at the trade deadline. With last season’s magical playoff run increasingly looking like a mirage now rather than a montage of a bright future, the Knicks are stuck with their modified ‘run it back’ roster.

“We got to fight,” Thibodeau said. “That’s our only option.”

Thibodeau’s tone was like a cornered boxer on the ropes.

But are the Knicks really staring at a dead end?

It’s more of a crossroad where they have to decide which path to go: full-scale rebuild and produce a star or stay in the middle ground waiting for a star to force their way to New York.

A full-scale rebuild is to tank like what the Thunder are doing. They have a roster full of young players devoid of starter-level veterans. Their pathway to contention is to nail their lottery picks right and grow a young core of potential stars or through trades. A small market like Oklahoma City isn’t a free agent destination. Right now, they have Gilgeous-Alexander and Giddey as potential cornerstones to build around.

Zooming out, the surging Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference have also done that and are now poised to become a serious playoff contender in year three of their rebuild.

Looking back at the last 10 championships, only the Toronto Raptors are the outlier who struck luck in the Kawhi Leonard trade. Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors groomed their championship cores. Miami Heat created cap space for three superstars, Cleveland Cavaliers nailed two first-round picks to attract LeBron James back. San Antonio Spurs had their veteran core, all homegrown picks.

The Knicks are in the biggest market in the NBA. But even with ample cap space, big-name free agents have avoided them like a small-market team. Not even Leon Rose and his much-ballyhooed CAA connections have inspired free agent stars to join the Knicks in the past two summers.

Based on their surprising playoff run, the Knicks front office decided that their path to contention is to continue staying as a fringe contender until stars see their core ready for the big jump. But the move is backfiring spectacularly this season.

The Knicks have a collection of young talents. In fairness to Thibodeau, he’s made an All-Star out of a 26-year old Randle last season and is looking like one in the past six games. Thibodeau also relies heavily on Barrett, Robinson, and lately, Grimes — three players aged 23 and under.

Regardless of the result of their showdown against crosstown rival Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, the Knicks have a lot of soul-searching to do during the All-Star break, especially their front office.

They still have their draft capital, and their offseason signings will be more attractive this summer, with many of them essentially on expiring contracts with those tacked-on team options in the final year.

Staying the course means Thibodeau should remain beyond this season with the risk of getting stuck in mediocrity. Full-scale rebuild means tanking, and Thibodeau has to go.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

After massive win at UFC 271, what’s next for Tai Tuivasa?

This past Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 271, we saw a battle between two of the most beloved heavyweights in the promotion. Knockout artists Derrick Lewis (26-9, 1 NC) and Tai Tuivasa (15-3) went head-to-head looking to get into the title picture at heavyweight.

The fight went almost as expected except for the fact that it went past the first round. In all honesty, I thought that Derrick Lewis would get the job done at UFC 271 and it looked like he was going to in the first round. In the first round, Lewis blasted Tuivasa and even landed a couple of takedowns.

To start the second round, Lewis rocked Tuivasa. However, the UFC’s knockout king couldn’t find the one shot that would put Tuivasa out. Instead, Tuivasa remained composed and in the fight. Then, just over 90 seconds into the second round, Tuivasa rocked Lewis.

Both men were trading big shots and then they ended up in a clinch. During the clinch, Tuivasa pushed Lewis back up against the fence and launched a vicious elbow that landed to Lewis’ chin. The Black Beast crumbled and Tuivasa picked up the biggest win of his career at UFC 271.

What’s next after UFC 271?

Tai Tuivasa entered Saturday as the 11th ranked heavyweight in the UFC. After his knockout win, he’s taken over the third ranking which was previously held by Derrick Lewis. Now, Tuivasa is perhaps just one more good win away from challenging for the heavyweight title.

With that, who should be next for Tuivasa? Well, the cloudiness at heavyweight makes things a little difficult. The UFC is working to mend fences and make a new deal with the heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou who fought out his contract at UFC 270.

Ngannou also has to have knee surgery which will keep him out most of 2022. At the moment, there appears to be some preliminary talks to have Jon Jones face off against Stipe Miocic for an interim title with the winner fighting Ngannou once the champion is healthy.

If that happens, Tuivasa would need another win and some patience before he gets a UFC title shot. That said, there is a fight that makes a ton of sense. I think the UFC should pair Tuivasa up against Ciryl Gane (10-1). Gane is coming off of a loss to Ngannou at UFC 270 and he’s currently ranked first in the rankings.

It’s a logical fight for both men and it’s just the type of test that Tuivasa needs. In fighting Lewis, Tuivasa had an opponent that would stand and trade with him. If he fights Gane, he’ll have to solve the puzzle that only Francis Ngannou has seemed to crack. If he could, you wouldn’t be able to deny Bam Bam of a title shot.

ESPN’s top 100 prospects list has four Yankees’ future stars

New York Yankees, Jasson Dominguez

The current MLB-imposed lockout is preventing us from saying that it’s baseball season, unfortunately. However, at least it’s prospects season: Baseball America, The Athletic, FanGraphs, and Baseball Prospectus have published their top 100 rankings for 2022 already, and ESPN joined the fun this week. The New York Yankees have four players on that list.

Prospect specialists Kiley McDaniel is the author of the list. You can probably guess the first three: shortstop Anthony Volpe is the sixth-best prospect in baseball, while Oswald Peraza (25) and Jasson Dominguez (32) achieved high positions and represent the Yankees very well. The fourth on the list? Outfielder Everson Pereira.

Here is what McDaniel had to say about each Yankees prospect:

  1. Anthony Volpe, SS

Volpe has probably created the most prospect value with his 2021 performance of any player in the minor leagues. He now projects as top-10 shortstop, a 3-to-5 WAR, potential multi-time All-Star due to the broad number of ways he can add value (and) now Volpe kind of looks like the current version of (Bo) Bichette.

  1. Oswald Peraza, SS

I think he’ll hit about .270 with an average-ish walk rate and 15-18 homers in his best years; that’s a roughly three-win player, and this one will start the year in Triple-A.

  1. Jasson Dominguez, CF

Early buzz is that he’s debulked a bit and is down 10 to 15 pounds with a more simplified swing, addressing the two legitimate concerns pro scouts raised from his 2021 campaign.

  1. Everson Pereira, CF

He’s probably always going to have a 20-30% strikeout rate given his power-based approach, and he’s fringy in center field right now, so he could slide over to right field eventually. … His approach, in-game use of power, defensive instincts and stat line as an extremely young prospect for his level show his potential, too. … This rocket could be ready for takeoff in 2022.

The Athletic’s Keith Law and Baseball America both had three Yankees prospects in their top 100: Volpe, Peraza, and Dominguez.

UFC still in play for Kayla Harrison after PFL talks stall out

MMA, PFL

In the last couple of weeks, it looked like Kayla Harrison (12-0) would be resigning with PFL and wouldn’t be signing with the UFC. After appearing at UFC 269 and after Amanda Nunes left American Top Team, it seemed like things were trending towards Harrison ending up in the UFC.

However, Ariel Helwani then reported that a deal between Harrison and the PFL was on the goal line. Helwani would say on his show The MMA Hour, that it was a done deal. Harrison’s reps also came out and said that the PFL was the favorite to resign her.

However, everything has suddenly changed. Helwani reported last week that the talks between Harrison and PFL had stalled out. They had stalled to the point where they are likely no longer favored to bring back Harrison. They are still in the running, but the UFC is right there now.

Will Harrison sign with the UFC?

Bellator doesn’t seem to be in the running so it seems like this will ultimately come down to the UFC or the PFL. Harrison admitted to ESPN that a lot of her decision will come down to what she wants. Without directly saying it, Harrison hinted that the legacy move would be going to the UFC.

This is the same decision that Michael Chandler made. However, if she wants the most guaranteed money per fight, the PFL is likely the best move. That said, the UFC can open so many more doors for Harrison including analysts gigs and a much bigger platform.

Adding to the intrigue, Harrison said that she’s considering a future move down to bantamweight. Previously, Harrison said there would be no way that she could fight at 135 pounds. However, she’s hiring a number of people who will assist her in trying to make that happen. If she wants to fight at 135, she’s going to the UFC.

There are a ton of big fights for Harrison in the UFC is she’s able to make bantamweight. I think we are getting closer to a final decision and I would say it’s 50/50 right now between the PFL and UFC.

Giants’ Andrew Thomas earns great review from PFF’s top-101 rankings

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas

There weren’t many silver linings for the New York Giants’ offense in 2021, but one notable performance was from left tackle Andrew Thomas. After being drafted 4th overall out of Georgia in 2020, Thomas experienced a tough rookie season in the NFL, battling an ankle injury he sustained during training camp.

Playing in all 16 games, he allowed 10 sacks, 8 QB hits, 39 hurries, and 57 total pressures. He recorded a 62.4 overall grade, including a 54.7 pass-blocking grade and 62.4 run-blocking great, per PFF.

Altogether, he was one of the worst tackles in football, but his rise to stardom was illustrious during the 2021 season, showcasing unbelievable development and growth in just one off-season.

Thomas finished allowing just two sacks, 13 hurries, and 3 QB hits over 13 games. His 82.1 pass-blocking grade showcases his growth. When Thomas was forced to miss time due to an ankle injury he sustained against the Los Angeles Rams, the Giants struggled considerably to replicate his performance.

In fact, Thomas was the only player for the New York Giants to rank in PFF’s top 101 players list from this past season.

No. 80: LT Andrew Thomas:

Giants left tackle Andrew Thomas improved by leaps and bounds in Year 2 — so much so that the offensive line was noticeably worse when he was not in the lineup. The second-year offensive tackle allowed 18 pressures across 517 pass-blocking snaps in 13 games and even scored more receiving touchdowns than key receiver additions Kadarius Toney and Kenny Golladay.

The Giants will need Thomas to lock down their left tackle position for the foreseeable future as they continue to rebuild after firing Joe Judge and allowing Dave Gettleman to retire after the conclusion of the regular season.

With Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll in place, the expectation is that new management will try to correct Dave Gettleman’s mistakes in building the offensive line. The reality is, the Giants need a right tackle, at least one new offensive guard, and a center, given Nick Gates is unable to make a full recovery from the broken leg he sustained against Washington early last season.

This upcoming year, the Giants’ offense could look quite different, especially with nine draft selections at the team’s disposal. There’s also reason to believe the Giants will trade back in the 2022 NFL draft, acquiring more draft capital and injecting more talent into a roster that was devoid of competency on the offensive side.

When your left tackle has more touchdown receptions than your $72 million receiver and electrifying first-round rookie, you know there’s a systemic issue in place.

What’s next for Derrick Lewis after UFC 271?

This past Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 271, two of the best knockout artists in the heavyweight division went toe-to-toe. The hometown favorite Derrick Lewis (26-9, 1 NC) took on the surging Tai Tuivasa (15-3). Going into the fight, the only thing we knew for sure is that one man was getting stopped.

In the first round, it certainly looked like that man was going to be Tai Tuivasa. Derrick Lewis started out really strong and even mixed in some takedowns against Tuivasa. During one exchange along the fence, Lewis unloaded on Tuivasa and dealt out some shots that would put away most heavyweights.

However, Tuivasa remained in the fight at UFC 271. In the second round, it looked like Lewis once again rocked Tuivasa. The Black Beast went after him, but he couldn’t put him away. During a wild exchange in the second, Tuivasa clipped Lewis and rocked him.

Both men just started trading big shots. Then, Tuivasa pushed Lewis up against the fence and delivered a massive elbow that put Lewis out. Lewis fell face first to the mat and once again suffered defeat in front of his hometown crowd.

What’s next after UFC 271?

It’s hard not to feel for Derrick Lewis after UFC 271. The heavyweight knockout king has had two fights in the last year in front of his home crowd in Houston, Texas. Both times, he’s been stopped. When he’s fought at the APEX in Las Vegas, he’s been untouchable, but Houston has not been kind to him.

So, after suffering a knockout loss to Tuivasa, what’s next for The Black Beast? Well to be honest, I don’t think he drops much after this fight. I think he will get a guy in the middle-range of the top ten. I’m thinking a good next fight for the UFC to book is Lewis against Jairzinho Rozenstruik (12-3).

Rozenstruik is currently scheduled to take on Marcin Tybura at UFC 273 in April. Should he get the win there, a fight with Lewis makes a ton of sense and would be a lot of fun for fans who love striking and knockouts.

The Perfect Storm is currently destroying the Knicks’ chances at playoff contention

knicks, tom thibodeau

The New York Knicks have dropped their last two games to sub .500 teams, the Portland Trailblazers and Oklahoma City Thunder. Oklahoma City had lost five consecutive games before traveling to New York, posting 127 points and winning in overtime.

On paper, the Knicks have a far more proficient team with better playmakers, but they are simply playing out of whack due to bad coaching strategy and lackluster chemistry.

The perfect storm is currently hitting the Knicks after an exciting 2020 campaign where they secured the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference, thanks to impeccable defense. The Knicks have the 15th ranked defensive rating this season after posting the fourth-best last season.

While their interior defense remains strong, allowing just 42.7 points per game from inside the paint, they’ve been an awful perimeter guarding team. Their lack of positioning and communication has plagued them all season long.

Once a target in the 2021 NBA draft, OKC point guard Tre Mann recorded 30 points, shooting 4-of-7 from deep and 9-of-16 from the field. Mann, who is currently a rookie, is averaging 8.3 points per game this year, so nothing astronomical.

In addition, they allowed 28 points to Josh Giddey, another rookie from the most recent draft class. When first-year players are torturing experienced veterans, you know a systemic issue impacts the team.

It goes far beyond the players, though, as head coach Tom Thibodeau completely wasted a time-out at the end of the game, attempting to use a second challenge when he already exhausted his opportunities.

“That was my fault,” Thibodeau said. “I screwed that up.”

The Knicks can’t afford to be having mental issues from their coach, let alone playing abysmal defense day-in and day-out.

The New York Knicks may need to make some changes after this season:

The perfect storm connects to three team factors: the coaching, players, and front office. Leon Rose and upper management can’t be given a pass, considering they whiffed so hard in free agency with Evan Fournier and Kemba Walker. They should’ve been more aggressive at the trade deadline, at least trying to get rid of some big contracts, but instead retained Mitchell Robinson, who’s in the final year of his rookie contract (they should extend him), and remain steadfast with Fournier, who has been wildly inconsistent this season. Walker simply had zero value, so a team would’ve had to acquire additional compensation just to take his contract off the books.

Once again, the Knicks find themselves residing in the laughingstock category, losing winnable games against bad opponents. They’re currently on a stretch of 12 losses in their last 15 games. The schedule doesn’t get any easier with the Brooklyn Nets coming up on Wednesday, Miami on Friday, and Philadelphia in back-to-back games on Sunday and next Wednesday. If matters couldn’t get any worse, they will take on Phoenix and then the Clipper after Philly.

By the end of this six-game stretch, the Knicks could be so far out of playoff contention that ownership considers firing people.

New MLB rules will make it difficult for the Yankees to sign star 1B Freddie Freeman

freddie freeman, yankees, braves

The New York Yankees may now regret not being more active before the MLB lockout. Two new MLB rules will make a complex situation even more complicated. Those two rules are the Universal DH for the season 2022 and beyond. The other is the loss of removal of draft pick compensation.

This, of course, will make it more difficult for any team to sign free-agent first baseman Freddie Freeman, which goes for the World Series-winning Atlanta Braves as well. The Braves would dearly like to hold onto the backbone of both their defense and plate production. But, with Freeman already refusing the Braves’ $180 million offer, these new rules will likely raise his financial desires, making it more difficult for any team to sign him. Make no mistake, a team will sign him, but it might not be the Braves or the Yankees.

With the ongoing MLB lockout, teams across the country are more desperate than ever to fill the holes remaining in their lineups. With spring training scheduled to start this week in Florida and Arizona, it only makes the signings more critical, as they will have to fill those holes in record time. With the Yankees sitting on their hands during postseason one, the Yankees will have to act quickly and aggressively.

The Yankees have several holes to fill. The biggest is their shortstop position. It is most likely they will go with a stop-gap addition while they wait for Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza to become major league-ready. They need some help in center field, as they cannot count on Aaron Hicks to remain healthy. They also would like a true number two starter to follow ace, Gerrit Cole. Freeman comes into focus due to their need for an everyday first baseman.

The Yankees have Luke Voit, who they held over from last season. But with his inability to keep the lower half of his body healthy, he should be their last choice. A trade with the Oakland Athletics’ Matt Olson isn’t all that desirable. The Yankees have already, before the lockout, talked to the A’s, who want at least Anthony Volpe and or Oswald Peraza. The Yankees have indicated that that is a non-starter. This is where Freeman comes into the mix.

He is either the best first baseman in the business or the best player overall in free agency. The problem for the Yankees with Freeman is the money he will ask to join the Yankees. Depending on how much owner Hal Steinbrenner wants to spend and how much they can save on other needs, will write the story on the Yankees acquiring Freeman.

These new rules certainly won’t help the Yankees in signing him. When and if a new CBA is reached, the Yankees will have to make that decision. However, even though other names for the everyday first baseman have not been mentioned, The one thing you should know is that you can never tell what general manager Brian Cashman will do to fill the spot. He may pull off a surprise, like the acquisition of a DJ LeMahieu-like surprise, that has turned out successful for the Yankees.

Giants could target former Ravens Pro Bowl defensive tackle in free agency

calais campbell, giants, ravens

With the 2021 NFL season finally coming to an end after the Los Angeles Rams took down the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl, the New York Giants look ahead to the NFL draft in April.

With nine draft selections at their disposal, new management will have plenty to keep them busy as the NFL takes a break for a month until free agency opens up.

Unfortunately for Big Blue, they are cash strapped at the moment, but general manager Joe Schoen has already indicated they plan on clearing about $40 million in funds to allocate.

Players that could be released include James Bradberry, saving $12.1 million, Blake Martinez, $8.5 million, Sterling Shepard, $4.5 million, and Kyle Rudolph, $5 million. Even punter Riley Dixon is on the cut block, with a projected savings of $2.8 million.

Of course, by cutting all of these players, the Giants will need to replace them in free agency or via the draft. After hiring defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, the team may look to bring in some familiar faces who could contribute toward the rebuild.

One former Ravens defensive lineman that stands out is Calais Campbell, who is coming off a two-year, $25 million deal. Campbell will be 36 years old this upcoming season, and after making the transition to defensive tackle with Baltimore last year, his price tag will likely decrease exponentially. Calais stated over the weekend he wouldn’t be retiring anytime soon.

“Oh yeah, I’m not retiring,” Campbell told Sky Sports, via the Ravens’ team web site, after the Los Angeles Rams’ 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. “I watched this game. The feeling I have right now after seeing them celebrate a Super Bowl championship, I have a desire to go out there and play football and to compete. So I’m definitely not retiring; I’m coming back.”

Over 15 games, Campbell recorded 49 tackles, five tackles for a loss, 12 QB hits, and 1.5 sacks. His veteran experience and leadership would be a welcomed addition in New York, but the Giants might be forced to dip into the 2023 cap to land him. This shouldn’t scare you away, the cap is fluid and easily manipulated.

The defensive personnel is set to change significantly, with Martindale relying heavily on a blitz-oriented scheme that plays man coverage. That is a primary reason why Bradberry could be cut this off-season.

Per PFF, Campbell recorded an 80.8 overall defense of grade, including 77.9 in run defense and 69.5 as a pass rusher. Making the transition to defensive tackle requires him to plug A-and-B gaps rather than rush off the edge. The likely reason for Campbell making the transition is due to a lack of athleticism and speed at his age. However, he still contains plenty of power and football IQ to utilize inside.

On Monday, Campbell made it clear that he wouldn’t be retiring next season, so the Giants could theoretically bring him in on a two-year contract with the money pushed to the second season.

The team has a projected $92 million in cap space in 2023, and with a rebuild on their doorstep, having experienced veterans who provide leadership is essential.

Potential structured deal: 2-years, $14 million with incentives. Include an out after the first year.