When the New York Giants hired general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll, a full-scale rebuild seemed inevitable. However, new management was able to sidestep that reality, developing Daniel Jones and getting the most out of Saquon Barkley despite the odds against them.
Jones has now put himself in a position to land a lucrative contract extension since the Giants made the playoffs despite a roster composed mostly of backups.
This off-season, though, should be a much more efficient and smooth ride. Schoen had to learn his entire staff, creating a new draft strategy and free agency plan around the available money they had on the books. With that being said, he had to make some difficult decisions, cutting James Bradberry, Blake Martinez, and others to clear salary space just to sign a starting right guard and a few reserve options.
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The New York Giants were shopping in the bargain bin:
The Giants relied heavily on Dave Gettleman’s draft picks from years ago to step up and fill the void, which they did admirably. Schoen also plucked players off the Buffalo Bills practice squad and others to supplement deficiencies, notably to help the wide receiver unit. Nonetheless, with 11 draft picks at his disposal and a ton of money opening up for the future, the Giants are headed in the right direction, and Schoen can feel it.
“I feel much better this year than I did last year, just having the staff in place, Dabes and I are aligned, the defensive staff and the personnel staffs aligned, the offensive staff is aligned with the personnel staff, we’re on the same page in terms of what we’re looking for in the process moving forward. We’ve now been through a year cycle, we’ve done everything together for 365 days and everyone knows the expectations. Yeah, I think we’re in much better shape this year.’’Via the New York Post.
Within an organization, communication is key. If everybody is on the same page, everything moves in a similar direction. In the past, the Giants had pieces working against one another, leaking information and losing leverage. The Giants were leapfrogged on multiple occasions, notably for Micah Parsons and Devonta Smith. Former staff members gave away information without a fight, but the Giants have been more secretive about their moves ever since Schoen took over.
With $44 million in salary space this upcoming off-season and $180 million in available space in 2024, the Giants have plenty of financial flexibility. However, building a successful roster doesn’t mean spending egregiously in free agency, it means constructing through the draft and retaining important players that fit your culture and know their worth.
Determining Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley‘s contract extensions will be priorities this off-season, but Schoen would much rather pay his guys to stay than go out and find replacements who may not fit their culture or bring unnecessary baggage with them.
Considering the growth Jones experienced under the leadership of Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka, disrupting that flow may hurt his growth. At the end of the day, it’s just money. If the front office wants to keep a player around, they will find a way to get it done.