At 2-10 on the season, the New York Giants should have one priority moving forward — develop their youth. Rookies DeAndre Baker, Sam Beal, Julian Love, Dexter Lawrence, Darius Slayton, Kadem Smith, and Oshane Ximines should all be featured in a high-capacity role for the remainder of the regular season.
Love, who was learning the system for the first 11 weeks, played a significant portion of the team’s Week 13 loss to the Green Bay Packers. He has looked stellar so far, earning the highest grade on the defense, per PFF.
Julian Love had another strong game for the Giants, he made a couple of excellent tackles and forced a fumble coming out of nowhere to surprise Davante Adams. He is the Giants highest-graded player, 83.7 overall, back to back 80+ grades in his first two games with a heavy workload.
With the Notre Dame product making his presence felt, the services of Antoine Bethea aren’t needed an expended capacity. There are numerous veteran defenders that will make way this offseason for the upbringing of the Giants’ youthful players, let’s take a look at who’s on the chopping block.
Three defenders the New York Giants could part ways with:
1.) Alec Ogletree
When GM Dave Gettleman traded for Ogletree two years ago, he imagined a strong run-stopping linebacker. That expectation has not come to fruition, as Ogletree has been an absolute liability in coverage for two seasons and has missed tackles at a consistent rate.
The Giants haven’t been able to get the value they gave up in the trade for Ogletree, and his $11.75 million cap hit this season is astronomical. However, his dead-cap hit of $3.5 million makes him expendable, since keeping him would lock the Giants into $11.75 million in cap allocations. Cutting him and investing the saved money into a better player should be an easy decision for Gettleman, considering his fourth-round pick in Ryan Connelly was able to steal Ogletree’s spot in just one pre-season.
2.) Antoine Bethea
Bethea has been one of the worst free safeties in the league while playing back in coverage. Against the run, he has been stellar, but while featuring as the last man in coverage, Bethea has given up big-play after big-play. Julian Love has supplemented him with ease and proved to be a better option in the defensive backfield.
Allen Lazard really hit 'em with the …uh, slight change in direction pic.twitter.com/SEJlxO5o5A
— Christian D'Andrea (@TrainIsland) December 1, 2019
Despite Bethea’s lack of quality at free safety, his experience and knowledge of the game have been essential to the development of Love, who has looked great through two weeks of active play. The Giants see him as a potential long-term option at free safety, and they will move on from Bethea in lieu of the decision.
3.) Kareem Martin
Most would forget Martin was still on the team, let alone the league. The former Arizona Cardinal was brought in to help establish DC James Bettcher’s scheme and help new/older players adapt.
Martin missed all of 2019 with a sprained knee. His value is next to none and still has one year remaining on his deal. Last season, he played in all 16 games, recording 48 combined tackles and 1.5 sacks. If the Giants retain him, he will count about $6 million against the camp and $1.3 in dead cap if he’s cut.
This should be an easy decision for Gettleman.