New York Giants: 3 questions that will be answered during training camp

New York Giants, Sam Beal
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 24: Allen Robinson #12 of the Chicago Bears catches a pass in front of Sam Beal #23 of the New York Giants during a game at Soldier Field on November 24, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Giants 19-14. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The New York Giants finished mandatory minicamp on Thursday, and while they have OTA’s next week, the next month or so will be quiet. As we wait for training camp to start, the Giants have plenty of unanswered questions they must find solutions to in the near future. While they did allocate plenty of resources toward bolstering multiple units, there are a few depth pieces and starting spots open for the taking, and it all depends on individual performances during joint practices and preseason.

Some of the position battles that will ensue will be competitive, and that is exactly what you want when it comes to maximizing talent and extracting the most potential from a given player.

Three questions for the New York Giants during training camp:

1.) Can Sam Beal save his career with Big Blue?

The Giants have a plethora of corners capable of stepping in and making an impact, and considering they recently signed Adoree Jackson to a three-year, $39 million deal, some players will be fighting for a roster spot. One of those defensive backs is Sam Beal, who has missed the past three seasons due to injury and opting out at the 2020 campaign due to Covid.

The Giants currently have Julian love, Isaac Yiadom, Aaron Robinson, and Rodarius Williams competing for starting reps, so Beal could easily be the odd man out. Beal is set to earn $1.1 million this upcoming season, but would count 524K against the cap if he is cut. Big Blue ultimately wouldn’t save much, if anything, by releasing him, but they could look to offer a different player and opportunity where Beal has simply missed out on opportunities.

2.) Who will emerge as the starting OLB pair?

One of the most exciting position battles will be at outside linebacker this training camp. The Giants added four new players to the position, including Azeez  Ojulari, Elerson Smith, Ryan Anderson, and Ifeadi Odenigbo. There isn’t a penciled-in starter just yet, and with both Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines returning from injury, this should be one of the more exciting competitions of the summer. Any of these players could walk away with starting reps in week one, but I imagine they would likely roll with a rotation to start the year and see who has the hot hand.

3.) Who will win the RT battle?

Another big question is at right tackle, where Matt Peart and Solder will battle it out for starting reps. Solder opted out of the 2020 season due to Covid, similar to Beal, and having missed an entire year of action and learning the new scheme, it will take him quite some time to get into shape. In addition, he will be making the transition to right tackle, a position he hasn’t played since 2011 during his rookie season. Peart added significant muscle this off-season and showed flares of quality in the run game, but needs to develop as a pass blocker if he wants to remain a starter at the NFL level.

Solder made it clear that he was happy with his situation, and whoever starts deserves it, pledging his veteran experience and leadership to his teammates. While I expect a competitive battle at RT, it seems Solder is perfectly fine letting Peart secure the starting job right off the bat.

“Who cares who starts?” Solder said. “I just want to be a part of an excellent group that’s getting better every day, that plays at a really high level. I’ve been fortunate enough to play with some great O-lines and nobody cares who is starting and who is not starting because we’re all part of the team and we’re all necessary and we’re all needed.