The New York Giants still have a long way to go before they can be considered Super Bowl contenders, but they can expedite the playoff process with a few essential moves.
On Friday morning, the Giants traded OLB Olivier Vernon to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for star right guard Kevin Zeitler. While the Giants did find themselves a top-tier upgrade on the offensive line, they lost their top pass rusher, which hurts a defense that is already thin at multiple positions.
At this point in the offseason, the offense seems to be stocked with talent, but the cornerback, pass-rusher, and safety units are all lacking. General manager Dave Gettleman has been known to allocate more resources towards the offensive and defensive line, all while allowing the secondary to fall apart. Holding onto CB Janoris Jenkins should be a priority and signing another capable corner would be smart.
It seems as if Gettleman is betting his chips on third-round pick (supplemental draft) Sam Beal to make a significant impact in 2019. The team undoubtedly needs support and reassurance in the backfield, but I wouldn’t anticipate a lot of capital being spent.
How the New York Giants can complete the rebuild:
There’s no question that Gettleman has been looking to overhaul the roster and start from scratch. He’s put together a solid offense with plenty of playmakers but is looking at an offense full of youth and inexperience. He could decide to follow the Kansas City model – have a devastating offense and a terrible defense.
You know what they say, “defense wins championships.” At the end of the day, the Giants will have to put together a capable defense if they wish to succeed, and I have no doubt they will, just not in 2019.
A plan for success:
There’s a specific sequence of events that I would like to see the team attempt to exercise. If New York could convince Arizona to trade Josh Rosen for a second-rounder, it would pay dividends. The team would arguably get the best QB and RB from the 2018 draft.
Rosen struggled in 2018, but at the expense of the offensive line who allowed 45 sacks on the rookie. He threw for 11 scores and 14 INTs, but we saw him make optimism portraying throws. Acquiring Rosen and cutting Eli Manning would save the Giants $17 million in cap space.
Theoretically, they could move back from No. 6 to around No. 10-12 in the draft and re-acquire their second-rounder. With the pick they could grab a stud pass-rusher or linebacker, bolstering the defense. Then, with the money they saved from Manning, they could go out and sign a top right tackle in free agency to help Rosen in pass-protection.
Going from the league’s worst OL to one of the best (on paper) would certainly do a number on his confidence, additionally, it would keep the Giants’ cap at QB down significantly, putting them in a position to continue building through free agency in 2020.