In 2018 the New York Giants turned over so much of their roster they didn’t have many difficult decisions to make. Fast-forward one year and there are some very tough decisions now that the roster is improving under new GM Dave Gettleman. Here are 5 players who would be very tough to say goodbye to:
The inside linebacker hasn’t been super impressive in his career, now going into his fourth season. While he’s left a lot to be desired he’s a step above the available inside linebackers on the market. BJ Goodson will most likely be picked up by another team quickly, but he hasn’t out-produced his in-house competition in Tae Davis and Ryan Connelly.
If the team doesn’t plan on keeping four inside linebackers, which is a tall task, they will be forced to release BJ Goodson. Keeping an extra inside linebacker would be a luxury for a team who has uncertainty at the position but the team most likely won’t have room for luxuries.
Scott Simonson has been a blocking specialist for the Oakland Raiders, Carolina Panthers, and most recently, the New York Giants in 2018. Before last year he caught 1 pass in his first 3 years but caught 9 passes from Eli in 2018. He proved to be a functional pass catcher when given the opportunity, along with adequate blocking ability, but the team has plenty of depth at this position.
Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison are a lock to make the team, leaving one more spot for a tight end. Simonson faces tough competition in Garrett Dickerson and CJ Conrad who have both looked more impressive than Simonson throughout training camp. There’s a chance the coaching staff feels differently about his summer performance and keeps Simonson, but if they do move on from him, it will not be an easy decision.
This may surprise some people since Bennie Fowler has been running with the first-team throughout the summer. While that’s true, guys like Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and Darius Slayton have all missed significant amounts of practices. Fowler suited up for the New York Giants for 10 games last year, but the team has a ton of depth at this position going into 2019.
Not to say the position has improved overall without you know who, but the depth of the position looks much stronger compared to last year. Fowler started his career as a Denver Bronco and was a backup receiver for the team. He never broke 400 receiving yards and his average yardage per reception never even reached 9 yards.
One of the major knocks on Fowler is the dropped passes which have been an issue here an there this summer. Fowler’s combination of size and speed is impressive but there are too many sure-handed receivers to pick from on the roster to trust Fowler going into a new season.
Brittan Golden was injured for most of the training camp but his recent performance should make the coaching staff take a 2nd look at him. After seeming destined to be axed this Saturday, he took the field against the Bengals and returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown. That’s a skill the team has been seeking for a long time. But for Golden to make the roster, the team would need to be willing to designate an entire roster spot to a return specialist.
Golden did catch a nice pass from Daniel Jones about 30 yards down the field, but the top three receiving spots have been decided already. He would also have guys like Darius Slayton, Russell Shepard, and Alonzo Russell to compete with for targets. Golden probably got healthy too late in the summer to make a name for himself. If Jabrill Peppers is gassed after playing defense more often than not and Golden Tate’s age starts to dull his explosiveness, the team might wonder what could’ve been with the potential return specialist.
Another wide receiver who has flashed throughout the preseason will probably be sent packing on Saturday. TJ Jones was added to the team after camp already started, but he’s done well enough to possibly carve out a spot on the roster. The problem is, he’s not the only one.
One of the deepest positions on the roster is at wide receiver and there’s a handful who have guaranteed spots. Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, Cody Latimer, and Darius Slayton will all be on the team. Only leaving 2 more spots for guys like Russell Shepard, Alonzo Russell, Bennie Fowler, Brittan Golden, and TJ Jones.
The team is very likely to keep Russell Shepard, giving the team 3 receivers who are primarily slot-receivers. This would make it hard to keep a fourth slot-receiver in TJ jones instead of an outside receiver. While he has the talent to stick on rosters around the league, the Giants have no shortage of slot-receiver talent.
This coming Saturday is oftentimes a coach’s most dreaded weekend of the year. Sometimes they have to send valuable players packing for one reason or another. The Giants have a few positions where they will need to shed adequate depth which isn’t easy to do. While it’s not always easy, it’ll be much harder to do than last year, indicating improvement of the team overall.