In reality, they are the only two men left standing in the rubble that is called the New York Giants these days. General manager Jerry Reese and quarterback Eli Manning are the sole visible links to a championship team from the 2007 season, now that former head coach Tom Coughlin was shown the door soon after the 2015 NFL season had concluded. Sure, one could argue that co-owners Steve Tisch and John Mara are still in place, but neither has been or will be the visible face of the franchise. And yes, Zak DeOssie is still in East Rutherford, and Steve Spagnuolo has returned to the team, but neither can be considered the cornerstones of team that is not only revered in this area, but recognized nationally as well, at one time.
But a closer look at the present day New York Giants reveals thoughts of what should-have-been, instead of what-was, as four straight non-playoff seasons certainly took the luster off of coach Tom Coughlin’s potential Hall of Fame resume. For the record, what should-have-been resides approximately 200 miles to the north, with a Hall of Fame coach, and a Hall of Fame quarterback having made the NFL playoffs their own personal effects. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have won four Super Bowl titles together, and the duo has gone 4-2 in the championship game. Both losses, you guessed it, have come at the hands of Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning.
As Robert Kraft and his Patriots act like a young boy in a candy store, wanting every piece of chocolate for himself, the Giants become almost apologetic after winning a title. It is as if, the Mara DNA is not built to handle prosperity, or perhaps wants to spread the wealth around the National Football League equitably.
Two potential dynasties, led to two eras of rapid decline, mostly due to self-inflicted wounds (yes, we remember Ray Handley).
When former Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi retired in January 2007, Accorsi bequeathed a franchise quarterback to Reese. Vastly overlooked in this period of decline-asty, is the fact that Reese never had to pay a king’s ransom to get Eli Manning into a Giants uniform and still keep the entire roster whole. If you don’t think that’s a big deal, then you have not been following the lead up to this draft, where the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles have gone all-in to secure Carson Wentz and Jared Goff.
But time waits for no one, and it would be strange to see Bill Belichick talk of rebuilding the Patriots, at least not when Tom Brady remains under center in New England. Heck, Eli’s own brother Peyton understood that when it was time to leave Indianapolis, he took his services to a contending team in the Mile High City, rather than to also-rans in Jacksonville, Oakland or Cleveland.
Steve Serby of the New York Post hits upon this point in a column posted on Apr. 28, 2016. “For so much of this agonizing march through the desert of despair, Manning has been an oasis of hope. As Giants around him began dropping like flies, he never stopped being the first one to work and last one to leave, never stopped showing up on game day, never stopped facing the music when there was music to face,” Serby writes.
To be fair, there have been some unforeseen circumstances which have impacted the Giants roster with players like David Wilson, Chad Jones and Kenny Phillips never getting a full opportunity to prove their worth due to injury. Yet there also have been far too many Clint Sintims, Ramses Bardens, Marvin Austins and Damontre Moores that fall directly onto the general manager’s shoulders, despite his plea that everyone has a role in the draft.
More curious is the fact that when Reese seems to make a solid selection, he does not double-down for the sequel. For example, Reese has let defensive tackle Linval Joseph and cornerback Prince Amukamara depart after their rookie contracts expired. In either case, why not negotiate in advance of free agency and lower the overall sum of the contract while giving out a few more bucks in the short-term?
One can only imagine what Odell Beckham, Jr. will require to sign on the dotted line if allowed to go to unrestricted free agency.
According to multiple media reports, it appears that the G-Men are poised to select linebacker Leonard Floyd (Georgia) with the 10th selection of the NFL draft on April 28th. Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports One indicated so in a Tweet to followers on Apr. 28, 2016.
Floyd is certainly athletic (i.e. Jason Pierre-Paul), but one would have to question whether or not he is a fit in the Giants 4-3 defensive scheme. In addition, to think that the team is satisfied with guard John Jerry and tackle Marshal Newhouse protecting Manning on the right side of the offensive line remains an unsettling thought. Given his track record of drafting, Reese can perhaps kill two birds with one stone tonight by engineering a trade with the San Francisco 49ers at the draft to bring tackle Anthony Davis back home to New Jersey by offering a player and a pick.
In any event, Giants fans will have to hold their collective breath to see if this latest iteration of the team’s rebuild will bear immediate fruit, in the form of a playoff berth. With a weakened division and Eli Manning one year older, the clock continues to tick loudly, and will only get louder after this draft is over.
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