If the New York Giants’ off season was a housing renovation, the process may turn out to more of a gut rehab, instead of a fix-up and flip. Not only do the G-Men have a plethora of positions with non-performers to fill, the team also has to decide whether several of their performing players are worthy of a contract extension as well. Most notably, Big Blue will have to come to conclusions on retaining cornerback Prince Amukamara, wide receiver Rueben Randle and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.
As with any decisions of the magnitude of these, there are clear pros and cons with retaining each player, and in the case of Randle, the decision is more performance-based than anything else. For as much size and talent as Randle brings to the table, questions continue to abound about his work ethic and compete level.
N.J. Advance Media reported on Feb. 22, 2016 that discussions on extending Randle are reverberating throughout the Quest Diagnostic Center, but no decision has been made. “The talent is there. Even as is, Randle is a useful player. But does his health and intangibles warrant at least a few more years of procurement? It’s another question facing the Giants this offseason,” Jordan Raanan wrote.
Pro Football Focus ranks Randle 99th out of 119 graded receivers last season, with a final grade of (-5.5), so the decision would seem to be a no-brainer. But somewhere at MetLife Stadium there has to be an epiphany that talent wins in the National Football League, and yet Big Blue continues to drain talent at an alarming level.
Many media outlets have the Giants going “all-in” on big bodied Alshon Jeffery, soon to be free agent receiver on the Chicago Bears, who would be a great addition. NFL Insider Ian Rapoport indicated on Feb. 19, 2016 that Jeffery might not be franchise tagged by the Bears and be able to leave via free agency. “Assumption has been [Bears will] tag WR Alshon Jeffery. I’m told no decision has been made & there’s a chance he hits the market,” Rapoport tweeted.
While the Giants have almost $60 million in salary cap room to maneuver this off season, Jeffery would potentially consume a large portion of that space, and he can only fill a limited role with the Giants. Remember, there is only one football on the field, and the Giants already have Odell Beckham on their side to be the top receiving target. Re-signing Rueben Randle will likely cost less than one-half of what bringing Jeffery to the Meadowlands will cost the team, and he already knows the system.
Yes, Randle will likely never become the receiver that people envisioned in 2012, when he was drafted out of LSU, but he will also not command a superstar’s paycheck as well. In addition to re-signing Randle, the G-Men should consider alternatives at the draft, and kicking the tires on Kamar Aiken and Mohamed Sanu makes sense too.
Bringing Randle back will not in and of itself cure the many ailments that currently plague the Giants, but it will stem the tide of talent leaving the franchise and not being replaced, as the team tries to scratch its way to the NFL playoffs under new head coach Ben McAdoo.