Can you believe that only a year ago the Giants were being welcomed back to New York as conquering heroes, going down the Canyon of Heroes, celebrating their Super Bowl victory. Fast forward to a season after that championship and Big Blue didn’t even make the playoffs.
The New York Giants have their work cut out for them this offseason if they want to be a factor again in 2013.
There have been a few cap-casualties already with some fan favorites (read: Boley, Canty and Bradshaw), but Jerry Reese is known to make bold moves that seem to work out in the end.
The following are a few things the Giants have to do to get back to the playoffs:
Fix the pass-rush
What happened to the Giants’ fearsome pass-rush that helped push them to two championships in five years? You take those pass-rushes out of the equation, and those Super Bowl victories don’t exist. Having Kiwanuka and Jason Pierre-Paul will not be enough. They need to look at picking up another defensive end in either free agency or the draft. And no, Justin Tuck won’t be a difference maker either.
You have wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. Who’s more important? It’s one or the other. And both are in their last season of their contract’s. It is doubtful the Giants will be able to keep both talented receivers, unfortunately. They were a dynamic duo that gave opposing defenses problems, and it will be hard to lose one, but the Giants have to decide who is more valuable.
Cruz is more likely to holdout if the Giants don’t sign him to a lucrative long-term deal. Nicks? Not so much. Nicks has been unhealthy the past year, so he has no bargaining edge. What he can do, though, is remain healthy and play out his existing contract, perform above expectations (like we’ve seen him do) and cash in.
Address their offensive line
The Giants are in serious need of some new linemen. This past season, the line was not good enough to give Eli Manning time to pick apart defenses. That’s why you saw a decline in his production. They have to deal with some linemen that will be free agents, like Will Beatty and Kevin Booth, and some that need to go, like Chris Snee and David Diehl.
Luckily for the Giants, there is no shortage of talented linemen coming in in this year’s NFL draft. Also, there will be a few big-name offensive linemen available that the Giants can look at.
Fix their secondary
The Giants pass defense was ranked 28th in the league. This unit was getting burned left and right. They need to address it immediately. How? They need to add depth, and upgrade their secondary. If one of their corner’s gets hurt, they’ll struggle in the secondary again. This season, Prince Amukamara went down and everything just fell apart. And Corey Webster did a horrendous job in the later stages of the season.
The team needs to take a serious look at the cornerbacks heading to free agency. There are a few players that will seriously upgrade a struggling unit, and in turn, take some pressure off of a defensive line that is also struggling.