New York Giants: What the Giants are doing is absolutely baffling

New York Giants. #21 (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
New York Giants. #21 (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

The New York Giants have stunned people so far this offseason, and not in an ideal way. After trading star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns, where exactly is this team going?

The New York Giants shocking people at the start of free agency and the new league year is nothing new. They have made big splashes before, whether it be through a free agent signing or via a trade.

The start of this offseason, however, the New York Giants have surprised people in all the wrong ways. The team has made a plethora of moves that have been discussed by many, but all of it begs one question from me: what the heck are the Giants doing?

I have absolutely no idea what general manager Dave Gettleman and the Giants front office is trying to accomplish and the direction they are trying to go in, and the moves they have made are mind boggling to say the least.

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First, the team traded Olivier Vernon to the Cleveland Browns for Kevin Zeitler. I actually do like this trade for both sides, as the Browns needed a pass rusher and the Giants have had an awful offensive line for a few years now.

With that being said, the trade opened up a hold on the defensive front for the Giants, so it didn’t really solve as much as it was intended to. Zeitler is a solid offensive lineman and will help solidify the line for sure, but in the grand scheme of things I’m not sure how much it really helped.

Next, the team decided to let star safety Landon Collins walk in free agency without getting any compensation for him.

Yes, Collins did express his displeasure with the Giants organization and wanted to leave badly, but the Giants should’ve at least tried to place the franchise tag on him and trade him to a team that wanted him.

They also could have traded him before the trade deadline this past year, when they were in the midst of a lost season and could’ve have gotten something for him. I am almost positive a team would’ve given up something for one of the better safeties in the league who is only 25 years old.

Instead, the Giants let him walk for nothing. The Washington Redskins signed him to a 6 year/$84 million deal on the first day of the NFL’s legal tampering period and the Giants lost their star on the defensive side of the ball.

Did Collins have his flaws in coverage? Yes, and that could be one reason the Giants didn’t want him back. But he’s only 25 years old and has already made 3 pro bowls in 4 seasons.

To replace him, the team signed 34 year-old Antoine Bethea. Bethea has had an accomplished career and can still play, but he is more of a win now type of solution rather than a building block for the future.

The Giants aren’t in win now mode, but they weren’t completely far off from fighting for a playoff spot either. So why give up on a talented young players for an older one?

Yes, Collins is more expensive at this point in his career than Bethea is. But that is no excuse for Gettleman to get rid of him and then bring in Bethea.

And then, of course, there’s the Odell Beckham Jr. trade.

The Giants traded their star wide receiver to the Browns for the 17th overall pick in this year’s draft, a third round pick and young safety and former first round pick Jabrill Peppers.

The return is an average one at best for a player the caliber of Beckham Jr, and the evaluation of it all depends on if the Giants hit on the draft picks and if Peppers can produce with the G-men.

Peppers is a talented player who will also help to replace Collins at safety, but he is still developing and isn’t on the level of Collins.

This isn’t necessarily about the Giants return, however. This is about them trading arguably their best offensive player in the prime of his career.

Beckham Jr. has definitely had concerns around him about his attitude and “diva” activity, warranted or not. However, he has been an insanely productive player in his career.

He’s made three pro bowls in five seasons with the Giants, totaling 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns in 59 games.

Why would they trade their star player in the first place, let alone in his prime when they ideally want to compete for a playoff spot and are building the roster to do so?

They also just signed Beckham Jr. last season, and said they didn’t sign him just to trade him. This, as we now know, was clearly a misleading statement to the Giants’ fan base.

Lastly, the team is still undecided about the quarterback position.

They’re still deciding whether or not to keep 38 year-old quarterback Eli Manning or get someone in the draft to try to be the franchise quarterback of the future. They have said publicly they want to keep Manning, which should scare Giants fans. Manning isn’t nearly what he once was, and keeping him only make the team’s direction that much more confusing.

None of these moves, outside of maybe the Vernon-Zeitler trade, makes any type of sense to me.

I’m honestly baffled by Gettleman and the Giants front office lack of awareness to the fact that they had a window to build a contender with their core of players in their 20’s, including last year’s rookie sensation Saquon Barkley.

They can still draft an impact player with the 6th pick in this year’s draft, but it will now be at the start of a rebuild as opposed to another piece in a potential championship core.

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So congrats to the New York Giants front office on blowing the chance at building a championship contender this offseason just three days into it. I’m sure your fans are just thrilled with how the team is shaping up for 2019 and beyond.