The New York Giants didn’t have the best year in 2017. In fact, the only team with a worse record was the Cleveland Browns. That’s about all you need to know.
The Giants weren’t terrible, but they certainly have a lot of work to do if they want to compete in the same division as the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. They need to win close games. They need an offense that works. They need an offensive line. And they need to keep Odell Beckham Jr.
Having Beckham healthy and back on the field will go a long way towards improving the offense, but it won’t be cheap. Those close to Beckham have leaked the magic number for the superstar wide receiver: $20 million.
Beckham wants to be the highest paid wide receiver in NFL history. I would say he wants quarterback money, but given what Kirk Cousins is most likely going to fetch this offseason, I’m not sure it even touches that.
Regardless, OBJ is looking for something $20 million. Beckham still has one season left on his rookie contract, but it would be a good idea for the Giants to have him locked down as soon as possible, so you can expect negotiations to get going soon.
Beckham will earn $8.4 million this season (plus another Lord Knows how much with all his endorsement deals), but he is looking for that Antonio Brown money. The Pittsburgh Steelers superstar is the highest paid WR right now, bringing home around $17 million a season. Houston Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins is sitting right behind him at $16.2 million per season with the most guaranteed money of any receiver ($49 million).
The Giants need to do anything they can to keep Beckham in New York, so you can expect them to open their checkbook and open it wide.
In addition, they need to figure out what they’ll be doing at the quarterback position. Eli Manning is a two-time Super Bowl champion and future Hall of Famer, yet he seems to get all the blame for the Giants poor season. He’s still under contract with the Giants, but it isn’t crystal clear what they plan to do with him moving forward.
They could (should) use that sexy No. 2 overall pick to draft an anchor for their offensive line. Or maybe bolster their solid defense. Or maybe trade down and grab a veteran and a few draft picks in return.
The latter seems to be the most likely as of now, as general manager Dave Gettleman doesn’t sound overly excited about the prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft.
“If there is a guy worthy of being the second pick of a draft, and what we’re basically saying if we answer that question in the affirmative is that you think you’re drafting a Hall of Fame player,” said Gettleman. “So you can’t get too cute about the whole thing. Does that make sense? If someone makes me an offer I can’t refuse, would I move back? It depends upon who’s there.”
So, without a guaranteed Hall of Famer, the Giants will most likely decide to drop back. They could, of course, draft a QB to rear up behind Eli as well, but they seem satisfied with the one they drafted last year, Davis Webb.
Shurmur described Webb and Eli as “eager” to get things going.
“Good question,” said Giants new head coach Pat Shurmur. “It’s interesting. He and Eli are in the building every day. I got to hold back from talking ball with them. I see them in the lunch room after they’ve had their workouts. That’s a little uncomfortable for me because they’re so eager to get going. I like what I’ve seen in Davis Webb. I went back and watched his tape again for college just to get reacquainted with him. I like what I saw on tape when he played. I had a chance to watch his practice tape, which has been terrific. We just don’t have a large sample size of Davis Webb playing NFL football. But I’m excited what he brings to the table.”
This isn’t Shurmur’s first meeting with Webb either. The two worked together a good bit last season as the 2017 NFL Draft was approaching.
“We liked him a great deal,” said Shurmur, who did a lot of work with Webb around this time last year as the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings. “We thought he was a winner. We liked his size; we liked his arm strength, we liked his decision-making. He could move around in the pocket, so I can see why the Giants drafted him a year ago because we liked him as well.”
So, with a lot of question marks and things still up in the air, it isn’t clear if New York football will be any better this year. The Giants are really their only hope anyways, you don’t want to put something like that on the New York Jets.