The New York Giants finished the 2021 season with a 4-13 record. They fired Joe Judge in January shortly after the season ended. They hired former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to be their next head coach and hired former Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen to be their general manager. The Giants have struggled the past few years and they are hopeful that this change in leadership can lead them in a positive direction.
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Pending Free Agents
If you factor in unrestricted, restricted, and exclusive rights free agents, the Giants have 30 free agents. New York is not a hot destination to be at right now so many of the top free agents do not choose to play for the Giants. The Giants are currently not in a good position with the salary cap and will need to do some work to improve it. According to Over the Cap, the Giants are $12 million over the salary cap.
Peppers is an important player for the Giants to re-sign. Peppers played only six games and started in five of them in 2021. He had one pass deflection and one sack. Peppers also had 29 combined tackles, 19 solo tackles, 10 assists, four quarterback hits, and two tackles for a loss. The chances that the Giants re-sign Peppers are high as he is one of the better-known players on the roster and one of their better defensive players.
Solders’ salary is at $15.5 million. At 33 years old, the left tackle does not have much time left to play in his career. Most NFL players usually retire in their early 30s, but you do have the exception of a few who do even play till they are in their 40s. If the Giants do indeed re-sign Solder, they may sign him to a one or two-year deal.
Engram is a solid player and the Giants should consider re-signing him. The tight end is currently 27 years old so he is near his prime and can be a positive force for any team he signs with. The Giants are trying to work on improving Daniel Jones so re-signing Engram would be a solid move for the Giants. They are committed to Jones and will work on finding more receivers to add to make them a threat in the NFC East.
Potential Cap Casualties
New York is currently $12 million over the salary cap. Being over the salary cap is never a good sign, so they will need to work on making their situation better. The NFC East is currently one of the struggling divisions and some consider the NFC East the laughing stock of the league. The Giants will still most likely have some cap casualties come mid-summer, but if Schoen can make some moves, you can expect the salary cap to be in a better spot.
Mike Glennon ($1.3 Million Saved)
Glennon was the backup to Jones in the 2021 season. Glennon might be cut due to the Giants wanting to test the waters in the draft and/or even in free agency for a solid backup. He is 32 years old and when it comes to quarterbacks, not too many play past their early to mid-30s. Glennon has not put up big numbers during his career so the Giants cutting him would not be a bad idea.
Billy Price ($2.9 Million Saved)
Price takes up a small amount of cap space for New York. Due to Solder being the only big name Giants free agent that has a salary above $10 million, it is hard for the Giants to make much cap room by cutting some of the players on last year’s team that are now free agents. Price is an unrestricted free agent and only 27 years old so if the Giants do not re-sign him, it would not do much of an effect. He has not done much of a factor in helping them make the postseason.
Austin Johnson ($3 Million Saved)
The defensive tackle might be finding a new home in 2022. Johnson is about to be near the prime of his career so this one is a toss-up. The Giants are still a rebuilding team, so they could go after some players in this upcoming draft. The Giants need help, and it does not seem like Johnson was a big help in the past season. Unless the Giants were to cut Solder, his salary would basically clear their cap and put the Giants in the positive.
Open Market Free Agent Targets
The Giants need help in a variety of positions. They could look for more targets that can help Jones out on the offensive side and some linebackers on the defensive side. The Giants struggled with scoring so the primary focus for the Giants should be on the offensive side and they have some decent targets that they could go after.
Sammy Watkins, Baltimore Ravens
Watkins is still one of the better receivers in the NFL. He may not be as electric as he was before, but Watkins could be a solid addition for the Giants as maybe their go-to receiver. Watkins is electric and had 27 receptions for 394 yards and one touchdown. He only played in 13 games but could be in more of an impactful role if the Giants go after Watkins and sign him to a deal.
Zay Jones, Las Vegas Raiders
Jones was instrumental in the success of the Raiders this past season. From his winning catch in the Raiders first game of the season against the Ravens, Jones has been a key player for the Raiders. He would be a great addition to the Giants as he can be a fantastic option in the slot and could turn out to be one of Jones’ favorite targets early on in the season.
Marquise Goodwin, Chicago Bears
Goodwin, who is known for his fantastic speed, could potentially be a great addition for the Giants come 2022. Goodwin could fit in as a kick returner and even as their second or third wide receiver. If signed by the Giants, Goodwin will most likely make an impact right away in the season. Playing on the Chicago Bears, who kept going back and forth on Andy Dalton and Justin Fields as their quarterback, was tough for any wide receiver as you had to deal with a different quarterback almost every game.
Previewing the 2022 NFL Draft
The New York Giants hold two picks in the top 10 in this year’s upcoming draft, the fifth and seventh overall picks. Most NFL teams get one pick in the first round, but for a team to get two picks in the top 10 is impressive. The Giants are going to need to think hard about who they want to get as they do not want to draft two players that end up being busts. As stated before, the Giants need a lot of help.
Round 1, Pick 5: Wide Receiver
The Giants should add an offensive weapon early on in the draft. Going after a top-tier wide receiver would be ideal for the Giants. Alabama’s Jameson Williams would be an ideal pick if still available on the board come their time to pick. Williams is explosive off the jump and when he is running routes. Solid pick for the Giants if they choose to go this route.
Round 1, Pick 7: Defensive End
The Giants need to go after a defensive end. Their defense was one of the worst in the league and they do not have any big-name players on their defense. The tough thing about the top 10 is you have the first few draft picks that are usually a lock at who they are getting, but after like pick three, the unpredictability comes into factor and some teams scramble last second to draft someone. There are plenty of great options at the defensive end position.
Round 2, Pick 36: Offensive Line
If you do not have an offensive line that can block, then you can kiss your season goodbye off the jump. The Giants could use the 36th pick to grab an offensive lineman that can help with run block. Saquon Barkley has great acceleration and if he can get solid blocks, he will get decent yards each game, but if the linemen cannot block, his rushing yards per game will not be where the team wants it to be. An offensive line pick in the second round would not be bad.
Round 3, Pick 67: Offensive Line
The Giants’ passing game is in need of major help. Jones does not have any big weapons currently and if they go after some in free agency or in the draft, he’ll need some linemen who can give him extra time in the pocket. Linemen go quickly in the draft, so if the Giants can snag a lineman before the fourth round, they could find a hidden star.
Round 3, Pick 81: Linebacker
The linebackers are known for being play-callers on the defensive side. The NFL community saw how well Micah Parsons played last year and how important the linebacker position is. Having a rookie play-caller on the defensive end is unusual for teams, but for the Giants, it may be the move that they have to make. Sometimes the unusual things that happen can be the change in a team’s season.
Early 2022 Expectations
The New York Giants will most likely not make the playoffs for the 2022 NFL season. Expect them to be at the bottom of not only the NFC East but the NFL. The Giants have had multiple head coaches throughout the past couple of seasons and just so much change has happened with the organization so some people do not know what to expect for the next season.
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