The New York Giants seem to be extremely confused about their future.
They cut cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, watched cornerback Ross Cockrell sign with the Carolina Panthers and linebacker Kevon Dennard sign with the Detroit Lions, and traded pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
They watched their three starting interior offensive linemen in Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, and D.J. Fluker sign with other teams. They’ve lost starters at some of the most important positions with little more than a shrug in response.
Schefter said on ESPN’s NFL Live Thursday that another GM told him following the Giants’ trade of Jason Pierre-Paul to the Buccaneers that Big Blue is in “rebuild mode trying to tear it down.”
And yet they’ve asserted their commitment to 37-year-old Eli Manning at quarterback. They sent a fourth-round pick and swapped late round picks with the Los Angeles Rams to acquire linebacker Alec Ogletree. They signed journeyman guard Patrick Omameh to a three-year deal.
Oh, and they made former New England Patriots left tackle Nate Solder the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL.
What the heck are the Giants doing? Are they rebuilding or treading water? There’s nothing more disappointing than a team showing a commitment to the purgatory of mediocrity.
The Patriots were interested in retaining Solder, as were the Houston Texans and Cleveland Browns. The Browns inked former Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Chris Hubbard and bowed out of the competition, leaving it a three-team race for Solder.
But the Giants priced the Patriots and Texans out of the Solder Sweepstakes. For what purpose? I’m thrilled that Solder is cashing in- every player should always do that- but the move makes no sense for the Giants.
How many more years will the Giants commit to Eli Manning? Is this all a smokescreen to get their guy in the draft and have Eli hand the franchise over to his replacement in 2019 or 2020? Or will the Giants wait another year or two to draft their Eli replacement?
This is important because Solder turns 30 in April. He’s an above-average tackle, but he’s been inconsistent over the past few years and wasn’t in the top 10 of his position for 2017. This could very well be his final NFL contract and he’s joining a team in transition.
Will Solder be the reason for Eli to have a resurgent 2018 season? It’s doubtful.
Will Solder still be playing at a high-enough level for when Eli’s replacement is under center? Perhaps, but they’re certainly not building a roster that would support a young quarterback in the next couple of years.
The Patriots could have used Solder now. So could the Texans. Both teams have a limit to what they’re willing to spend on a player, and the fact they balked at the price isn’t an indictment on either team. Solder was completely in the right to take the massive deal, too.
The only party to make a questionable decision in this story is the Giants. What the heck are they doing?