There are numerous key players the New York Giants shouldn’t bring back when the 2020 campaign rolls around.
The New York Giants have only played 10 games thus far in 2019, but it already seems like it’s going to be another lost season. After finishing 3-13 in 2017 and 5-11 last year, this campaign may not even be an improvement when it’s all said and done. The only games left on the schedule that seems winnable are the Dolphins and Redskins. Therefore, there’s a great chance Big Blue could finish 4-12, or even worse, and miss the postseason once again.
So is a house cleaning in the near future for this organization? Time will only tell, but from a viewer’s standpoint, it’s something that definitely should happen. There are numerous players on this current roster the Giants should either part ways with before 2020 or not re-sign.
Of the seven we’ll discuss, six are starters at the moment, but shouldn’t be in the future plans by any means.
The Ones They Should Trade or Release
Left Tackle Nate Solder
This is an absolute given. The Giants signed left tackle Nate Solder to a four-year deal worth $62 million in March of 2018. From the beginning, it wasn’t a great deal and is shaping up to be one of Dave Gettleman‘s largest mistakes. However, fans didn’t realize that right away, due to the fact that they fell into what I call the “Ereck Flowers Trance.”
This means that most fans didn’t analyze the deal, one that made Solder the highest-paid offensive lineman in the league at the time. They didn’t consider the pros and cons of giving a left tackle of this caliber that kind of money. Many fans overlooked all that, due to the fact that they were just happy the Giants finally had a left tackle not named “Ereck Flowers.”
Now, 20 months later, fans are realizing how much of a waste it was to ink a deal with Solder in the first place.
This year, Solder has allowed 7.5 sacks for 48 total yards from the left tackle spot. This contributes to 22.1% of the total number of sacks the team has allowed, which is currently 34. Solder has also been penalized four times (all holds), which is 6.6% of the team’s total number of penalties (61).
Due to his large contract, the Giants’ best bet would be to search for a trade partner and not just release him. If he’s getting paid this amount of money, Big Blue should at least look to get something in return for him.
When it comes to his replacement, the Giants could definitely get a younger weapon at that position. Solder will be turning 32 this coming April.
Free Safety Antoine Bethea
The Giants inked a two-year deal with veteran free safety Antoine Bethea this past offseason worth $6.5 million. Through 10 games (all starts), the three-time Pro Bowler looks like he’s an aging defensive back contributing to the putrid group that is this Giants secondary. New York is 24th in the league with 259.0 passing yards allowed-per-game.
When you take a glance at the numbers, you’ll see Bethea is leading the team with 72 combined tackles. This isn’t all him though, as it mostly has to do with the struggling front-seven. There’s no way that amount of plays should be reaching Bethea’s end of the field.
Bethea has a potential out after this season and he would only cost the organization $125,000 in dead cap money in 2020. When the Giants part ways with Bethea (whenever that may be), they’ll be left with defensive back Julian Love, who’s now a rookie. Love was drafted as a cornerback out of the University of Notre Dame in the fourth round (No. 108 overall). However, he’s worked at the safety position for the Giants as well.
Fans expected Love to be in a reserve defensive back role, but not to the point where he would only have three defensive snaps under his belt through 10 games. The Giants need to develop Love and give him more in-game reps than they’ve had. He’ll most likely have a shot to be Bethea’s successor, so the Giants should prepare him as much as possible.
Cornerback Janoris Jenkins
The Giants signed Janoris Jenkins to a five-year, $62.5 million deal prior to the 2016 season. In his inaugural campaign with Big Blue, Jenkins made the Pro Bowl and was selected to the All-Pro Second Team. Since then, he hasn’t done a whole lot.
Now in 2019, he’s proving to be a mistake-filled defensive back with unfilled upside potential. Quarterbacks have combined to complete 54.2% of their throws against him with three touchdowns and a 13.1 yards-per-completion rate.
The statistics aren’t absolutely horrible, don’t get me wrong. They could definitely be worse. But he still hasn’t performed up to the amount he’s getting paid. Jenkins is the second-highest-paid player on the team behind Eli Manning.
Jenkins’ age is a factor as well, as he just turned 31 years old. The Giants either need to develop second-year pro Sam Beal or look to find young corners in the draft and free agency. If they get rid of Jenkins, they’ll need to create a whole lot of depth at that position. You can never go wrong with more defensive backs, and if you’re the Giants, you definitely need more than less. This, especially with the struggles of Grant Haley and rookie Deandre Baker.
With Jenkins, it’s the same situation as Solder. He’s too expensive of a player to release. At least try to find a trade partner and get something in return for him.
Inside Linebacker Alec Ogletree
The Giants traded for Alec Ogletree prior to the 2018 season. They gave the Rams fourth-round and sixth-round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft for Ogletree and a 2019 seventh-round selection. From the beginning, the move has been a true mistake.
Ogletree is horrible in pass coverage. This year, quarterbacks have combined to complete 25 of their 28 passes against him (89.3%) for two touchdowns and a 120.2 rating. The veteran has struggled when it comes to the pass rush as well. On 38 blitzes, Ogletree has just one hurry, one quarterback knockdown, and one sack, totaling three pressures. Therefore, he racks up one pressure on just 7.9% of pass rushes.
Ogletree also has an 11.9% missed-tackle percentage through the eight games he’s played in this year.
His health is a concern as well. Last year, in his first campaign with New York, Ogletree missed three games. Thus far in 2019, he’s missed a pair of matchups.
The veteran will have two years left on his current deal with the Giants after 2019. In 2020 and 2021, he has an $11,750,000 cap hit and a $10,750,000 cap hit, respectively. If the Giants were to release or trade him, they would have dead cap hits of $3,500,000 and $1,750,000 in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
With his expensive contract ($42.75 million across four years), a trade could be the way to go if you’re the Giants to at least get a player or picks in return.
Players With Expiring Contracts The Team Shouldn't Re-Sign
Right Tackle Mike Remmers
The Giants signed Mike Remmers to a one-year deal this past offseason worth $2.5 million. He was supposed to be a step up from Chad Wheeler, who struggled mightily at the right tackle spot last year. However, Remmers has mostly been a disappointment up to this point.
Through nine games (all starts), Remmers has committed five penalties (two false starts, three holding calls). This accounts for 8.2% of the team’s total 61 penalties. Remmers has also allowed five sacks for a total of 35 yards, 14.7% of the team’s total 34 allowed sacks.
Given his age (30), health (was out against the New York Jets with a back injury), and struggles, the Giants could definitely find a younger, healthier, and more in-tune option at the right tackle spot. The good thing about Remmers compared to the previous four individuals is that his contract expires after this year. Therefore, if the Giants decide not to bring him back, there won’t be any cap hits they’ll have to worry about.
Inside Linebacker David Mayo
If the Giants decide to bring back David Mayo, he’d have some competition on his hands with Ryan Connelly, who’s looking to come back strong after tearing his ACL this year. Connelly will be a favorite to win that job, as the main reason Mayo is even starting right now is due to multiple injuries and the release of others.
To break it down, Mayo is not great in pass coverage at all. Quarterbacks have combined for a 76.9% completion rate against him with a 96.3 rating. They also have 9.4 yard-per-completion and 7.2 yard-per-target rates against Mayo.
He’s also been relatively quiet on the stat sheet. Mayo has 40 combined tackles through his seven starts, averaging 5.7 tackles-per-start. However, the 12 tackles he had against the New England Patriots serves as an outlier. If not for that start, Mayo would be averaging 4.7 tackles-per-start. In his last four starts combined, he has just 11 total tackles, averaging just 2.75 tackles-per-start.
That being said, most other options at this position would be able to do what Mayo is doing at the moment, if not more.
Quarterback Eli Manning
This is pretty self-explanatory. The Giants now have their quarterback of the future in Daniel Jones and are moving off of Eli Manning. Through 16 years, Manning solidified himself as arguably the best quarterback in franchise history, having led Big Blue to a pair of Super Bowl titles.
It’s unclear if Manning would retire or try to sign with another organization when his contract expires after this season. Whatever happens, Giants fans across the world owe Manning a huge “thank you.” It was a long and great ride.