With the Pat Shurmur era over, finding a new head coach is one of the many questions the New York Giants face this offseason.
After a combined 9-23 record over the past two seasons, New York Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch fired head coach Pat Shurmur on Monday.
The firing of Shurmur was the first of many dominos that will fall this offseason. Ownership is aware that the Giants fanbase is growing impatient with the putrid play they’ve witnessed over the last three seasons, as their 12-36 record is the worst in the NFL.
This is one of the most important offseasons in the history of the Giants franchise. They’ll look to regain credibility after qualifying for the playoffs just twice in the last decade.
There are many questions that need to be answered this offseason, and here are the top five that are looming as the franchise heads into the offseason:
Who will be the next head coach?
This is the obvious and most urgent question that needs to be answered. Ownership and general manager Dave Gettleman must act fast when finding a new coach so they can assemble their coaching staff and start prepping for free agency and the draft.
Former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and Baylor head coach Matt Rhule seem to be the two top candidates on the Giants list. But there are other viable candidates such as Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
Earlier this week, Tisch was asked what qualities he’s looking for in the next head coach.
“Leadership, an ability to put together a great staff, an ability to really work with the players, the rookies. I think it’s really important that the next head coach has to have a point of view, a very strong point of view, and he will be supported by ownership.”
We should know within a week who will be the next head coach.
Will the Giants pick Evan Engram’s fifth-year option?
Evan Engram is one of the most physically gifted tight ends in the league. The problem with Engram is his inability to stay on the field. In his three seasons with the Giants, he’s missed a total of 14 games.
Engram was effective in the eight games he played this season, catching 44 passes for 467 yards and three touchdowns before his football-playing year came to an abrupt end.
As it’s often said a player’s best ability is their availability and Engram has yet to play a full 16 game season. The 25-year-old Engram is currently recovering from surgery on his left foot which makes one of the decisions the Giants must make this offseason more difficult.
The team will have to decide on whether or not to pick up Engram’s fifth-year option, which would cost the Giants an estimate of $5.3 million in non-guarantee money. There’s no mistaking Engram’s talent, but will the Giants want to make that investment to a player that has been injury-prone that’s coming off surgery.
How much will Gettleman pay Leonard Williams?
When the Giants traded away two draft picks to acquire Leonard Williams in October, the trade made little sense then and makes even less sense following Gettleman’s press conference on Tuesday.
Trading for Williams will cost them the 68th overall pick in this coming draft and either a fourth-round pick in 2021 if they re-sign Williams, or a fifth-round pick in 2021 if they don’t re-sign him.
With Gettleman being retained as general manager, he will certainly look to sign Williams long-term to prove he was right to trade for him in the first place. Williams and his agent know this, which gives them leverage when it comes to contract negotiation. It’s been speculated that Williams will seek a contract that will pay him at least $15 million annually. That’s a steep price to pay for a player that had 26 tackles and half a sack in his eight games with the Giants. How much is Gettleman willing to spend in cap space to try to prove to people he was right about Williams looms over the Giants heads this offseason.
The Giants will receive a compensatory pick if they lost Williams to another team via free agency.
Will the Giants bring back Markus Golden?
Markus Golden has proven to be the best free-agent acquisition Gettleman has made in his two years as GM. This season, Golden became the first Giants to have double-digit sacks (10) since Jason Pierre-Paul in 2014. The only problem is that Golden was only signed to a one-year deal, making him a free agent who will look for a lucrative contract.
The NFL salary cap is going up this year and his projected to be between $196.8 million and $201.2 million. But will the Giants look to bring back Golden, who turns 29 in March, or be content with their two young edge rushers in Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines.
Who will be the backup quarterback?
For the first time in two decades, the Giants will need to find a viable backup quarterback. With ironman Eli Manning at the helm, the Giants were fortunate they didn’t need a viable backup because he never missed a game due to injury.
Daniel Jones has a bright future as a quarterback, as he set numerous franchise rookie records. However, he also showed that he won’t be as durable as Manning. He missed two games due to an ankle sprain.
It’s imperative the Giants find a capable backup in case Jones gets injured again, and to help mentor the youngster in his second season in the league.