The Giants are moving forward with a new general manager and head coach.
Joe Schoen is replacing Dave Gettleman.
Brian Daboll is replacing Joe Judge.
A new era of Giants football is commencing (thank God) with the ultimate goal of turning the entire franchise around following five disgraceful years of losing (however long that may take).
But there is no time to celebrate for the organization — it’s business as usual moving forward.
With Schoen and Daboll now in their respective roles, what’s next for Big Blue in this crucial offseason?
For the fourth time since 2016, the Giants have hired a new head coach (wow, that’s just incredibly depressing to say) and will turn their attention to filling out the coordinator positions or retaining any who were a part of the previous regime.
The belief is the next offensive coordinator will not be calling the plays, unlike what occurred during the Joe Judge era when Jason Garrett (and then Freddie Kitchens) was assuming those duties.
Given Daboll’s bright offensive mind and what he was able to do in Buffalo, it’s clear the top choice for the offensive play-calling role will be the man himself.
Regardless, there’s a chance Daboll might work alongside a familiar face in Ken Dorsey, who could climb the NFL coaching ranks if he were to come to East Rutherford.
Dorsey has been Buffalo’s passing game coordinator (since 2021) and quarterbacks coach (since 2019), and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports he is likely to be the OC for either the Bills or Giants.
A beneficiary of Brian Daboll’s departure, Buffalo’s passing-game coordinator and QB coach Ken Dorsey is likely to become an offensive coordinator either with the Bills or Giants, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 28, 2022
Familiarity is relevant in this league. It’s likely a notable reason why Joe Judge chose Patrick Graham as his defensive coordinator (they worked together in New England) and why Schoen (the now-former Bills assistant general manager) hired Daboll.
The new Giants head coach, with Dorsey, utilized what was an effective playbook in Western New York and played a role in the development of quarterback Josh Allen — Dorsey would be a smart hire to commence the Daboll era in East Rutherford.
As for the defense, why not retain Graham? This defense has been strong (at times) with Graham at the helm over the last two years and the players play hard for him. Not to mention, both Daboll and Graham were additionally with one another in New England from 2013-15 (the former was the Patriots tight end coach while the latter was the defensive line-turned-linebackers coach).
Various defensive players who could remain on the roster (James Bradberry, Adoree’ Jackson, Tae Crowder, Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence, Azeez Ojulari, Logan Ryan, and others) also have experience playing in Graham’s system, so the retaining of the DC would make sense.
Before the Giants can even think about making splashes in the free agency period (which they shouldn’t even do considering they’re not surefire contenders just yet), Joe Schoen and assistant general manager Kevin Abrams must clear a significant amount of cap space.
Spotrac estimates the Giants to be $10.35 million over the cap — just to make you aware, that’s pretty awful. It’s not the situation the Saints are in (estimated $71.56 million over the cap), but it’s still not ideal.
Cap casualty season will arrive soon enough, and we could see various players who are under contract in 2022 find themselves out of East Rutherford ahead of next season.
Maybe Blake Martinez is gone? Maybe Sterling Shepard as well? Maybe Nate Solder as well?
Decisions (yes, plural) must be made.
Offseason acquisitions (FA and Draft)
The cap situation will ultimately decide how the Giants attack the free agency period. But regardless, don’t expect a multitude of bank-breaking moves like what they executed last year (i.e the Leonard Williams re-signing, the Kenny Golladay acquisition, the Adoree’ Jackson acquisition, etc.).
But if there is anything I would recommend with offseason moves, I’d say the Giants should absolutely take an offensive tackle with their No. 5 overall draft pick, whether that be Alabama’s Evan Neal or NC State’s Ikem Ekwonu (if either is available).
At No. 7, Big Blue could possess various options. Maybe an interior offensive lineman to further improve a unit that must assist in the overall development of the offense? Maybe an edge rusher to complement Azeez Ojulari? Maybe the Giants could trade back in the opening round, acquire an extra pick or two, and then address either the offensive line or pass rush with their then-new first-round selection?
Schoen and co. could take multiple routes, but the No. 5 overall pick should absolutely be a tackle — neither Nate Solder nor Matthew Peart is the answer on the right side.
Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY