The Giants‘ offense is looking to take a leap after adding various playmakers in the offseason. But the unit’s potential to be great is just as large as its potential to regress.
Here are five positives and five negatives — one each for every position group — for Big Blue’s offense heading into the 2023 campaign.
Good news: The Giants opted to stick with Daniel Jones after he led the team to its first playoff appearance in six years. And it was the right move — head coach Brian Daboll’s offense has continuity at the helm and Jones is expected to improve with the additions to his supporting cast.
Bad news. Jones isn’t the perfect starting quarterback by any means, however, and was 15th in passing yards and tied for 21st in passing touchdowns last year. Just look at his new four-year contract and when the guaranteed money runs out — even the Giants know he could be elsewhere in two years.
Entering a crucial season, Jones still has to prove he can become a premier passing talent.
Good news. The Giants and the franchise-tagged Saquon Barkley don’t seem to be close on a new multi-year deal, but general manager Joe Schoen holds all the leverage. Barkley’s only tactic at this point is to threaten to sit out the season, which he basically already has. And we all know he won’t actually stay home.
Thus, the Giants will either employ Barkley on the $10.1 million fully guaranteed tag (with the option to tag him again in 2024) or he’ll sign a contract that lowers his 2023 cap hit.
Bad news. But with the leverage on one side comes the frustrations on the other. With the running back market having tanked in free agency, Barkley has all but missed out on a big payday, for both the upcoming season and maybe his career.
If the two sides can’t come to an agreement and Barkley plays on the tag, or if he accepts a deal with much less guaranteed money than initially desired, the veteran running back will not be a happy camper.
Good news. The Giants didn’t hold back in their desire for more options in the receiver room. Schoen went out and signed Parris Campbell, Jamison Crowder, and Jeff Smith, re-signed Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, and Isaiah Hodgins, and drafted Jalin Hyatt in the third round. Add the return of Wan’Dale Robinson from an ACL tear, and you have a crowded receiver room with a ton of speed.
Bad news. But this team still lacks a true No. 1 receiver. While tight end Darren Waller figures to be New York’s leading pass-catcher, the Giants would still benefit from a big-name wideout who can fill the role of a true No. 1. Maybe that’s next offseason’s problem, perhaps…
Good news. No drops and missed blocks at the tight end position. No fringe roster guys or primary blocking tight ends thrust into pass-catching roles. Schoen’s big splash move this offseason was trading a third-round draft pick for tight end Darren Waller. The Pro Bowler, who just caught 107 balls for the Raiders a few seasons ago, provides the Giants with their most potential at tight end since the Jeremy Shockey days.
Bad news. Waller comes with somewhat of a concern though, and that’s a rough injury history. Following his sensational 2020 campaign (107 receptions, 1,196 yards, and nine touchdowns), Waller played in just 21 of 35 possible games from 2021-22, having dealt with back, knee, and hamstring injuries.
More bad luck on this front would be a huge setback for the Giants’ offense.
Good news. Andrew Thomas is coming into his own as one of the NFL’s top left tackles and is in line for a lucrative contract extension. And while right tackle Evan Neal struggled as a rookie, he could certainly take a big leap in year two. Thomas did, remember?
Bad news. There could be some inexperience on the interior of the offensive line, however. This group could include a starting rookie center (John Michael Schmitz) and starting second-year left guard (Josh Ezeudu). The true lack of reps and starts could lead to early struggles.
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