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By now we have all discussed the Giants super bowl victory to a point where we are tired of hearing about it (well not me but the average fan) so I will look to the future for the defending Super Bowl champions. Lets start with what unrestricted free agents the Giants will have to look at re-signing.
Kawika Mitchell- Mitchell had a rough start of the season for the Giants and looked lost for the first two games, in the third game he stepped up big and made the stop on Ladell Betts that turned the Giants season around. Mitchell was a Chief for his entire career leading up to this season and stepped up big, the Giants would be smart to look into giving him a long-term contract. If he leaves expect to see Gerris Wilkinson step up or maybe to see Chase Blackburn slide over to outside linebacker. Linebacker will also be a position addressed in the draft.
Gibril Wilson- Gibril was a restricted free agent last year and came back to have another good season. He has been very good for the past few years but has not had the big play ability that he showed in his rookie season. The Giants will most likely attempt to re-sign him but don’t be surprised to see him cash in on a big contract elsewhere.
Lawrence Tynes- The guy who went from goat to hero for the Giants with one kick against Green Bay. Tynes may not be back next year do to his inconsistencies on both field goals and extra points. The fault for the GIants inconsistencies in the kicking game should not all fall on Tynes since the rookie long snapper Jay Alford struggled to get the ball to veteran holder Jeff Feagles. This problem will likely be fixed next year as long time long snapper Ryan Keuhl will most likely return next year.
Jeff Feagles- The ageless wonder may retire after this year but if he does not it will be a no brainer for the Giants to bring him back. He has a great knack to down the ball inside of the 10-yard line and may be the most consistent punter in the league.
The Giants will also have restricted free agent James Butler to re-sign. They will offer him a low tender but if he gets a better offer the Giants will be very hesitant to match it.
This year will be 2 nd year general manager Jerry Reese’s second draft with the team and his first one could be considered nothing short of a stunning success being that every pick made the active roster at some point during the regular season and some were regular contributors during the super bowl run. With the super bowl victory the Giants would be expected to pick 32 nd but since the Patriots have forfeited their pick the Giants will pick 31 st. With this pick the Giants will probably look to add a linebacker, this year they got key contributions from both Kawika Mitchell and Reggie Torbor but, as addressed earlier, Mitchell’s contract is ending and Torbor has been an enigma in his short career so far. If the Giants don’t go with a linebacker they will likely take a safety since Gibril Wilson could leave and at the other safety spot they are currently alternating between James Butler and Michael Johnson. Whichever one of these the Giants pick in the first round I would expect them to pick the other in the second round. In the next round the Giants could look for more secondary help since Sam Madison is aging and although Corey Webster had a phenomenal post-season he has been inconsistent at best throughout his career so far. On the second day look for the Giants to look into getting a kicker, a backup quarterback, linebacker depth, and maybe one defensive end for the rotation if Michael Strahan retires. I will go more in depth with a draft analysis after the combine and teams have their pro-days so I have a better idea as to where players are expected to be drafted and what the Giants possible interest is.
The Giants will also have plenty of money to play around in free agency, I doubt they will make a big splash since most of their needs are depth and not star player. Early in the year many Giants fans (myself included) wanted to see the Giants make a push for Asante Samuel if he became available but it looks as if Aaron Ross will work out and the Giants will only need to add one corner (probably for depth) so they will not get into a ridiculous bidding war for Samuel.
In total it doesn’t look to be to eventful of an off-season for the Giants overall but that is a stretch to even say in the current day and age of the NFL.