New York Giants Wide Receiver and Tight End Outlook

What is the WR and TE outlook for New York?

The Giants wide receivers were nothing short of underwhelming this year. The top 4 options on the depth chart all missed games with various ailments, and even when on the field were often invisible. Pricey free agent signing Kenny Golladay was often ignored and barely cracked 500 receiving yards. Sterling Shepard could not stay on the field and eventually tore his Achilles, knocking him out for the season. Darius Slayton suffered from the drops and missed five games with various ailments. Rookie Kadarius Toney certainly flashed a tantalizing skillset but missed seven games with several different injuries. Shepard is likely to be a cut, with a high salary and bad injury history. Slayton certainly took a big step, making this a position of more need than it appears.

Options in the Draft

This is a solid draft for wide receivers, with plenty of talent stretching through the middle rounds. Some names to watch include David Bell, John Metchie, Jahan Dotson, and Jalen Tolbert. Metchie is a true speedster, with the ability to stretch the field and keep defenses honest, a similar profile to Jaylen Waddle. Bell and Tolbert are excellent route runners, and can use double moves to fake out defenders. Dotson can do a little bit of everything, and has really good hands, something the Giants could use, as their receiving corps has been dealing with drops for a couple years now

Free Agent Options/Trade Market

This is an avenue I can almost guarantee the Giants will not take unless it is a flyer. They have no cap space to spend big money on another wide receiver after forking over $18M a year for Golladay. A shame, as this year’s free-agent class, is deep, with names like Mike Williams, Chris Godwin, Davante Adams, and Allen Robinson. The same goes for the trade market. The Giants need every single one of their many drafts picks to plug holes in more important spots on the team.

Concluding Thoughts

Outside of a mid to late draft pick, do not expect the Giants to invest any resources in the wide receiver position. The offseason goal will be to make sure Golladay, Toney, and Slayton return healthy and in shape for next season. The hope is that a new head coach and offensive coordinator will push the offense in the right direction.

This is a position that is going to be very interesting to watch heading into the offseason. Evan Engram, former first-round draft pick in 2017, is going to be a free agent. Kyle Rudolph is likely going to be cut, as he has a high salary with minimal usage. The Giants will have to decide if they want to bring Engram back, or look elsewhere for a solution.

New York Giants tight end outlook

Options in the Draft

There will be a few options in the draft if the Giants choose to invest a draft pick at the tight end position. The best of the bunch is Jalen Wydermyer out of Texas A&M. Wydermyer has been a consistent producer for three straight seasons despite having a different quarterback each year. A huge physical player, Wydermyer stands at 6’5″, and weighs in at 265 pounds. As you can see from the clip above, he possesses an amazing catch radius, and his size makes him a premier red-zone threat. This would make him a reliable target for Daniel Jones, or whichever QB is at the helm for New York. Other options that could be drafted include Isaiah Likely, Trey McBride, and Cade Otton.

Trade/Free Agency Options

This is an avenue unlikely to be explored, simply because the Giants have no cap space to work with. However, if they find ways to free up some room, David Njoku is a player to keep an eye on. Drafted in the same class as Evan Engram, he possesses a blend of speed and power that is tough to beat. His opportunities were limited in a run-first offense in Cleveland, but a new team could give him a better opportunity. Other free-agent tight ends include Zach Ertz, Gerald Everett, and Dalton Schultz.

Concluding Thoughts

If I had to guess, I would think the Giants will attempt to bring back Engram on a cheap one or two-year deal. If that is unsuccessful, they will shop in the bargain bin, and draft a tight end in the middle rounds of the draft. Daniel Jones will need a reliable 3rd down/red-zone target with good hands, and there are some quality choices if the Giants know where to look.


Expect the Lions, Eagles, and Texans to have the worst records in 2021

The worst NFL teams in 2021 will be…

By: Andy Davies

Plenty of uncertainty surrounds the Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, and Houston Texans going into the 2021 season. Their quarterback situations are far from clear and their overall rosters are mediocre at best.

The same goes for their head coaches, with all three going into their first seasons at the franchise. Neither of Dan Campbell, Nick Sirianni, or David Culley has been a full-time head coach in the NFL. Campbell is the only one to have some experience, with his spell as interim head coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2015.

Here is why you should be expecting the Lions, Eagles, and Texans to have the three worst records in the league in 2021.

Saying Goodbye To A Franchise Legend In Detroit. Struggles For The Replacement

Matthew Stafford was the number one overall pick in 2009, with the entire city of Detroit hoping he would be the man to turn around the fortunes of the franchise. Despite three seasons of making the playoffs, the Lions and Stafford never won a single postseason game as the wait continues. The Lions remain the team with the second-longest period without a playoff win, their last taking place on January 5th, 1992.

Stafford had some great individual moments as a Lion, most notably his Mic’d up moment during his 2009 rookie season. In a week eleven game against the Cleveland Browns, he overcame injury to produce a moment of pure heroism. He played with a separated shoulder despite the efforts of the medical staff to keep him off the field, leading the Lions to a touchdown-winning drive.

Jim Caldwell guided the Lions to these playoff appearances but was not seen as good enough to take them to the next step. New England Patriots assistant head coach Matt Patricia was brought in but never took to life as head coach. The Lions had three consecutive losing seasons under the coaching of Patricia. They will hope that they have found their guy in Dan Campbell. His press conference was certainly not dull, with Campbell referring to “biting kneecaps”. As a former Lions player, he knows what it takes to play in the league. He also knows about the city of Detroit and his intentions are both positive and clear. If he is given time, he has the desire to bring the good times back to Detroit. However, he is inexperienced as a head coach and the roster is below average.

New quarterback Jared Goff has the potential to struggle. This is despite the drafting of offensive lineman Penei Sewell at seventh overall, a selection that had Campbell and new General Manager Brad Holmes very excited.

Despite his brilliant 2018 season that saw the Rams reach Super Bowl 53, Goff had a poor game and struggled in 2020 as he and head coach Sean McVay’s relationship deteriorated.

Goff struggled despite a plethora of offensive talent around him. Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp form one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL. He is going to a franchise that let go of their two best wide receivers and failed to replace them.

The Lions have a schedule that features the San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, and Cleveland Browns. There are also two games against their division rivals, the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, and Chicago Bears. The Lions do not have it easy.

Prediction: 3-14

Trouble In Philadelphia; Reason For Hope?

The Eagles have seen three years of gradual decline after winning Super Bowl 52. The 2017 season saw the Eagles lift the Lombardi Trophy for the first time after two previous attempts.

Doug Pederson was the head coach to guide the Eagles to a Super Bowl but was fired after the conclusion of the 2020 season. His decision to bench rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts in order to lose and gain a higher draft pick appeared to be the final nail in the coffin.

Carson Wentz had an MVP caliber season before an injury derailed hopes of winning the award. Backup Nick Foles stepped in and guided the Eagles to the Super Bowl 52 win. He also stepped in a year later and guided the Eagles to a shock Wildcard Round win against the Chicago Bears, with thanks also going to a Cody Parkey missed field goal.

Both Foles and Wentz are no longer Eagles players. Out of the starters in that Super Bowl 52 win, only seven remain with the franchise. Their decision to draft Jalen Reagor over Justin Jefferson continues to be mocked by rival fans and nobody knows how new head coach Nick Sirianni will do in the role.

The schedule is mixed for Philadelphia. Whilst they face the New York Jets, Lions, and twice play the New York Giants, they also have to face the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.. This is as well as facing a rising Washington Football Team twice as well as playing the Dallas Cowboys both home and away.

Reports have surfaced in recent days of the Philadelphia Eagles being the favourites for Deshaun, with talks said to be “heating up”.

This could be a move that transforms the franchise. However, Deshaun Watson had his best statistical season yet the Texans only managed four wins all year. This proves that whilst it is very important to have a good quarterback, you need more around to be successful.

Unless the Eagles do something in what remains of the offseason, they will continue to be mediocre if their roster continues to be this poor. If they get offensive or defensive talent in the next one or two offseasons, then they are a team that will compete for years to come. Otherwise, the Eagles will fail to be a threat to both the NFC and NFC East.

This is why Deshaun should avoid the Eagles at this present time. He will be going into a situation no different to what he experienced in Houston.

Prediction: 4-13

What A Difference A Year Makes

Where do we start with the Houston Texans? The 2019 season saw them take a 24-0 lead against the Chiefs in the Divisional Round. However, they allowed 41 unanswered points as they lost 51-31. What has unfolded since in the following nineteen months has been reminiscent of a Greek tragedy.

Head coach Bill O’Brien, who also was general manager, made the unusual decision to trade star wide receiver, Deandre Hopkins. In exchange, the Texans received a running back past his sell-by date in David Johnson, one second-rounder and one fourth-round pick. O’Brien only lasted four games in the 2020 season as they finished the campaign with just four wins.

Since the conclusion of the 2020 season, franchise legend J.J Watt has left and there continues to be an uncertain future surrounding quarterback Deshaun Watson. Houston’s quarterback requested a trade in January before allegations of sexual assault arose. These have lingered throughout the remainder of the offseason. It is unclear if Watson will play in the NFL at all in 2021 but even if he does, it is unlikely that he will be wearing a Texans jersey.

Houston has said they would listen to trade offers for Watson, with the franchise said to be wanting three first-round picks. They have also acquired Tyrod Taylor via Free Agency and used their first pick in the draft on Davis Mills in the third round. Even if the Eagles stick with Hurts, there will be plenty of other suitors.

Even with Watson, the Texans are light on the ground when it comes to elite talent. Linebacker Zach Cunningham and Laremy Tunsil are talents and despite adding Phillip Lindsay and Mark Ingram to the running back room, the roster is one of the league’s worst.

David Culley has developed somewhat of a worrying reputation after his time with the Eagles, Chiefs, and Baltimore Ravens. During his fourteen-season spell with the Eagles, his four seasons with the Chiefs, and two years with the Ravens, he had 0 wide receivers earn a PFF grade of 80 or above.

The Chiefs wideouts went an entire season without a touchdown under Culley. With a wide receiver room featuring Brandin Cooks, Nico Collins and Anthony Miller, this is not exactly a position of strength for the Texans. Culley is unlikely to see any of these receivers score high PFF grades.

Whilst the Texans might be playing the Jacksonville Jaguars twice and the Jets, they have a tough schedule. They will face the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks. Houston will also play the Los Angeles Chargers and the San Francisco 49ers as well as the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans twice.

They are unlikely to win many of these games. Fans should be expecting a difficult season.

Prediction: 2-15

Top Fantasy TEs to Buy/Sell

Buy Broncos TE Noah Fant

By: Sukhwant Singh

Intro

Every year we as fantasy owners cringe when comes to drafting tight ends. Be it PPR or standard leagues there are just not enough premium TEs available. Once the heavy hitters, Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, George Kittle, and Mark Andrews are off the board the rest of the crop is pretty average to below average.

In this article, we’ll focus on that next tier which can make or break your fantasy squad. I’ll be doing this article based on PPR league rankings/points. With that said let’s get started!

Top three Tight Ends to buy:

T.J. Hockenson

I’m on the hype train for T.J. Hockenson this season. I know the QB position has taken a bit of a hit with Jared Goff now at the helm instead of Matthew Stafford but this shouldn’t affect Hockenson’s value much. The team lost its top WRs in Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Mohamed Sanu.

This now opens opportunities for plenty for Hockenson especially working those underneath routes. Hockenson finished last season as a TE5 with 175.3 total points in PPR formats. I fully expect him to exceed those numbers easily this season! Look for Hockenson/Goff to hit it off early and often this season. Acquiring Hockenson, given the right price is a trade worth assessing and committing to.

Noah Fant

It’s almost unfair the amount of QB uncertainty and bad QB play that Noah Fant has been dealing with. Even with that said Fant finished with 149.3 fantasy points which were good for TE9. Fant’s current ADP has him going in round 7 and later. That to me is an absolute steal!

Drew Lock/Teddy Bridgwater will bring the best in each other (at least we all hope they do) and that should have a direct result in better QB play overall. In addition, top receiving weapon Cortland Sutton will be back and fully healthy, so most of the defensive focus will shift towards him. This leaves Fant to win one on one coverage with slower linebackers and/or smaller safeties. Fant can be had for a tremendous value.

Tyler Higbee

I cant wait to see the chemistry/connection that Stafford develops with Tyler Higbee during this summer and into the season. Higbee finished as the TE8 in 2019 with 160.4 fantasy points. Although last year was a bit of a down year for him I expect him to bounce back in a big way.

Firstly, Stafford is now his QB. A big upgrade over Goff! Secondly, his target stealer (Gerald Everett) is now in Seattle. This leaves Higbee as the best TE option on the team. In 2020 Higbee out-snapped Everett by over 200 snaps! Higbee is set for a big role this season and fully expect him to break out and have a huge fantasy year.

Top three Tight Ends to sell:

Mike Gesicki

I’m just not a believer in the Dolphins QB situation. Mike Gesicki finished as a TE7 with 159.3 fantasy points in 2020. Now with the addition of Will Fuller and rookie Jaylen Waddle to an already crowded receiving core room. There are plenty of weapons on the Dolphins offense and I’m not sure that Tua Tagovailoa will be able to spread the ball around as needed.

This is where Gesicki’s fantasy outlook takes a hit. He might be the odd man out in terms of weekly sustained fantasy production on that team and this is where you as fantasy owners can get solid value for Gesicki. There will be plenty of TE-hungry fantasy managers will take the name and past fantasy production without looking at the complete picture/context. Take advantage of it and sell Gesicki high!

Evan Engram

In a similar boat as Gesicki, Evan Engram is the odd man out. The Giants added Kenny Golladay, drafted Kadarius Toney and will have Saquan Barkley back from injury. Just like with the Dolphins and Tua, I’m not sure if Jones will be able to keep all these mouths happy and fed often enough.

Engram finished as TE15 last season with 141 fantasy points. This is without the above names being on the team last season. Daniel Jones is in a make-or-break season and thus far I haven’t seen enough to convince me that he can be in that top 15 QB tier. Sell Engram as he another big name out there but little fantasy value.

Kyle Pitts

Now before everybody goes crazy as to why I’m mentioning Kyle Pitts, let me explain. This sell on Pitts is for redraft leagues ONLY! Second, I’m only saying sell because of his current ADP value of 4.04. This is insane for a player who has yet to take an NFL snap.

Pitts would have to have one of the greatest rookie TE seasons in NFL history for him to be worth that high of pick. We all have seen how rookies tend to struggle to get adjusted to the NFL level. Pitts will be no different. I’m not saying he will be a bust. What I am saying is that to draft Pitts with your third or fourth pick and say he goes 65/600/5 as his stat line, that would be good for about TE10!

Last season Hunter Henry posted a 60/613/4 line in 14 games with the Chargers good for TE12! You see it’s all about value. You can find other TEs that can give similar production that can be had in a later round. Now if Pitts falls down the ladder to you in rounds eight or later then by all means scoop him up. However, to make him one of your first top five picks isn’t worth it. Sell high and get back a huge haul!

Why the New York Giants can contend for playoffs

New York Giants playoff bound next season?

By: Jeremy Trottier

The New York Giants have had a very impressive offseason, bringing in a lot of new members to the team and really improving it in all facets.  The Giants also only missed the playoffs last season by one game, and even though they were in a notoriously weak 2020 NFC East, they were still able to be in that position with rather lackluster receiving options and lacked depth.  In this article, I will be going over three reasons the New York Giants can return to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

Hugely Improved Roster

As I previously mentioned, the Giants have made some significant improvements to their roster and 

have really given Daniel Jones every single opportunity to succeed in the 2021-2022 season.  The most notable two additions for Jones will be Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney, who both bring some elite separation factor to the roster, granted in different ways.  Toney reminds me of almost an Alvin Kamara of sorts in terms of how insanely elusive he is, obviously not that level of playmaker yet but his shifts and lateral agility are absolutely off the charts.  Having a short-range receiver like that who can turn five yards into 25 is massive.  

Outside these two additions they also brought in players like Azeez Ojulari and Elerson Smith to help the linebacking front, Rodarius Williams for CB depth and even potential to start eventually, and OL depth in Jake Burton and Raymond Johnson III.  It is also notable that they will have a returning Xavier McKinney for a full season of play potentially and his young capabilities should sure up an already solid secondary.

Daniel Jones is Ready for the Next Step

One of the most notable things in the NFL is when quarterbacks really learn the NFL landscape and make the jump from solid to good.  Josh Allen did it last season (year three), Baker Mayfield really improved from season two to season three, even players like Ryan Tannehill improved extremely when getting more weapons around them, in his case a new system and team. 

Daniel Jones did have a relatively down year in 2020, no doubt, throwing almost as many TDs as interceptions and less than 3000 yards, however, who can blame him?  When your primary receiving threats are a not yet developed Darius Slayton, Sterling Shephard who has been mediocre and struggles with separation, and Evan Engram who despite being a Pro-Bowler last season really has trouble holding onto the ball, you are bound to have issues passing.  Also take note he did not have Saquon Barkley out of the backfield to pitch to when he was under pressure.  With that said, he has the weapons, he has a somewhat developing O-line, and a phenomenal defense to get him the ball back.  He should perform at a new high level in 2021 based on all of this.

The NFC East is…Interesting

Finally, we take a look at the surrounding teams, all of which have huge deals of question marks.  Starting with the Dallas Cowboys, who yes, should be contending for the playoffs, however, this is provided Dak Prescott is actually able to play at the high level he did previously, and the injury did not change him heavily.  Even if so, the Cowboys did go 2-3 prior to Dak’s injury last season, and one game was pure because the Atlanta Falcons had a miscue on special teams.  

Then you have the Washington Football Team, who yes are also primed to make a playoff push potentially.  With that said, again, is their QB a set thing?  Ryan Fitzpatrick did do well with the Miami Dolphins, but this is a completely different offense, and many forget Fitz was not extraordinary and consistent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers not too long ago.  The WFT also are missing strength along the O-line to protect Fitz, and could definitely use some more in terms of secondary depth and potentially even another CB.  

Finally, the Philadelphia Eagles, who most have written off as the bottom team in this division right now, as they are mainly banking on Jalen Hurts and Devonta Smith to push this team forward.  With a continually aging offensive line, a relatively dismantled defense outside a few players like Fletcher Cox and Darius Slay, they really look like they will struggle unless something sparks heavily.

Why the Giants could have a Top 10 passing offense

Giants passing offense a Top 10 unit?

By: Daniel Racz

Introduction

The New York Giants’ offense fell short of all expectations in 2020. After losing star running back Saquon Barkley, the Giants had to adapt. The front office signed Devonta Freeman and Alfred Morris to pair with Wayne Gallman. To the surprise of many, the Giants’ running game was more successful than their air attack. However, there are many reasons to expect the Giants passing game to take a step forward. A healthy Daniel Jones will be the key, but there are a few other pieces that will be crucial if the Giants want a top-ten passing offense. Ensuring that the Giants use weapons besides Kenny Golladay and Saquon Barkley may be the determining factor for Big Blue in 2021.

Schemed Up Touches For Kadarius Toney

The Giants’ questionably spent a first-round pick on Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney. Despite remaining at Florida for four years, Toney is a raw route runner. If the Giants want to add a new element to their offense, they will have to play to Toney’s strengths. Toney is a menace in the open field. His ability to break tackles and evade defenders in college was reminiscent of Alvin Kamara. If that skill translates to the NFL, the Giants can utilize Toney like the dynamic weapon that he is.

The best way to maximize the skill of open field specialists like Toney is through touches at or behind the line of scrimmage. Giving Toney touches like screens, drag routes and even pitches could give the Giants a weapon that few other teams in the league possess. 

A Stable Offensive Line

The least talked about aspect of an offense when discussing their passing attack is their offensive line. The New York Giants’ were unable to run lots of successful deep passing plays in large part due to their inability to give Daniel Jones time to throw. Their offensive line ranked in the bottom five in almost every statistic. Jones did not have time to throw, and he got frazzled under pressure.

If the Giants can piece together a top twenty offensive line, it will open up new avenues for their passing attack. Deep targets to Kenny Golladay and Darius Slayton can only be consistently successful if they are attempted from a clean pocket. The Giants hired Rob Sale to be their new offensive line coach, and he may be an X-Factor for the team in 2021. 

A Healthy, Dynamic Evan Engram 

Did Evan Engram make the pro bowl last year? Yes. Did that endear him to Giants fans? Not at all. 

In 2020, Engram’s drop issues cost the Giants turnovers and an early-season matchup against the Eagles. It is worth noting that Evan Engram played the 2020 season with a lisfranc injury. Engram’s injury is similar to the injury that Marquise “Hollywood” Brown of the Ravens played through during his rookie year in 2019. In 2020, Brown returned more explosive. If Engram can come into the 2021 season and play as he did earlier in his career, the Giants will have another weapon on their hands. When at his best, Engram is a premier tight end with elite athleticism. If the Giants use Engram properly, they can have an above-average passing attack. 

3 underrated offseason moves by the New York Giants

Underrated Giants offseason moves in 2021

By: Daniel Racz

Introduction 

The New York Giants are entering a make-or-break year for many within the organization. Quarterback Daniel Jones is entering the vaunted third year leading the franchise, and many are doubting whether he will earn a second contract. This offseason general manager Dave Gettleman, who himself is on the hot seat, gave Jones a supporting cast through the offseason and draft. Big Blue broke the bank to add ex-Lion wideout Kenny Golladay and spent the 20th pick in the draft, acquired from Chicago in Dave’s first trade-down, on Florida playmaker Kadarius Toney. During free agency, the Giants also added tight end, Kyle Rudolph, on a two-year contract. The Giants decided to not add to their offensive line, instead choosing to rely on past investments.

On the defensive side of the football, the Giants did not make any super splashy moves. The team re-signed defensive lineman Leonard Williams while letting interior presence Dalvin Tomlinson sign with the Vikings. The Giants added a collection of bodies to their front seven with the hope to remain an above-average defense. In regards to their secondary, the Giants drafted UCF cornerback Aaron Robinson in round three and gave a three-year, 39-million-dollar contract to Adoree’ Jackson. The Giants made waves when they signed Jackson, Golladay, and Rudolph, but other moves deserve recognition. 

Gaining future capital

Before the draft, media personalities were saying “There will be right turns in NASCAR before Dave Gettleman trades back.” In his first seven drafts for the Giants and Panthers, Gettleman had never traded back. However, within the first two rounds of the 2021 draft, Gettleman moved back twice. Some even started calling him “Trader Dave” given his newfound affinity for defraying risk through moving down the draft board and acquiring 2022 draft picks. The Giants were rumored to be in love with Alabama wide receiver Devonta Smith. However, when the Eagles traded up ahead of the Giants for Smith, the Giants pivoted.

The Giants moved down from pick 11 to pick 20, acquiring a 2021 5th round pick and 2022 1st & 4th round picks in the process. 

During the second round of the draft, the Giants were on the clock at 42. First-round caliber pass rusher Azeez Ojulari was on the board, yet the Giants moved down to 50, taking Miami’s 2022 3rd round pick to do so. At 50, Ojulari was still on the board, so the Giants rushed their card in to make him a Giant. 

The Giants exited the draft with extra first, third, and fourth-round picks in the 2022 draft. Gettleman managed to add players that can help the Giants compete for a 2021 playoff spot while also having sustained success. If the Giants do not have a winning record in 2021, Gettleman (and possibly Daniel Jones) will be out of a job, but the team will have plenty of assets to move up the board in 2022. Quarterbacks like Sam Howell, Spencer Rattler, Carson Strong, and Malik Willis will be in play for the Giants if Jones does not pan out, and that extra first-round pick will come in handy. 

Trusting their in-house offensive lineman

The New York Giants offensive line has been putrid for the better half of a decade. When Dave Gettleman took over, he promised that he would fix the offensive line. The results have not been promising. Will Hernandez, a 2018 second-round pick, is in the final year of his rookie contract. Nate Solder is a free agent after the 2021 season following a re-working of his contract. New York brings back another lineman Andrew Thomas, Nick Gates, Matt Peart, and Shane Lemieux. Their group did not play well in 2020, but there are plenty of excuses that can be made. The team came off a limited offseason and had to learn offensive coordinator Jason Garrett’s new scheme. During the year, Joe Judge fired their offensive line coach. Once Judge relieved Marc Colombo of his role with the franchise, the group played better.

The Giants hired former Louisiana offensive coordinator and line coach Rob Sale to mentor their hog mollies. Sale has gotten rave reviews from the Giants camp so far this offseason, giving fans a reason to expect improvement. The Giants have reiterated that they have confidence in their young unit. While the group has not come together yet, this will be their first complete offseason together in the Judge regime. If the young, affordable unit plays at a close to league average level, it could catapult the team into the playoffs.

Adding front seven depth

The New York Giants’ 2020 defense was a revelation. The success came from new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham and his innovative multiple schemes. Graham’s scheme relies on moving defensive lineman, disguising blitzes, and man defense. Last season Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence were the top two pass rushers on Big Blue’s defense. While both return and likely retain their roles as the key disruptors, there are now a plethora of players around them. 

Edge rushers Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines both return from injuries that cost them the majority of their 2020 seasons. The Giants also added Georgia pass rusher Azeez Ojulari and Northern Iowa edge player Ellerson Smith during rounds two and four of the draft, respectively. In free agency, the Giants signed depth rushers Ifeadi Odenigbo and Ryan Anderson to round out the group.  On the interior, the Giants brought back Austin Johnson and added nose tackle, Danny Shelton. To stabilize their linebacker group, the Giants signed Reggie Ragland. None of these individual moves likely move the needle, but the collection will make an impact. The Giants’ edge presence was lacking last year, mainly due to the absence of Carter and Ximines.

The Giants defense was a top ten unit last season, and to improve the unit the Giants quietly added a handful of players that will see meaningful snaps during the season. The edge rush presence will allow Pat Graham to drop more players into coverage when necessary and still feel confident that his group will pressure the quarterback enough. The Giants’ defense does not have to be a top three-unit, but if they want to sniff the playoffs they must have an above-average group.

Post NFL draft Winner and loser from each division

By: Gladys Louise Tyler

In every endeavor, there is a winner and a loser.  The repercussions from the 2021 NFL Draft are no different.  Of course, who won and who lost is all subjective until the playing actually starts.  But some teams did do better than others, and here they are.

AFC EAST

WINNERS: MIAMI DOLPHINS

It remains to be seen whether letting Ryan Fitzpatrick go handing the team completely over to Tua Tagovailoa was the right move.  However, the Dolphins did little wrong elsewhere. 

Drafting Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle should help settle Tagovailoa and the offense.  But having the sixth-ranked scoring defense return in a division that has to deal with quarterback Josh Allen and newly arrived gunslinger Zach Wilson just seems good business.

LOSERS: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Yes, the Patriots are loaded up from their spending spree in free agency, including returning quarterback Cam Newton. 

Drafting their presumptive franchise quarterback, Mac Jones feels right.  But now the Patriots have two quarterbacks with diametrically opposite skill sets. 

So what do you do? It could work, and of course, you never count the Patriots out, but….

AFC WEST

WINNERS: LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

The Chargers solidified and added depth to their offensive line.  They added Larry Roundtree in the sixth round, who may prove what the Chargers offense needs behind Austin Ekeler to round out what was already a very good offense.

LOSERS: DENVER BRONCOS

If the Broncos passed up their chance to draft a franchise quarterback because they know something we don’t, my apologies.  But under current conditions, it appears to be an omission that will come to bite them in the ass.

AFC NORTH

WINNERS: BALTIMORE RAVENS

In two of the past three drafts, the Ravens have taken a wide receiver.  It has not helped.  The third time is the charm?  Rashod Bateman has the skill set to be WR1 in the Ravens offense (albeit a low bar), but if he can help the Ravens pass/run ratio become more equitable, it is a win.

In a division historically known for its defense, adding edge Odafe Oweh to their top-ranked defense is a bonus.

LOSERS: PITTSBURGH STEELERS

It could all work out; after all, tight end Pat Freiermuth is known for his blocking skill set.  But the offense, which finished last season 32nd in rushing yards per game (84.4) and yards per attempt (3.6) per teamrankings.com, needed to improve the 31st ranked run-blocking offensive line.

Fun fact Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry ran for 676 more rushing yards than the entire Steelers team in 2020.

AFC SOUTH

WINNERS: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

With the number one pick and nine total picks, the Jaguars got their franchise quarterback and seemingly faster on offense. 

There was really nowhere to go but up.

LOSERS: HOUSTON TEXANS

They could not have won this.  The Texans needed a lot.  Their first pick was not until round three, and they managed only five total picks.  Thanks to Bill O’Brien, the Texans did good with what they were given, but winning wasn’t an option.

NFC WEST

LOSERS: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

The Seahawks had the 30th ranked defense in passing yards last season.  They lost Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dunbar in free agency.  And they only had three picks in this year’s draft. 

Their first pick was a wide receiver, D’Wayne Eskridge.

WINNERS: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

It may be more accurate to say winner Trey Lance.  Going to a team that, but for injuries, is a playoff contender is a win. 

Now Kyle Shanahan has the quarterback of his dreams, and the 49ers are back in playoff contention.

Can we just acknowledge that this might be the most competitive division in the NFL?

NFC EAST

This was the hardest division to project a loser because basically, they all got what they needed.  However, it must be done.

LOSERS: WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM

Depending on Ryan Fitzpatrick this season, okay, I get it.  But not getting a quarterback for the future may prove costly.

WINNERS: NEW YORK GIANTS

It remains to be seen if stockpiling 2022 NFL Draft picks will win the day.  Not getting offensive line help for quarterback Daniel Jones may hurt this season.

NFC SOUTH

LOSERS: NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

The Saints needed a cornerback.  Their first two picks were defensive end and linebacker.  There is also the questionable acquisition of quarterback Ian Book in the fourth round. 

It all seems so muddled. 

WINNERS: ATLANTA FALCONS

Taking arguably the best player on the board seems like a smart choice.  Adding him to an already prolific offense is a no-brainer.  Picking up much-needed help in a secondary that allowed 293.6 passing yards per game, check.

NFC NORTH

LOSERS: GREEN BAY PACKERS

I don’t know if further pissing off your reigning MVP quarterback counts as a loss, but it should.

WINNERS: CHICAGO BEARS Jumping up to #11 to pick up the second-best quarterback in the draft is a w

Pros and Cons For The Browns to Trade OBJ Away

Should the Cleveland Browns trade Odell Beckham Jr.?

by Michael Obermuller

Odell Beckham Jr. has become one of the more polarizing players in the NFL, ever since being drafted by the New York Giants in 2014. After receiving a five-year, $95 million contract extension from Big Blue in 2018, OBJ forced his way out of New York with his off-the-field antics. The first franchise to step up in negotiations was the Cleveland Browns, who outbid the competition for the frustrated star wide receiver.

Pretty much since the day he touched down in Cleveland, trade talks have swirled around Odell and the Browns franchise once again. You see, Beckham didn’t choose the Browns, and he has not seemed truly happy in Cleveland since the day he arrived. Now Browns general manager Andrew Berry (who took over after the OBJ trade) has rumored that the franchise is open to dealing the playmaker for the right return.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of trading OBJ, from the perspective of the Browns.

Cases FOR Trading OBJ

  • An Offer Cleveland Cannot Refuse
    • Another franchise could simply offer the Browns a similar haul that they once paid the Giants for OBJ, which would allow them to wash their hands of the situation entirely. Cleveland sent NYG Jabrill Peppers, a first (No. 17 overall), and a third in return for Beckham.
    • This seems unlikely based on Beckham’s contract and injury history, especially when you consider that the pandemic has crippled revenue and lowered the cap this season.
  • Financial Obligations vs. Contribution
    • Considering how little Beckham has actually played (more on that below), he’s costing Cleveland a fortune in both dollars and cap space.
    • OBJ has a $15.75 million cap hit in 2021, and a $15 million flat cap hit in 2022 and ’23. They made the postseason without the wide-out in 2020, so the argument could easily be made that this money could help this roster more if it were allocated elsewhere.
    • Beckham had over 1,000 yards receiving and four touchdowns for the Browns in 2019, but they missed the playoffs that season. He only totaled 319 yards and four touchdowns in 2020, when the Browns made the playoffs and defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in round one. OBJ did not factor in the second half of the year, or any of the postseason games.
  • Off-the-Field Noise
    • OBJ has become a locker room distraction in the past with the Giants. It’s not that he’ll break team rules or do anything illegal, but Beckham tends to run his mouth to the media and aggravate teammates.
    • The Giants ended up trading OBJ the offseason after he publicly criticized quarterback Eli Manning in an interview. Baker Mayfield is not exactly an MVP candidate either, so you never know when Beckham might get frustrated and make waves, which could negatively impact team chemistry.
  • Injury History
    • Speaking of the aforementioned injuries the star has suffered, Beckham has only played 15 or more games in three out of his first seven seasons in the league. He made 12 appearances twice, seven once, and four in 2017 with only two games started.
    • In terms of wear and tear, most of OBJ’s injuries have been to his lower half. Beckham had his first issue during preseason of 2014, when he suffered a grade three tear in his hamstring. He then pulled his hammy again in OTA’s the following season, has missed minor amounts of time with hip strains, suffered a grade three high-ankle sprain in preseason of 2017, fractured the same ankle later that year, missed games with a quad hematoma bruise in 2018, groin-related sports hernia in 2019 — and worst of all, an ACL tear in 2020.
    • Eventually, a body can only take so much and still perform as it once did. If the Browns get the right offer, it might be hard for the new regime not to sell high on this extensive injury history.

Cases AGAINST Trading OBJ

  • Trade Stock At Lowest
    • A GM never wants to trade a player at their lowest value, and OBJ could be at his lowest right now (recovering from a torn ACL in the midst of a financial crisis/pandemic).
    • They must at least recoup a first round pick for OBJ, and that’s still a good deal less than what they originally paid for him. If the return is too low, the smarter move might be to bet on Beckham’s recovery.
  • Browns Should Bet On Talent
    • Whether or not they get the right offer, many still believe that OBJ’s talent and attributes are too rare and dynamic to trade away. There aren’t too many receivers in the NFL that have Beckham’s mix of size, athleticism and speed, not to mention his hands and route running ability (two acquired skills).
    • Beckham has totaled 1,000-plus receiving yards in every season but two (2017 and 2020, due to injury), and 1,300-plus yards three out of the five 1,000 yard campaigns.
    • Odell had a yards after catch (YAC) per reception of 4.4 yards in 2019. For comparison, DeAndre Hopkins had a 4.58 YAC per reception in 2020, and only the top receiving weapons in football like Davante Adams and Travis Kelce topped 5.0 YAC per reception last season.
    • OBJ has had a consistent yards per catch that has hovered around his 14.0 career average every season, with a 15.1 yards per reception career-high in 2015.
  • Cleveland is Better with Beckham
    • One of the main reasons the Browns fell short against the Kansas City Chiefs in the postseason was a lack of receiving weapons (and more specifically, no clear No. 1 wide-out).
    • Rashard Higgins filled the role admirably in 2020 after Beckham’s injury, but this offense is so much more potent with OBJ in the lineup. Think about it; Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Austin Hooper, Harrison Bryant/David Njoku, Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins AND Odell Beckham Jr. That arsenal would be a challenge for any opposing defense, and OBJ’s unique skillset throws a wrench into a coordinator’s game prep and strategy.
  • Wide Receiver is a Need Area for Cleveland
    • 2020 proved that the Browns are shallow at wide receiver, and they have yet to add to that WR room this offseason. At this point, there aren’t many WRs left in free agency (and none nearly as influential as OBJ).
    • Cleveland could try and replace Beckham through the draft, but it would also be hard to find a talent like him at their current draft position (unless they received a lower first rounder back in return — unlikely).
    • This roster is one of the more complete ones in football, but their biggest “need” might actually become wide receiver if they trade Beckham. It wouldn’t be wise to create a hole like that, without the proper solution in place to fix it.

The Verdict

Based on the current landscape of the NFL, this probably isn’t the best time to trade Odell. Unless a surprise bidder emerges, Cleveland would likely get short-changed at his current value. The smarter bet is to ride out OBJ for another year and hope that he has a bounce-back campaign. There should be much more of a market for the wide receiver in 2022, so long as Beckham stays healthy.

Potential Trade Destinations for Jimmy Garappolo

What is the best trade destination for Jimmy G?

By: Chris Thomas

The San Fransisco 49ers have made it clear that they do not view Jimmy Garappolo as the future of the franchise at quarterback after their blockbuster deal from last week. San Fransisco traded the 12th overall pick, their 2022 first-round pick, 2022 third-round pick, and 2023 first-round pick to the Miami Dolphins for the third overall pick in this year’s draft. It has been all but confirmed that San Fransisco plans to take one of this year’s top quarterback prospects with the third pick.

This year’s quarterback class is as deep as they come. There are expected to be five quarterbacks taken in the first ten picks of this year’s draft. To put it into perspective, the elite quarterbacks class of 2018 had five quarterbacks go throughout the entire first round. Many expect Clemson’s Trevor Lawerence and BYU’s Zach Wilson to be gone already by the time the 49ers pick. San Fransisco will likely select one of North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, Ohio State’s Justin Fields, or Alabama’s Mac Jones.

Now that the 49ers are expected to add a quarterback their incumbent starter Jimmy Garoppolo’s name a serviced as a potentially traded player. The rumors on Garoppolo’s availability have been conflicting. Shortly after the trade was announced 49ers head coach and general manager Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch told the media that they plan on keeping Garoppolo on the roster to begin next season. However now according to NFL Network’s Michael Giardi, it has come out that the 49ers asking price for Garoppolo is a first-round pick

A first-round pick seems like fair compensation for Garoppolo. This is considering that the Rams traded two first-round picks and a third-round pick (and Jared Goff) to the Lions for Matthew Stafford. The Colts also traded away a third-round pick and a conditional first-round pick to acquire Carson Wentz from the Eagles. Garoppolo’s value will likely be closer to Wentz than Stafford considering he is viewed in a similar light as Wentz. Both Garoppolo and Wentz have shown the ability to command an offense on a Super Bowl contending team. But both have dealt with their fair share of injuries and have been inconsistent with their production as of late.

It is difficult to pinpoint a perfect location for Garoppolo because every team who has a void at quarterback has filled it with an established veteran or will likely add one with their first-round pick on this year’s draft. But there are a few teams that could view Garoppolo as an upgrade over their current quarterback. A team may believe Garoppolo is the missing piece on their team that could get them in range to make the playoffs or possibly become a contender. Here are the teams that could trade for Jimmy Garoppolo before Week 1 of the 2021 NFL Season.

Denver Broncos

Potential Trade: Denver trades a Conditional 2022 First Round Pick to San Fransisco for Jimmy Garoppolo

There has been some speculation about the Denver Broncos looking for an upgrade at quarterback over current starter Drew Lock. After going 4-1 as a starter at the end of his rookie season Lock regressed instead of growing into a legitimate franchise quarterback. Lock went 4-9 as a starter last season in his 13 starts. He also averaged 225.6 passing yards per game, threw only 16 touchdowns, and had 15 interceptions. This performance by Lock was unexpected after Denver added former Pro Bowl running back Melvin Gordon and multiple rookies on the offensive side of the ball. Denver drafted wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler in the first two rounds then took center Lloyd Cushenberry in the third round.

At this point of the offseason, it appears that if Denver wanted to add a quarterback to push Drew Lock they could try to add someone like Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew or Chicago’s Nick Foles. But if Denver wants to replace Lock then the only quarterback available that right now is a clearcut upgrade over Lock and could be the Broncos quarterback for the foreseeable future it is Jimmy Garoppolo.

From year one to year two Bronco’s head coach Vic Fangio’s team had regressed and lost two more games. Now with new general manager George Patton in house, there is urgency for Fangio to have success next season or Patton could move on from him and bring in his own head coach. This means Denver needs to have at least solid consistent production from the quarterback position next season. They cannot wait for Drew Lock to possibly show that he could be a starter.

Denver is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. They have a veteran defense that after adding Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby appear to be in a position to carry the team if necessary. While offensively Denver has enough young and veteran talent to keep them in games if they can get a quarterback under center that could take advantage of those weapons. There is a lot of uncertainty around whether Garoppolo is a star or not. But one thing is for certain when he has been under center or the 49ers he has consistently put them in positions to win. Denver needs a quarterback like that to put them over the edge and get them into potential playoff territory.

Denver should be willing to give a conditional first-round pick in 2022 to San Fransisco for compensation for Garoppolo. The conditions for the draft pick should mirror what the Colts and Eagles negotiated during their trade involving Carson Wentz. Garoppolo should have to play 75% of the Broncos offensive snaps or 70% and make the playoffs in order for San Fransisco to receive their first-round pick. But if Garoppolo fails to meet that criteria Denver should be able to give their third-round picks in both 2022 and 2023 to the 49ers for Garoppolo instead. Moving that high of a pick for Garoppolo is risky because he has shown that he is prone to get hurt and missing extended time. In the past three years, Garoppolo has missed 23 games which have hurt San Fransisco and is a large reason why they are moving on from him.

Carolina Panthers

Potential Trade: Carolina trades 2021 Second Round Pick (Pick 39), 2021 Third Round Pick (Pick 73), and Teddy Bridgewater to San Fransisco for 2021 Second Round Pick (Pick 43) and Jimmy Garoppolo

One of the biggest losers of San Fransisco trading up to third overall for a quarterback is the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have made it very clear that they are looking for a quarterback to be an upgrade over what Teddy Bridgewater was for them last season. They believe that with an increased level of production at quarterback the Panthers could make the playoffs if the rest of the team plays the same or better than they did this past season.

Eight of the eleven losses that Carolina suffered last season were by eight points or less. They point the finger at Teddy Bridgewater who looked like a bridge quarterback rather than a long-term starter. After signing a three-year $63 million contract last offseason Bridgewater averaged 248.9 passing yards per game and threw only 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Carolina and San Fransisco swapping quarterbacks in a trade makes a lot of sense for a couple of reasons.

In early March it was reported by Joseph Person of The Athleticthatthe 49ers called Carolina about Teddy Bridgewater. Later reports said that San Fransisco was doing their due diligence by calling Carolina. But that means that the 49ers had somewhat of an interest level in Bridgewater to make the call. Bridgewater would be a perfect bridge quarterback for the 49ers because he would be able to run their offense well until the rookie is ready.

Also, another bonus for the 49ers would be that since Bridgewater was acquired via trade the 49ers would be able to move off of Bridgewater’s $21 million per year salary whenever they’re done with him without a dead cap hit.

For Carolina, Garoppolo would be what they’re looking for a quarterback who is an upgrade over Bridgewater. If he could stay healthy he is a major upgrade over Bridgewater that could be what Carolina needs to get over the hump. Trading for him also gives Carolina the option of taking the best player available at eight versus possibly taking the fourth or fifth quarterback available in the draft who may not be their guy. Garoppolo had a lot of success under offensive guru Kyle Shanahan, he could easily excel in Joe Brady’s system.

Since Carolina would be giving San Francisco another starting-caliber quarterback they likely would not have to give up a first-round pick in the deal. Along with Bridgewater, moving up four spots in the second round and adding a third-round pick is fair compensation for Garappolo.

New York Giants

Potential Trade: New York trades a 2022 conditional First Round Pick to San Fransisco for Jimmy Garappolo

After the moves, the Giants have made this offseason it seems the only thing that could hold the Giants back is the play at quarterbacks. In his second year, Daniel Jones still has not performed up to his draft status of the sixth overall pick. Jones did cut down on turnovers from his rookie year going from 30 to 21. But he only threw 11 touchdowns in 14 games. He also averaged only 210.2 passing yards per game.

It seems unlikely that New York would move on from Daniel Jones after only two seasons. Especially after investing the sixth overall pick in him. But it wouldn’t be crazy for Giants general manager David Gettleman and head coach Joe Judge to start evaluating their options at the position. The NFC East is extremely weak right now and with above-average talent at quarterback, the Giants could have the roster to win the division.

Being a former New England Patriot, Jimmy Garoppolo could have some type of relationship with Giants head coach Joe Judge who had coached in New England for eight seasons before getting the Giants job. Garoppolo would be able to handle the pressure that the media puts on New York quarterbacks. He was drafted to be Tom Brady’s replacement in New England and was the starting quarterback of an NFC Champion San Fransisco 49ers team. Garoppolo knows how to handle the media since he has been a part of winning teams in large markets. He could be the franchise quarterback that New York hopes Daniel Jones will eventually become.

Since there is risk involved when trading for a player like Garoppolo due to his injury history, it would only be fair for the Giants to have conditions that he would have to meet in order for the Giants to trade a first-round pick for him. The Giants would likely be comfortable moving a conditional first-round pick if Garoppolo played at least 75% of the snaps or 70% of the snaps and the team made the playoffs.

New England Patriots

Potential Trade: New England trades 2021 Third Round Pick (Pick 97), Sony Michel, and Stephon Gilmore to San Fransisco for Jimmy Garappolo

The most obvious fit for Jimmy Garappolo is to return to New England. It is no secret that Bill Belichick was extremely fond of Garappolo and viewed him as the eventual replacement for Tom Brady in New England. When both Garappolo and Brady were going hit free agency in 2017 Belichick and New England elected to extend Brady and traded Garappolo to San Fransisco for a second-round pick. The Patriots won another Super Bowl under Brady, but now that he is in Tampa Bay do not appear to have a long-term option at the position.

Last season New England took a chance on former MVP Cam Newton. He only averaged 177.1 passing yards per game and threw 8 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. But when considering he also rushed for 592 yards and 12 touchdowns he was a slightly below-average quarterback. New England gave Newton the benefit of the doubt since he lacked quality offense weapons this past year and gave Newton a one-year deal to prove he can do it with the new offensive weapons New England has brought in.

Even though Newton’s extension is worth up to $14 million he is only guaranteed to make $5.1 million. This means that from a financial standpoint New England could be comfortable bringing in another quarterback to compete or eventually replace Newton. The price tag of that quarterback shouldn’t matter since Newton’s guaranteed salary is similar to that of a veteran backup quarterback.

Trading for Garrapolo would give New England a proven veteran starting quarterback whose only flaw is health. He already knows the offensive system and has shown that he is capable of making a team with talented pieces a contender. Cam Newton would immediately become one of the league’s best backup quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels could also use Cam Newton comparably to how New Orleans uses Taysom Hill. Along with using Newton on quarterback draws and in goal-line situations, McDaniels could create a couple of plays that allows both Garappolo and Newton to lineup on the field at the same time.

For the past few seasons, Newton has shown that he is fully capable of playing at a (moderately) high level, but after the first two to three weeks Newton’s production declines. If his role was condensed he would possibly be able to maintain the level of production he has early in a season throughout a year.

Both Stephon Gilmore and Sony Michel are veterans on the Patriots that could help the 49ers if they were moved there in a deal for Garappolo. Since veteran players could be involved in a deal for Garappolo the Patriots could get away with only giving up a third-round pick from this year’s draft in the deal.

Gilmore is viewed as one of the league’s premier talents at cornerback. However, right now Gilmore would hit free agency in 2022 and New England may not get an extension done with him. New England may be able to maximize his value by trading him before the season starts. The Patriots have always had great cornerback depth and with both J.C. Jackson and Jonathan Jones under contract Gilmore appears to be a luxury for the Patriots. New England may prefer to extend Jackson this offseason over Gilmore. San Fransisco could be interested in adding a cornerback the caliber of Gilmore because Richard Sherman is not expected to return. The largest void on the 49ers roster is cornerback because Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley are better suited to cover secondary receivers on opposing teams.

Sony Michel has been extremely inconsistent since joining New England. After rushing for one 900 yards and six touchdowns in his first two seasons, Michel only rushed for 449 rushing yards and a touchdown on 79 attempts in nine games. He seems to have regressed from the feature back in New England’s committee to a member of that committee. A change of scenery may be able to return a spark to Michel to replicate his production from his first few seasons or even live up to his first-round price tag. The best place for that to happen would be in Kyle Shanahan’s offense that is extremely running back-friendly. The 49ers could use another member of their committee after all the injuries that occurred at that position for them. On top of that veterans, Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon are no longer on the team.

Top Fits For Guard Joe Thuney

Where Will Thuney Land?

The New England Patriots opted not to franchise tag Joe Thuney. That means that the guard will test the free agency market. The former Pro-Bowl guard is arguably the finest guard on the market. Thuney owns a ton of experience, and he’s not old; he brings Super Bowl-winning cache to any team he will join.

As the Super Bowl demonstrated, offensive-line play is still vital if a team is to win games. Several teams will think that their offensive-line situation is healthy. However, a player such as Thuney improves most offensive-lines. He should get considered by plenty of teams. Its time to examine who are the best fits for Joe Thuney.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings’ offensive-line play struggled during an inconsistent 2020 season. The unit ranked 18th in pass-block success. That is not good enough when the quarterback is the statue-Esque Kirk Cousins. Thuney is a considerable upgrade on incumbent guards Ezra Cleveland and Dakota Dozier.

One of the advantages of signing Thuney is he understands run-heavy offenses. After spending 2020 in New England, Thuney owns a little bit of prior knowledge in a single-back inside-zone offense. If the Vikings let Riley Reiff go, Thuney is the right man to assume the unit’s leadership. Thuney is a premium player.

Therefore there is a premium price tag; his market value per Spotrac $15.3 million. Some cap juggling would need to get done by Minnesota if they are to make this move.

New York Giants

It seems as if the Giants are letting Kevin Zeitler leave the franchise. That move could save New York around $14.5 million on the cap this year. The additional cap space could allow them to make a move for Thuney. Daniel Jones is still skittish under pressure, and New York must protect him if they feel he is their franchise quarterback. The Giants staff boast plenty of ex-Patriots, both in the front office and coaching staff. The staff know Thuney better than perhaps any other team in the country.

With Saquon Barkley coming back, strong offensive line play is critical to the Giants’ success in the NFC East. Barkley is an uncomplicated runner with all of the skills. Thuney is a solid trap-blocker and lead-blocker. Those skills can open up holes for the running back. If the back is the explosive Barkley, the Giants could be onto a winner if they sign Thuney.

New York Jets

The New York Jets possess a ton of cap space for 2021. They can pay Thuney his market worth and still stay in a healthy position cap-wise. The other reason to sign Thuney is the quarterback position. Either Sam Darnold or a rookie will line up for GangGreen in 2021. All young quarterbacks require a heavy dose of protection from their offensive line. Thuney can also become a locker-room leader on a rebuilding squad that is bereft of experienced winners.

Mike LaFleur is the new offensive coordinator in the Meadowlands. He is of the Shanahan/McVay tree; those offenses thrive on the strong offensive-line play. They want to pass out of the run; they want to use play-action and run on opponents. New York needs some superglue in its line.

Thuney can play a pivotal role as the team look to fortify the trenches. Every rebuilding team requires a cornerstone piece in each position room, Thuney is that guy. And, the Jets would make plenty of Patriots fans unhappy if they bring the guard to New Jersey.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Like the Jets, the Jags are in a healthy situation regarding the salary cap. Urban Meyer’s team will attack the market to build a talented team around Trevor Lawrence. The Clemson man will desire a veteran presence on the offensive line to protect him. Who better than Thuney? It is a no-brainer move for the Jags.

As for Thuney, he’d swap cold, miserable Massachusetts for sunny Florida and a chance to work for one of the most famous coaches on the planet. Teams always talk about creating a winning culture; Thuney would arrive from a winning locker room, ready to add that invaluable knowledge and cache to a team that needs it.

Thuney never misses games and can walk straight into the locker-room and command respect. He can also play a big part in helping exciting runner James Madsion develop in the running game.

Cincinnati Bengals

Young quarterbacks need protecting. That’s why the Bengals should chase Thuney. Joe Burrow possesses all the skills to develop into a special quarterback. However, the Bengals must protect their Ohio-born saviour. Sadly, 2020 saw big problems arise.

Burrow’s offensive line was terrible. He had no protection and spent most of his time trying to evade pressure. No-one can forget the day the Ravens rag-dolled him into the ground. In a division with TJ Watt, Myles Garrett and the ferocious Ravens, Burrow needs help.

The Bengals are another team in an adequate space regarding the cap. The big caveat to this move is this; will Thuney want to go to the Bengals. He is in the prime of his career; does he want to waste it on a rebuilding team. Forgetting that, the Bengals must pick up the phone and call him. If you never swing, you’ll never score.

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