Friday Reader Mailbag: Mock Draft Fever, Trades and Roster Building Ideas Headline the Questions

Patricia Traina

From Eugene:

With Nick Foles only having guaranteed money for 2020, would it be feasible for the Giants to trade for him and additional draft picks from the Jaguars? It will give them an experienced quarterback as a backup and additional draft capital.  

Thanks for the question, Eugene. According to Over the Cap, Foles has a $5 million roster bonus due March 20 that becomes fully guaranteed and a $15,125,000 guaranteed salary. Plus, I cannot see the Jaguars throwing in some draft capital to unload Foles--that makes zero sense. 

What you do if you're the Giants is you sign a low-cost veteran who understands what his role is, and you don't spend draft assets to get that veteran.

From Miguel:

You've frequently mentioned in your podcast that Shurmer was unable to assemble the coaching staff he really wanted because he was hired late, i.e., after the better assistant coaches had already been scooped up. I'm curious about how other coaches that have been hired similarly late have fared? Was Shurmer an isolated incident, or should teams avoid hiring coordinators whose old team makes a deep playoff run?

Hi Miguel. Apologies for not getting to this sooner, but it got sent to spam. Go figure, right? Anyway, I haven't compared what other coaching staffs have done. But I can say I remember more than one instance in which Shurmur had to settle for a second or third choice among his assistants because his first choice was no longer an option.

With that said, no, I don't think teams should avoid hiring coaches from staffs that make a deep playoff run, but it is important to keep in mind that this is one of the risks you take if you sit there waiting for a coach whose team gets to the Super Bowl. 

If you go back and look at some of the transactions of the past month, you'll see when various assistant coaches were hired by new head coaches, and I think that will give you a better indication.

What's up, Rueben? As of right now--and I want to stress I'm still early into my tape work plus I'm answering this before I get to the combine, which is a hotbed of information--I would say Andrew Thomas of Georgia has to be right up there given his consistency against different competition. 

But ask me again after I get back from the combine as I've found in the past that when I go in thinking one way, eventually whisper of different opinions helps to clarify things for me.

From Swapnil: 

My name is Swapnil. It's a pleasure to listen to your podcast. I started following football a few years ago. I apologize for upfront if I suggest something totally absurd. Needless to say I am no expert. This is my plan to fix the Giants: 

Cuts: Alec Ogleltree, Kareem Martin, Antonio Bethea, Rhett Ellison 

Restructure: Golden Tate Pick up about 2-3 mil in cap space or trade him for 3rd draft pick. 

Re-sign Markus Golden, three years avg $8.5M; Leonard Williams, three years, $9.5Mper year; Michael Thomas, 1 year, $1.5M; Cody Core 820K, 1 year; Corey Coleman $2M,  one year; David Mayo, $2.5M, two years; Antonio Hamilton, $820K; and Aldrick Rosas, $1.8M. (I used over the cap salary calculator and after all these moves Giants have over 60 mils in cap space.)

Free Agents: Corey Littleton ILB; Shaq Barrett or Matt Judon edge; Chris Harris Jr Vet CB; Vic Beasley or Carl Nassib rotational Egde on one year deal. I do not have numbers for these guys but hoping 40 mils can get these guys under contract. 

Draft: Trade 1 round with Miami for their 5 and 28th; Traded 2 round pick with Colts and picked their 2nd and 3rd pick 

My picks: 5 = Andrew Thomas T 28= Tyler Biadasz C 2nd round Justin Jefferson Traded 3 and 4 pick or some combo for Edge Alton Robinson Depending what I end up trading either with 4 or comp third I will pick a Free Safety or slot CB.

I know lots of Assumptions here and major disclaimer I am no expert and also relatively new to football. What do you think of my plan? I hope you respond to my email. At least I will know how far I am off the base. I will keep on listening to your great programming.

Hi Swapnil. Thank you for your email, and thank you for listening to the LockedOn Giants podcast! Always a pleasure to hear from listeners. And please, don't apologize by playing general manager--none of us get it right, but half the fun is in trying, right?

Let's look at each section of your proposed plan starting with your cuts. I think most of your cuts are spot on, but I remain uncertain if Ellison is going to be cut as I can see a scenario where his cap number is lowered if Engram is not ready. There is also the Jason Witten factor looming, so if Ellison does get cut, then I would watch for the Giants to flirt with Witten, even though I am not sure I'd want him here for a one- or two-year "rental."

I would not restructure Golden Tate. When you restructure, you push money into future years. The Giants need to get out of that practice for the sake of their future cap health and with Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Dexter Lawrence, and DeAndre Baker all having their next contracts on the horizons--first-round picks can renegotiate after three years, barring a chance in the new CBA--I would not be pushing money from a veteran contract into future years that I might need to sign my younger talent to long-term deals.

I would also not trade Tate. For one, I don't think he'd bring a third-round pick. but more importantly, he didn't play that badly to where he shouldn't at least be considered as part of the top-3 receivers on this roster (plus remember, Sterline Sheard's injury history; if heaven forbid Shepard were to suffer another head injury, then what does this team do at receiver?)

With your external free agents, I'd recommend in those instances where you have an "or" scenario that you pick one. 

This isn't like ordering ice cream, where regardless of the flavor you chose, it's the same price. Each player brings something different to the table and has a different background, and the cost will reflect it. So it's hard to gauge the strength of your plan when you recommend an either/or scenario.  

Regarding the draft, I don't see the Dolphins sending the Giants two No. 1 picks. That's way too much to move up one spot. But I do think your trade with the Colts is more feasible, and it's something that I outlined in my plan.

As for the rest of it, again, pick one or the other; don't give me a Player A or Player B scenario as that makes gauging the whole draft difficult. (And I do not see Dave Gettleman if he should acquire a third-round pick high in the draft, trading that AND a fourth-rounder). 

Thanks again for writing--and for listing to the podcast!

From Nick M.

Love the show although I’m usually off schedule slightly over here in Wales.  No one seems to have speculated or asked: what about flipping first round picks with the chargers and seeing if you could also snag Joey Bosa? Might have to also send a second or third back? I guess if they don’t get a veteran QB they could be desperate for Herbert or Tua.

Probably unrealistic but to me this would be the best draft day trade I can imagine having a chance of happening. 

Cofion gorau (best wishes) Nick

Hello Nick. Thanks so much for taking the time to write and a big hello to all the Giants fans over there in Wales--what a beautiful country (I've visited twice in my lifetime, and the warmth of the Welsh people really makes a difference!)

You know what's interesting? It's that I thought here we are almost 17 years after the famous trade for Eli Manning, and now the roles could kind of be reversed. 

But with that said Nick, I really don't see the Chargers trading away Joey Bosa for the very same reason 17 years ago Ernie Accorsi, then the general manager of the Giants, would not give in to then-Chargers' general manager AJ Smith's request for pass rusher Osi Umenyiora in the Eli Manning trade.

I do think that Dave Gettleman will try to get a third-round pick high int he round but I'm becoming less convinced that pick will come via a trade int eh first round as I'm not so sure the value is there for any other team besides the Dolphins, who have a handful of picks in the top 100 to where they can afford to spare one in a trade.

From Val S.

I enjoyed your mock draft podcast (agree with the guys you re-signed and the free agents) but just wondered about the backup quarterback position. It seems you are sticking with Alex Tanney, but is he really good enough? Daniel Jones has already been injured, and I am not confident that we could win with Alex Tanney under center. Is there anyone in the draft who might be a better proposition?

Hello Val, and thank you for the question. The reason why I'm sticking with Tanney is for continuity's sake, at least for now. Remember, I haven't made a 53-man roster projection yet, and Tanney is already under contract. 

With Eli Manning retired, I think Tanney can pick up more of that mentor role in the room at least through the spring and the summer, and then we can see where things go from there. 

But I also want to stress that I think the Giants will be adding at least another quarterback if not two to their 90-man training camp roster so in no way do I believe Tanney a lock for the 53-man roster at this point.

Hi Antonio. Thanks for the question. Let's revisit this topic again at the end of next week as once I get boots on the ground at the combine, where all the agents will be in attendance, I can gain a better sense of whom the Giants might be thinking of in terms of free agency.

Thanks for the question, Hooti. I'd say offensive tackle for sure (I'm starting to think that the Giants won't splurge on a premium free agent at that spot and will instead look at the draft and maybe the back end of free agency to fill it). 

I'd also say off-ball linebacker just to get depth at the spot as outside of Ryan Connelly, who else do they have at that position if they move on from Alec Ogletree? 

So I would say draft at that spot and maybe look to re-sign David Mayo as your veteran backup.

Hi Joe; thanks for the question. The receiver class is a deep class so, yes, I could see them waiting until Day 3 for a receiver.