Giants' Dilemma as Trade Deadline Approaches: Buy, Sell, or Hold?
What will Dave Gettleman do?
The Giants are very much still in a rebuilding phase, a process that is entering its third season and which, based on the record, is far from being over.
But as part of that rebuilding phase, there is the dilemma of determining which players to retain as part of the foundation going forward and which ones to try to move via trade in exchange for draft assets.
The Giants have already shipped outside linebacker Markus Golden out the door to Arizona in exchange for a sixth-round pick in next year's draft.
But are more moves coming? And if so, who are they and more importantly, will removing some of these potential trade targets impact what head coach Joe Judge has already begun doing as far as creating a new environment?
"We haven't really had too many conversations as of yet as far as how that would affect anything right there," Judge said of the trade deadline just a couple of hours before announcing the Golden trade.
"Our focus right now is just reviewing what we've done the first half of the season, coaching and playing, and making sure when the players come back that we've made some adjustments going forward."
But still, it's fair to ask if trading tight end Evan Engram, --a player who per the NFL Network is one the Giants are not looking to trade--would stunt the development of quarterback Daniel Jones and the offense, or if moving guard Kevin Zeitler from an offensive line that's already shaky, makes any sense.
There are young players that the Giants should look to get more involved over the coming weeks--offensive tackle Matt Peart comes to mind, as does offensive lineman Shane Lemieux and the bevy of young linebackers who up until this point have seen spot duty.
But at the same time, the Giants can't afford to deconstruct their core to the extent where it becomes unrecognizable.
One thing the Giants have been able to hang their hat on so far in this trying season is the effort that the players put forth each week to field a competitive performance.
They've managed to stay motivated and not waive the white flag in nearly every game to this point, and it isn't something that should be taken for granted either.
Just look around the division. The Dallas Cowboys, regarded as a more talented overall team than the Giants, showed no such motivation in their Monday Night Football loss to the Arizona Cardinals or their Sunday loss to the Washington Football Team.
Already there is trouble in paradise as anonymous players have spoken out against the Cowboys coaching staff.
The Giants haven't had any such turbulence. All the players have publicly supported one another and, despite being an overall undermanned team, they've jelled enough to be competitive this season.
Yes, the team is 1-6, but things could get very ugly for the Giants later in the season if they are unmotivated and ununited.
In Weeks 13-16, the Giants will play four teams that could be competing for playoff berths, a murderer's row that includes the Seahawks, Cardinals, Browns, and Ravens.
How the Giants perform late-season matchups against possibly the four toughest teams they will face all year could ultimately define the culture of the Judge era going into 2021., and they're going to need that growing chemistry to give themselves any chance.