New York Giants: 8 Roster Holes They Need to Fill This Offseason

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IFebruary 14, 2012

New York Giants: 8 Roster Holes They Need to Fill This Offseason

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    It's been just over a week since the New York Giants captured the 2011 Super Bowl over the New England Patriots.

    They returned from Indianapolis for their championship parade in Manhattan on Tuesday, which was then followed by a rally at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.

    Now that the confetti has cleared and the book can be closed on the 2011 season, the Giants can now look ahead to their 2012 season.

    One of the reasons why the Giants have been so successful in recent time is due to their GM Jerry Reese and his knack to keep scouting new talent.

    Reese knows that once March hits, it will be time for the Giants to start making crucial decisions regarding their 2012 roster.

    What spots will Reese need to potentially fill come March?

Running Back

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    Before Monday, I would say Brandon Jacobs would 100 percent be cut by next month.

    Now, I'd say I'm 50-50.

    According to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News, Jacobs is willing to take a pay cut in order to stay on the Giants in 2012.

    Jacobs is set to make $4.9 million in 2012, but he said if the pay cut is a fair one, then he will definitely stay.

    Reese needs to decide if Jacobs is worth keeping around for one more season or if the Giants need to search for a running back in April's NFL Draft to pair with Ahmad Bradshaw.

Left Tackle

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    The Giants first had Will Beatty as their left tackle, then had to shift David Diehl over when Beatty missed the rest of the season when he needed eye surgery.

    Diehl is going on 32 years old and has two years remaining on the six-year, $31 million deal he got after the 2008 season.

    At times, defensive ends were able to use their speed to get around Diehl and sack Eli Manning.

    Whether it's Diehl or Beatty, or even both, I think it might be time for the Giants to look at drafting offensive line help.

    If they keep Diehl, it's only because they shifted him back over to guard.

    But that's really reaching too.

Left Guard

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    Before 2011, the Giants cut Rich Seubert because he was an aging offensive lineman who was recovering from major knee surgery.

    At first, David Diehl started the season at left guard, but when Will Beatty was placed on the IR, Diehl shifted over to tackle and Kevin Boothe was moved into the starting left guard spot.

    Boothe did a solid job for the Giants, and he provides depth for them, playing at guard and tackle.

    But is he a long-term solution for the Giants at guard?

    Don't be surprised if the Giants look for a guard too in the later rounds of April's draft.

    Does that mean they cut Boothe? No. I just think he goes back to being a backup, where he is best suited.

Right Tackle

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    Another aging offensive lineman for the Giants whose time with the team may come to an end.

    Kareem McKenzie will be 33 by the time the 2012 season comes and it was very clear in 2011 that he's lost a few steps.

    For a long time, he was one of the more underrated linemen in football, but in 2011, he looked very slow and old.

    McKenzie is a free agent come March, and I think it's all but certain that he won't be back with the Giants next season.

    Right tackle needs to be addressed ASAP, whether it be in the draft or in free agency.

Tight End

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    Before the Super Bowl, the tight end spot was not one the Giants had to address.

    After the game, it's a gaping hole they need to address.

    Travis Beckum tore his ACL in the first half of the game and Jake Ballard tore his ACL in the second half, and it's likely that both players will begin the 2012 season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

    That leaves Bear Pascoe as the only tight end on the active roster, who is best suited to be a backup.

    Even if both Ballard and Beckum recover, the Giants still need to draft someone if they don't find a tight end through free agency.

    With the list of free agents out there, I'd say Jerry Reese drafts a tight end in the first or second round.

Wide Receiver

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    Before the Super Bowl, I'd say Mario Manningham was certain to be back.

    And then, he made a highlight reel catch that basically increased his free agent stock for 2012.

    With less than four minutes left in the game, Eli Manning threw the ball down the sideline and Manningham somehow kept two feet in bounds, caught the ball and got knocked out at the 50-yard line.

    That catch was the start of the Giants game-winning drive to beat the Patriots, and because of it, Manningham will get paid from it.

    While he might say that he wants to come back to the Giants, he'll end up wanting more money instead of winning.

    I've said before that I expect the Giants to look at bringing back Steve Smith, as long as he's healthy.

    Smith may end up being a cheaper option over Manningham in free agency.

Defensive End

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    The Giants have Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Mathias Kiwanuka at their end spots.

    Dave Tollefson is a free agent, and Osi Umenyiora has one more year left on his deal for the Giants.

    Osi has made it very clear that he would like a new deal for the Giants, and Jerry Reese has a big decision to make on him.

    In just nine games, he had nine sacks for the Giants, making his case to get a new contract a very strong one.

    At age 30, Osi might have a few more productive seasons left in him if he can stay healthy.

    But the Giants could still either trade or cut Umenyiora before the 2012 season starts, leaving a huge hole in the depth of their defensive line.


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    The secondary at times was a major weakness for the Giants.

    They started the season without Terrell Thomas, who tore his ACL in preseason and first-round draft pick Prince Amukamara missed the first two months with a broken foot.

    Aaron Ross had to step into the starting role again, and at many times, struggled badly during 2011.

    Ross still finished the 2011 season with 60 tackles and four interceptions and is a free agent come March.

    Thomas is also a free agent too, and Jerry Reese needs to figure out the secondary situation.

    Corey Webster is the most consistent corner the Giants have and will be back, and Amukamara will definitely be back for his sophomore season.

    Overall, Thomas is a better player than Ross, and I think Thomas is a priority who gets signed over Ross.

    If Ross doesn't come back, look for Reese to fill his spot with either a late draft pick or a low-cost veteran off the free agent wire.