New York Giants Players Guaranteed to Be Gone After 2012 Season
Oh, have I got your attention now? Good, because we're adding a little something to this year's offseason. As you all know, first prize is you get to keep your job. Anybody want to see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired.
Everyone reading this has been on the wrong end of that ominous one-sided conversation that ends with "we're going to have to let you go."
Over the coming weeks and months, you can anticipate several Giants players who won't escape hearing those dreaded words.
Happy new year!
Some guys might get a back-handed compliment like "you still play well for someone your age" before being shown the door, while others might be lucky if they are just shown the door.
One thing is certain, real-life real estate agents in the tri-state area will soon have some new properties to show.
Let's take a closer look at the players who are guaranteed to soon be ex-Giants.
The least surprising Giant slated to go is Osi Umenyiora. Just read the quotes he's been issuing, and there is no need to read between the lines—he is quite clear. Transcript via NFL.com:
"I feel fortunate to be able to play 10 years in New York," Umenyiora said on the Michael Kay Show, reported by ESPN New York. "It was a great run. I think now is probably the time to move on. There's really not much left for me to accomplish here in New York. Look at things that have been done here, what is there that is to be done that I haven't done? We won a championship twice. I think I've been a Pro Bowl player. Everything has pretty much gone better than I could have imagined in New York.
Everything he said is true, and maybe I'm little naive or old school, but what happened to the professional athlete who is more concerned with pride, honor and loyalty?
Umenyiora sounds like a man who already has his mind made up.
"I've earned the right to be a free agent," Umenyiora said. "It's been 10 years. I signed a seven-year deal, and they made me play out all seven of those years. If they wanted me back, I think something would have been done before now."
For all intents and purposes, the 10-year romance between New Yorkers and Osi is over—it's just a matter of when.
Corey Webster was picked on more this year than any other of his eight seasons with Big Blue.
Despite his durability throughout his career, he doesn't have a convincing answer to the looming question of "what have you done for me lately?"
When the Giants front office assess Webster's down year, and realize that they owe him nearly $9 million in 2013-14, they will definitely ask him to renegotiate, if not look to trade the veteran altogether.
Webster never stepped up and asserted himself as a leader of the secondary in 2012, and the absence of Kenny Phillips in several games only exposed Webster furthermore.
Phillips is a guy whose knee problems could write him a ticket out of New York as well.
Stevie Brown had a breakout season with a team-leading eight interceptions, and Will Hill, Jayron Hosley and Prince Amukamara have bright futures, so Webster will be gone unless he takes less money to stay.
Your Play Has Been Too Rocky, Bernard
One of the Giants biggest Achilles heel in 2012 was their run defense, as they ranked 25th in the league in average yards given up—129.1 to be exact.
The man who stuck out in this category is Rocky Bernard.
The 33-year-old hasn't been accountable for stopping the run, and don't expect the Giants to reward the aging defensive tackle this offseason.
Bernard is an unrestricted free agent and didn't exactly make a strong case to remain with the G-Men.
Linval Joseph and Chris Canty will shoulder the load next season, and Reese will be looking to draft a stud defensive tackle since his 2011 pick of Marvin Austin isn't paying off.
Giants fans have all but seen the last of Bernard's shimmy and shake celebration after a sack.
The Chase Is on for Another Middle Linebacker
Chase Blackburn is a blue-collar guy, and even though he led the team in total tackles in 2012 with 98, he isn't the signal-calling middle linebacker of the future.
He would be a nice complimentary linebacker, but the Giants already have a handful of those including him.
Blackburn is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, while Spencer Paysinger, Keith Rivers, Mark Herzlich and Jacquian Williams are all under contract for a minimal amount.
Michael Boley and Mathias Kiwanuka are also under contract, and will stick around to provide leadership at the position. Between the timing of his free agency and his age, Blackburn will be the odd man out.
Here's the Deal, Diehl
David Diehl has been protecting Eli Manning from every angle the past several seasons, allowing Manning to turn into the elite quarterback he has become, but Diehl's tangible value has severely diminished.
It will be hard to let the big man go, but the roughly $7 million he's expected to earn in 2013-14 will most likely deter Giants brass from retaining his services.
Sean O'Hara and Rich Seubert went through the same thing toward the end of their careers in Big Blue, and now it's Diehl's turn to go.
Good Luck to You, Terrell
Terrell Thomas was once a bright spot in the Giants secondary, but nagging ACL injuries have sidelined the cornerback to the point where New York must finally cut the cord.
The straw that broke the camel's back was likely this past September when he underwent surgery on his right ACL for the third time in seven years.
Reese must put personal emotions aside and realize that continuing to invest in Thomas is not the answer to solving Big Blue's secondary woes.
It's a shame since Thomas is only 27 years old, but it's in the best interest of the team to part ways.
Last Guys to Join, First Guys to Leave
Its the nature of the beast, but Ryan Torain's and Kregg Lumpkin's services will not be needed in 2013-14, and fans can expect them both to be gone.
Andre Brown was an unexpected bright spot, and Ahmad Bradshaw and rookie sensation David Wilson are holding things down at running back.
With the variety of those three, Lumkin and Torain will have to find a different club in 2013.
You Had Your Shot, Marvin
In a September piece by the New York Times, Marvin Austin admitted how his time in New York might be running out.
“I hadn’t played yet and I would get scared,” he said last week in an interview. “This is the N.F.L. — we all know it’s not for long. To not be able to play for two years, that wouldn’t be good for anybody. I just wanted to get my chance.”
The second round pick of the 2011 draft has only played eight games, managing a handful of tackles and no sacks.
To say that Austin is a bust would be premature, but the young defensive tackle has been riddled with injuries in his two seasons, and has shown no promise.
Even though he is a low financial risk, the Giants aren't shelling out just under $1 million for Austin to occupy the training staff.
He should be handed his walking papers—don't expect him to be back for the 2013 campaign.
Fourth-year tight end Travis Beckum won't be back with the Giants, as unrestricted free agent Martellus Bennett is expected to earn himself a new contract this offseason.
Rookie Adrien Robinson is waiting in the wings, and restricted free agent Bear Pascoe will probably be retained as he has been a suitable backup.
There are also a couple big tight ends in the 2013 NFL draft, and with Beckum only playing four games in 2012, he will have to find another team in 2013-14.
Thanks for Trying, Tryon
It didn't work so well with Justin Tryon when Big Blue had him for a few games in 2011, and the results weren't much better in 2012.
The fifth-year pro and unrestricted free agent has already played for three teams in his career, and he will probably find team number four in 2013-14.
His production and value as a cornerback in this league isn't on par with the direction that the Giants secondary needs next season and beyond.
He hardly had an impact in the Giants secondary with just 17 tackles and no interceptions, and the front office will take notice.
We all know that Prince Amukamara isn't going anywhere, but he hasn't come close to living up to a 19 overall pick.
As Amukamara prepares to enter his third NFL season, he needs to take ownership as a leader in the secondary and play like the shutdown corner he was in college.