Debating Who the New York Giants Should Release or Let Walk This Offseason
Earlier this week, I listed the players each of the three other teams in the NFC East should cut this offseason. But because the New York Giants have several key free agents and I can't find a ton of cuts, I'm instead going to look at some of the Giants who are on the bubble in terms of their status with the team entering the 2013 offseason.
Osi Umenyiora: Let him go
Umenyiora will be an unrestricted free agent, which means he'll likely be overpaid somewhere. Pass-rushers are too valuable for that not to happen. But the 31-year-old struggled despite being given a nice raise in 2012. He's declining sharply now, so this is an obvious one.
Justin Tuck: Cut him
Tuck is a Giants legend for his performances in big games over the years, and if not for Eli Manning he might have won two Super Bowl MVPs. But he's done now and it's time for Big Blue to move on. The soon-to-be 30-year-old has just nine sacks in his last 27 games and is slated to make $4.5 million next year. Time for the Giants to find some new complementary pass-rushers for Jason Pierre-Paul.
Corey Webster: Only keep him at a reduced rate
After a terrible 2012 season, many expect the Giants to chop Webster from the roster before he's due $7 million in 2013. The Giants have a lot of free agents to take care of and definitely can't afford to commit that kind of money to a player coming off of such a poor season. But with a lack of depth and alternatives, they might have to give Webster another chance if he's willing to shave a few million bucks off of that 2013 salary.
Kenny Phillips: Re-sign him*
The emergence of takeaway-machine Stevie Brown really hurt Phillips' stock this season. Brown might have had eight interceptions, but Phillips is still a much better all-around player and is a proven stud.
The problem is that Phillips has missed large chunks of two of the last four seasons and the jury's still out on both Brown and Will Hill. That's what makes this so difficult.
I say re-sign him because I think Phillips makes this team a lot better, but the asterisk is there to indicate that I wouldn't overpay for him at this stage.
David Diehl: Cut him
The longest-tenured Giant has become useless. He's proved over the last two years that he's no longer fit to start and it would be silly to pay a swing tackle over $4 million. Time to move on.
Will Beatty: Pay the man
This is where the money has to go. Quietly, Beatty became the best offensive lineman on this team in 2012. Better than Chris Snee and David Baas, who get a lot more money than he does. But that'll change. The Giants can't afford to let their new franchise left tackle get away. After ensuring that Victor Cruz doesn't escape as a restricted free agent, re-signing Beatty has to be priority No. 2 for the G-men this offseason.
Martellus Bennett: Re-sign him
Bennett delivered with a breakout season in his debut with the Giants in 2012. He's steady, versatile and consistent and deserves a long-term deal. I understand money could be a factor here, but the goal should definitely be to bring Bennett back to start at tight end in 2013.
Should Chase Blackburn start at middle linebacker for the Giants next season?
Chase Blackburn: Let him go
I just don't think Blackburn's a very good player. If you're going to keep him, it had better be as a backup and at a discounted price. The Giants have to find a better defender to start in the middle.
Kevin Boothe: Re-sign him
He's probably about to become the weakest link on the line, but I think he's great for depth and experience and he gets the job done most of the time. Assuming the price tag isn't out of control, I'd bring Boothe back on a one-year contract, simply because it might be hard to find bodies capable of replacing everyone who will be leaving town.
Sean Locklear: Re-sign him
The money you save on Diehl should be used to bring Locklear back to start at right tackle from the get-go. He's had some hiccups in his career but fought back in 2012 and looked like a quality starter more often than anyone expected. The Giants absolutely must address the offensive line in the offseason, but Boothe and Locklear should be kept around until they've shored things up.
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