5 Questions New York Giants Must Answer This Offseason
After missing out on the postseason following a Super Bowl-winning campaign last season, the New York Giants have a whirl of questions circling around them.
New York certainly took a step back this season, highlighted by losses down the stretch to the Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens.
General manager Jerry Reese doesn't think the Giants are far from returning to Super Bowl form (h/t Ralph Vacchiano of New York Daily News), but there's still a lot of work to be done before the G-Men can even entertain the thought of reclaiming the Lombardi Trophy.
So what do the Giants need to address this offseason?
Let's take a look.
Does Victor Cruz Deserve a Raise?
To be concise, yes.
What has Victor Cruz done in his two fantastic seasons with the Giants that wouldn't warrant a new contract?
He's been one of the most productive wideouts in the NFL the past two seasons and has brought an unprecedented level of energy to Big Blue.
According to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News, Cruz is positive that he and the G-Men will come to an agreement on a long-term deal.
The 26-year-old wideout has played in all 32 regular season games for New York over the past two seasons and has surpassed the 1,000-yard receiving mark each year while scoring a combined 19 touchdowns.
Pay the man.
Does the Defensive Line Need Help?
The lack of pressure on opposing quarterbacks down the stretch by Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora proves that the Giants need to address the defensive line.
With Umenyiora's days in New York likely numbered (h/t NFL.com), the Giants could definitely use some depth on the defensive line, but that shouldn't be the No. 1 concern.
While I believe the G-Men need to address the defensive end spot, I think the offensive line and cornerback positions are far more important.
Nonetheless, the Giants need a defensive end in the draft or in free agency to get their mojo back.
Is David Wilson Ready for an Increased Role in 2013?
David Wilson found himself in Tom Coughlin's dog house for a large portion of the season this year after fumbling on his second-career NFL carry against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1.
The rookie slowly worked himself back into the good graces of his head coach by torching the opposition's special teams defense on kick returns, which ultimately increased his role in New York's game plan.
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com reports that GM Jerry Reese feels Wilson has the potential to be a lead back in the NFL, so I'd have to think he will see an increased role next season.
I hate to say it, but the odds of Ahmad Bradshaw not getting injured in 2013 are as good as Mark Sanchez not throwing an interception the entire season.
Wilson's six touchdowns proved he can be a dynamic weapon for the Giants offense. That should continue in 2013.
Is Corey Webster Still a Starter in New York?
I wouldn't exactly call Corey Webster's play great this season—in fact, I wouldn't even call it good.
At the age of 30 (he'll be 31 when next season starts), Webster is beginning to slow down, and that couldn't be more evident than his play against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 16, when he was abused by both Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith.
ESPN.com's Khaled Elsayed (Insider access required) suggests that Webster could be cut by the Giants due to salary cap restraints, opening the door for young cornerback talent like Jayron Hosley and Prince Amukamara.
If the G-Men have their way, Webster won't be starting next season.
They can either target a CB in the draft, such as FSU's Xavier Rhodes (which I suggested) or go after someone on the free-agent market, like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Either way, it's probably time for Big Blue and Webster to part ways.
What Can Be Done with the Offensive Line?
For one thing, the Giants can cut ties with offensive tackle David Diehl and address the O-line through free agency and/or the NFL draft.
The 32-year-old Diehl took a big step backward this season and needs to be replaced, as Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News argues.
New York can target someone like D.J. Fluker in the 2013 NFL draft or address the O-line in free agency, with guys like Jake Long, Branden Albert or Ryan Clady expected to be on the market.
Eli Manning took some licks this season and New York's running game underperformed, especially when you look at the type of talent the backfield possesses.
The key to New York getting back on track in 2013 is rebuilding the offensive line.
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