The New York Giants took a step in the right direction for 2013 on Wednesday.
Adam Schefter of ESPN broke the news that the Giants had re-signed starting left tackle Will Beatty to a five-year, $38.5 million deal.
Of that contract, $19 million of it is guaranteed for the former second-round pick back in 2009 out of the University of Connecticut.
By taking care of Beatty, the Giants don't have to worry about overpaying for someone like Jake Long, who is looking for at least $10 million annually in free agency.
So, where do the Giants go from this now that their left tackle is locked up to a long-term deal?
One area that the team could address is the tight end situation with Martellus Bennett, who has spoken out, saying he "isn't feeling the love" from the Giants.
“I dunno bro. Not feeling the love,” Bennett wrote. “They have other priorities that come before little ole me. I’m just a small piece of what they’re trying to do there. … I’ve come to the conclusion that we are just temporary investments to the owners. Value money and growth over players. … Just like any business. Employees aren’t as valuable as we use to be. Everyone needs a job. Lol.”
The tweet was part of a conversation Bennett was having with Paul Dottino of WFAN, who directly asked him what his status was for the upcoming 2013 season would be.
What should be the next move be for the Giants?
Bennett is slated to be one of the top tight ends on the market and could get a decent offer from some other teams aside from the Giants, especially after his breakout season of 2012 when he proved that he can be a full-time starting tight end.
And of course, there is the wide receiver situation involving both Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks.
Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reported that the contract negotiations between Cruz and the Giants have hit sort of a stalemate and that Cruz is hoping for a deal soon.
“Hopefully we can end that talk soon, man,” Cruz told MassLive.com on Saturday in Amherst, Mass., where he was watching his alma mater, UMass, play basketball. “Hopefully we can get a deal done, if not with the Giants then unfortunately somewhere else. But I want to be a Giant for a long time, so we’ll see how it goes.
After back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the Giants, Cruz is really hoping for a long-term deal that will keep him around with the team for a very long time.
However, the Giants are also trying to lock up Hakeem Nicks long term one year before he hits free agency.
I have stressed in the past that the Giants absolutely have to get both of these guys re-signed this spring, because they are vital parts of the Giants offense.
Now, the Giants could always tender Cruz, which would give him a salary of around $2.9 million and continue to work to re-sign him.
By doing that, if any team would want to sign Cruz, it would cost them a first-round draft pick in the 2013 NFL draft in April, and I just don't see teams surrendering a pick that high for the former UMass wideout.
One thing that helped out the Giants in their salary cap situation is the re-structuring of defensive end/linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka's deal, getting another $1 million worth of cap space.
Two potential players who might either have to restructure or be forced to get released are tackle David Diehl and cornerback Corey Webster, both of who have one year left on their respective deals.
These are all the things on Giants general manager Jerry Reese's to-do list, especially after the NFL Scouting Combine just ended in Indianapolis this week.
With Reese coming back to New York, it gives him a little less than two weeks before the start of free agency to get a game plan going and figure out his next move before March 12.
Personally, I think his next move should be trying to figure out how to re-sign both Nicks and Cruz long term.
I'm tired of hearing the "who would you rather have" debate between the two when that shouldn't even be a topic, because both need to come back.
But in the end, it all depends on what Reese thinks and is best for the Giants going forward.
Stay tuned, Giants fans.