Every NFL Team's New Year's Resolution for 2014
While the NFL's 12 playoff teams gear up for the second season, the league's other 20 franchises begin the long offseason path of reconstruction and redemption. The year 2013 was unkind to many an NFL franchise, with other clubs seizing the opportunities given from the misfortune of heated rivals.
The year's most successful teams managed to stand strong in the face of adversity, winning in spite of what seemed like insurmountable challenges presented at the start of the season.
New England had one of the most bizarre and tumultuous offseasons in recent memory, but 2013 was another stellar year for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, who are clearly still at the top of their (and the) game.
The Denver Broncos lost what felt like its entire offensive line, and all Peyton Manning did was destroy every single-season passing record he could. Green Bay, thanks to a lot of help from the failures of its division rivals, weathered the storm of losing Aaron Rodgers for far too long during the season to get back to the playoffs, inexplicably, again.
The year was one of turnarounds, as well. Carolina may be the story of the year, with Ron Rivera and Cam Newton adjusting the course of what looked like a lost journey into an already historic level of success. Andy Reid took a two-win Chiefs team and made them a contender. Chip Kelly brought his high-octane, wacky offense to the NFL and, by season's end, it has become everything his detractors said it could never be at this level.
There were some disappointments this year as well. And some changes. A lot of changes. We won't soon forget those, don't worry.
We can't forget something else—2013 was not just about this season. While the Baltimore Ravens had a poor campaign by their recent standards, they are still reigning champions, winning a title in 2013, galvanizing Joe Flacco's elite-ness in the process.
With 2013 coming to a close, we thought it would be fun to offer each NFL franchise—and their fans—a personalized resolution for the coming year. From East to West and back again, starting in the AFC and ending with my favorite NFC resolution of all, consider this free advice for the NFL owners. We do not resolve that it's all very good advice.
Happy New Year, NFL.
AFC East: New England Patriots
The New England Patriots resolve to replace their offensive coordinator, again, and not miss a beat.
Via Ben Volin of The Boston Globe, rumor has it that Josh McDaniels is the leading candidate for the Cleveland Browns job, which, given the complete and utter lack of security of that position, is probably one of the three worst jobs in the NFL.
Still, it's a head-coaching gig, and with McDaniels famously flaming out in Denver before scuttling back to New England, he is probably eager to get back to being in charge somewhere.
Nick Underhill of MassLive.com, however, reports that Tom Brady doesn't want McDaniels to go, and one has to wonder if coaching the offense for New England until Brady retires—and maybe Belichick does too—isn't a better career path for McDaniels.
Still, if McDaniels is a candidate for Cleveland, he's likely a candidate elsewhere too. There are, after all, a lot of vacancies in the NFL this year. One of those vacancies will be filled by Bill O'Brien, who has made it clear he plans to leave Penn State for an NFL head-coaching job.
O'Brien's job before taking the gig in Happy Valley? Yep, the Patriots' offensive coordinator.
When O'Brien left New England, the Patriots rehired McDaniels and didn't miss a beat. O'Brien, of course, was promoted to the position after McDaniels left for Denver. He got the offensive coordinator job a year after Charlie Weis left to become the head coach at Notre Dame.
New England keeps reloading at the position, and the offense never misses a beat.
New York Jets
The New York Jets resolve to send Rex Ryan out with a bang.
Wait, that sounds like a terrible resolution for a coach who was just given a vote of confidence by his owner. Or was he?
The Jets players celebrated like mad when owner Woody Johnson told them how proud he was of their effort before announcing, "And that's why I've elected to keep Rex."
That was carefully worded, it seems. Ryan is entering the last year of his current contract, and reports from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Kimberly Jones suggest the lovable Jets coach isn't getting much more than that.
Hoping for a long-term extension after scraping eight wins out of a barrel of nothing, Ryan is reportedly being offered a deal through the 2015 season, which, in the NFL, is about as lame duck as it gets.
Some Jets fans seem to love Ryan, blaming the poor run of late on the ownership and front office. But Ryan isn't exactly a first- or second-year coach. Yes, he went to two AFC title games in his first two years, but he has a career regular-season record of 42-38 in New York and hasn't had a wining season since his second year.
Rex seems like the ultimate player's coach, but what does that matter when he's been the coach for five years and the talent level has gotten worse?
I thought before the season that this would be Rex's last year, but it seems Woody Johnson has other ideas. It's hard to believe next year won't be his last, unless the Jets get a lot better, fast.
The Miami Dolphins resolve to keep their business in-house.
I'll make this one brief. The Dolphins had a horrible year mired by controversy and scandal because a situation that is normally kept in-house got so out of hand a player had to make his grievances public.
That situation, from start to finish, is squarely on the front office and the coaching staff—namely Jeff Ireland (pictured) and Joe Philbin—and it's amazing that nobody has been publicly held accountable (read: fired) for what happened.
See, the real issue wasn't even the bullying so much as it was the organization's inability to keep things in-house. Let's not be naive to think that situations like the one involving Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin don't happen elsewhere in the NFL. The Dolphins just let the secret get out, which in and of itself is a big issue in NFL circles.
That, and missing the playoffs when everything was set up perfectly for them to qualify. They should resolve to fix that too.
The Bills resolve not to go to Canada...yet.
The situation in Buffalo is odd, as the team hasn't made the playoffs since 1999 and hasn't made it past the first round since two years after the last trip to the Super Bowl. And yet the fans seem as fervent as ever, willing to buy in to a never-ending string of attempts to reboot the franchise.
Buffalo managed to fill its home games to more than 90 percent capacity, and, correct me if I'm wrong, that number includes the horrific attendance of fewer than 40,000 fans who showed up for the Bills annual home game in Toronto.
They have been here before, in more ways that one. The National Football League is never as small as it becomes when it comes to Toronto. It has been like that for six years now, this intimate gathering, this casual flop. This year the Buffalo Bills came in at 4-7 to play a 2-9 Falcons team, but it carried a little more of the theoretical possibility that Toronto will be forced to really care about this Bills team one day, as terrifying as that prospect can be.
Not next year. At least not next year, Buffalo.
AFC North: Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals resolve to win a playoff game. Just one, but at least one.
The Bengals have been to the playoffs now five times since 2005 under Marvin Lewis, and in the previous four trips, Cincinnati has celebrated exactly zero wins.
The Bengals haven't actually won a playoff game since January 6, 1991 when they defeated the Houston Oilers 41-14, a team that no longer exists, in a stadium that was destroyed more than 10 years ago.
This year, the Bengals have the best chance to win a playoff game since that last victory. They'll host a game against the San Diego Chargers, who squeaked into the postseason thanks in part to Kansas City resting all of its players.
If the Bengals win on Sunday, they would play at New England in the divisional round. So...one win for sure. But that's all they should resolve for in 2014.
The Pittsburgh Steelers should resolve to win a game before October in 2014.
Steelers fans had every right to be disappointed when the Kansas City Chiefs decided to rest their stars against the San Diego Chargers. They should have been irate when Ryan Succop missed a chip-shot kick that would have put the Steelers in the playoffs over the Chargers. And they had every right to be incensed when a penalty on the Chargers was not called that would have surely guaranteed victory for the Chiefs.
Disappointed, irate and incensed at their team, for putting itself in a situation where the result of the Chiefs and Chargers mattered that much.
The Steelers were decimated by injuries early, but they rallied to have a great second half of the season. Still, winning just one of the four September contests this year would have put them in the playoffs. A playoff team cannot go an entire month without winning a game, especially to start the season.
The Baltimore Ravens resolve to make sure all that laundry gets picked up next year. That should say the Ravens resolve to make sure less laundry is thrown on the field in the first place.
Yellow handkerchiefs were everywhere this season. The Ravens led the league in defensive penalties with 126 and defensive penalty yards with 1,196 conceded.
The Ravens allowed nearly 200 more yards via penalty than any other team in the league in 2013.
They were eighth in the league in offensive penalty yards, tied for sixth in the number of offensive penalties.
Forget about the fact that the running game was atrocious almost all season. Forget about the fact that losing so many players on defense caught up to them more than the front office had hoped. If the Ravens would have just kept the game a little cleaner each week, they would be back in the playoffs in 2014.
The Cleveland Browns resolve nothing they won't take back in a year.
AFC South: Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts resolve to become a legitimate Super Bowl contender in 2014.
That may not happen this year, as the Patriots and Broncos look to be the best two teams in the AFC, with the Colts and Bengals a step or two behind. But Denver and New England are old, especially at quarterback. The Colts are perfectly positioned to be a perennial Super Bowl contender, and they have to start with a strong playoff performance this year.
The Colts already beat the Chiefs once this year, and with a playoff game at home, they need to show the rest of the league this is a team built for growth and success. The Colts could make a playoff run in early 2014, but this season feels like a table-setter for what could be a great few years ahead.
The Tennessee Titans resolve to win 10 games before Chris Johnson is gone.
Johnson entered the league in 2008 and has rushed for more than 1,000 yards every season in his career. Even in a bad year, the guy hits four digits. He has 7,965 yards rushing in his career to go with more than 2,000 receiving yards in just six seasons.
Tennessee won 13 games in Johnson's first season, earning a first-round bye in the process, but the Titans didn't win a playoff game that year, or any year since. In fact, that was the last season the Titans made the playoffs and the last time the franchise won more than nine games.
Johnson could be playing with the sixth starting quarterback of his career next season. How much more can he, or the fans, take?
The Jacksonville Jaguars resolve to let Gus Bradley do things his way, however he wants to do them.
Jacksonville looked like the worst football team ever constructed this season, and an 0-16 record seemed to be a foregone conclusion for the first-year head coach. The Jaguars have no quarterback, oft-injured or suspended skill players and a putrid defense that was one of the worst in the league.
Yet Bradley willed the team to four wins, including three in the division.
Before the Week 9 bye, Jacksonville had no wins and was held to 10 or fewer points in six of its eight games.
After the bye, the Jaguars finished 4-4 and actually had a three-game win streak before losing the final three games of the regular season.
As crazy as it sounds, I would have put Bradley in serious contention for Coach of the Year in 2013. Don’t be surprised if he wins it in 2014.
The Houston Texans resolve to figure out this quarterback situation before the draft. If Bill O'Brien is the new head coach, he's a perfect guy to help fix the issues at quarterback in Texas.
No, Tom Brady is not going to suddenly demand a trade, but O'Brien—or whoever it is—has to figure out what the team has in Matt Schaub and Case Keenum long enough before the draft that the team can make a plan to reboot right away.
The Texans, remember, were legitimate Super Bowl contenders the last few years. This team has a ton of talent, so if there's a quarterback who can actually fit in the new system already on the roster, Houston can draft a player like Jadeveon Clowney to bookend with J.J. Watt for the most terrifying pass rush in the last 15 years in the NFL.
If there isn't a quarterback worth salvaging, Teddy Bridgewater would be a perfect fit with the Texans' dynamic skill players.
This is a "Tim Duncan" type of draft for a team that should not have been bad enough to get the first pick. Houston better get it right in 2014.
AFC West: Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos resolve that Peyton Manning will not retire in 2014.
Let's be clear, this is barely even a rumor yet, but if the Denver Broncos get to the Super Bowl this year, talk of Peyton Manning's potential retirement is going to dominate media day.
In June, ESPN Insider Chris Mortensen was asked how long he thought Manning would play and he said, via Twitter, "At least two more years, maybe more."
Well, two more years would be this current season and the next, so it's not out of the realm of possibility that Manning wins a title this year and uses next year as his retirement party. I don’t see Manning getting a Mariano Rivera-like send-off in every city, but winning a second title, at his age, could change a lot for the surefire Hall of Famer in terms of future goals.
Manning told Pro Football Talk's Eric Kuselias in August that winning a title would not impact his retirement plans, but come on. How many superstars get to walk off with the title, especially in football? John Elway, Manning's boss, did it and in the next few years guys like Manning and Tom Brady will get a chance to do it too.
It may not be this year—read: it won't be this year—but if the Broncos are back in the same position next year, don't be surprised if the run ends then, or shortly thereafter.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs resolve never to let the honeymoon phase end.
Andy Reid has had an amazing career transformation this year, from a good coach who could never win the biggest games to, really, a franchise savior.
Kansas City was in dire straits last season, both on and off the field. The Chiefs had talent on both sides of the ball, but everything seemed to be falling apart at the seams for a once-proud NFL franchise.
In one year, Reid has managed to right the ship, make the Chiefs a playoff team and give hope that Kansas City can be a bona fide Super Bowl contender.
Did you know the Chiefs have not been to the Super Bowl since they won the game after the 1969 season? Did you know they haven't been to an AFC title game since the playoffs that followed the 1993 season?
Reid may not get the Chiefs there this year, but he has delivered hope. Kansas City should resolve never to let that disappear.
San Diego Chargers
The San Diego Chargers resolve to take advantage of the opportunity, now and in the future.
The Chargers were gifted a trip to the playoffs, both by the Chiefs not starting their top players and, after San Diego's first string struggled with players who were literally on the practice squad for Kansas City last week, by the NFL officials who missed an obvious violation that would have kept the Chargers home for the postseason.
But all that's in the past now. The Chargers made the playoffs, and they need to make the most of it.
While only two No. 6 seeds have won the Super Bowl, they both hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in the last eight years.
Since 2005, there have actually been more No. 6 seeds to win the Super Bowl than No. 1 seeds. In addition, six of the last 12 Super Bowl winners have played on the postseason's opening weekend and the last three Super Bowl championships went to teams that won 10 or fewer regular-season games.
The Chargers got a chance; now they have to show the resolve to make the most of it.
The Oakland Raiders resolve to figure out why they are so damn terrible.
The Raiders lost Super Bowl XXXVII on January 26, 2003 and in the subsequent 11 seasons the franchise has had 53 wins and seven head coaches.
That's an average, if you're doing the math, of 4.8 wins per season—and 7.5 wins per coach—since the Super Bowl year.
NFC West: Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks resolve to win.
That's it. Win.
They have home field. They have a phenomenal defense. They have a dynamic quarterback who makes great decisions and a punishing running back.
Win. Pete Carroll has gone to the playoffs three times in his four years since taking over in Seattle, losing in the divisional round in both of the previous postseason visits. There is no reason why Seattle should not make it to the Super Bowl this year, and for a franchise with just 12 playoff appearances in its history, including only one trip to the Super Bowl before this year, winning would be a historic thing to resolve.
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers resolve to remember who they are.
Early in the 2013 season, with injuries decimating the team and perhaps a bit of a Super Bowl hangover keeping everyone in an autumn fog, the 49ers looked like a team that might miss the playoffs entirely.
Now, as the playoffs begin, San Francisco looks like one of the teams to beat. Everything is clicking for the 49ers on both sides of the ball, making them the most feared No. 5 seed in recent memory.
For San Francisco to get back to the Super Bowl they'll have to go through either Seattle or Carolina, two teams that beat them earlier in the season (though they did get a win over Seattle in the rematch). The 49ers just need to remember who they are and play within themselves to get back there again.
They may be the most dangerous team in the tournament if they play the way they did the last six weeks of the season.
The Arizona Cardinals resolve to find their quarterback of the future.
In one year, Bruce Arians has turned his Cardinals into a tough out for every team they play. In almost any other division, the Cardinals would be in the playoffs this year, but they're not in any other division, and they're not in the playoffs.
The NFC West is not going to get any easier, but the Cardinals have a ton of talent on both sides of the ball that can keep them competitive for years to come. If they get a quarterback.
Carson Palmer was a fine stopgap for this year, but Arians needs "his guy" to lead this team in the future. Palmer threw 24 touchdowns to 22 interceptions, and while he threw for more than 4,000 yards this season, the Cardinals can't expect him to be anything better than what he is—a decent and unspectacular journeyman.
St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams resolve to trade down, again.
The Rams got a windfall for the RGIII trade. With the second pick in next year's draft coming via that trade to go along with their own top 15 pick, the Rams are reportedly looking to trade out of the second slot again, according to Dan Greenspan of NFL.com.
This makes sense and it doesn't, and far greater draftniks than I will give your opinions why both options make sense.
To me, if you have a franchise quarterback available like Teddy Bridgewater, you take him. You cannot rely on Sam Bradford to be healthy enough, or good enough, to win in that division.
If you have someone like Jadeveon Clowney available, you take him too. One of those two players will definitely be available at No. 2, so the Rams better hope they get a deal somewhere near what they got for RGIII if they are, in fact, trading out.
NFC South: Carolina Panthers
The Panthers resolve never to stop taking chances.
Riverboat Ron has become a Tobacco Road legend after orchestrating an amazing season for the Panthers. A bye? With the Saints playing as well as they did this year?
Sure, nobody thought the Falcons would implode they way they did, but the Panthers took what they had in front of them and secured a first-round bye nobody could see coming back in training camp.
It's already been a dream season in Carolina, but the Panthers have a great shot at making a deep playoff run. If Philadelphia can beat New Orleans, the Panthers can get to the NFC title game without having to face a rematch with the Saints or 49ers along the way. And if the 49ers can beat the Packers and then upset the Seahawks, Carolina would host the title game.
That's a lot of ifs, but that's exactly the kind of uncertainty a gambler should love.
New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints resolve to figure out a way to train outdoors more in 2014. Maybe they can get a wind and cold air machine to blow on the practice field or something.
The Saints finished 2013 at 11-5, but they were 8-0 at home and just 3-5 on the road. Outside of the confines of a dome, the Saints won just two games this season, beating Tampa Bay and Chicago in the season's first five weeks, when the weather was far more mild around the country than it is during the playoffs.
New Orleans hasn't won a game outdoors since October 6, and the temperature in Chicago that day was 60 degrees with minimal wind.
Saints fans, though, hope that everything starts in January 2014 in Philadelphia.
The Atlanta Falcons resolve to wrap their receivers in bubble wrap until September.
Injuries ruined Atlanta's season in 2013 and none hurt more than the loss of standout receiver Julio Jones. Jones played in just five games—granted, four losses—but still caught 41 balls for 480 yards.
It wasn't just Jones. Roddy White missed three games in the middle of the season before limited play the following three weeks kept him from doing much of anything. Running back Steven Jackson missed time too. In total, more than 10 players were placed on injured reserve, with almost too many others to count missing some significant time this year.
The Falcons need a lot of things to go right in order to get back to where they were last year when they earned the NFC's top seed in the playoffs, but getting healthy has to be at the top of that list.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers resolve to disinfect everything. Seriously.
Greg Schiano's tenure as head coach ended with a candid press conference in which he repeatedly acknowledged that the reason he was fired is because he didn't win enough games. He was proud of the way he changed the culture of the Tampa Bay franchise, even if those on the outside saw him as a dictator without the NFL track record to back up his "my way or get out" model of coaching.
But Schiano did clean up the negative culture surrounding the team, bringing in higher character players and giving the area a team that felt proud to be part of the community.
It's a shame the Bucs didn't play very well. It's even worse that Schiano and his staff couldn't pull out some more wins.
Tampa Bay had just four victories on the season, losing three of the first four weeks by a total of six points. The Bucs did win three of four toward the end of the year, but three straight losses to end the season were enough for Schiano to get the boot.
But, yeah, about that disinfectant. The Bucs needs to make damn sure there are no more outbreaks of MRSA in their facility. Yeesh.
NFC North: Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers resolve to employ viable backups at every position on the field, even quarterback.
I mean, how, in this day and age of the NFL, does a team go into a season with Seneca Wallace as its only backup? How does it get to the point where, in a playoff year, Scott Tolzien threw 90 passes and Matt Flynn, who was only on the roster after being cut like 100 times already this year by other teams, ends up starting four games?
How is that possible?
Oddly enough, the quarterback issues weren't the biggest problem for Green Bay this year. The defense was, at times, horrendous. How did this team make the playoffs?!?
Oh, right, the next two teams...
The Chicago Bears resolve to give up fewer points.
The Bears had their own quarterback issues, but that turned out to be a pretty positive part of the season for Chicago.
It was the defense that was epically terrible.
The Chicago Bears had one of the worst defenses in football? Yes they did!
The Bears gave up 394.6 yards per game, third-worst in the NFL, and also surrendered 478 points, second-worst by just two points to the Minnesota Vikings. It's incredible that the Bears were 8-8, truly.
On the bright side, the Bears had just a mediocre pass defense, but they made up for that with the worst rush defense by a considerable margin, giving up over 400 more yards than any other team in the league.
The Lions resolve to hire someone who does not coach his team like it's made up of a bunch of undisciplined jerks.
Look, I don't live in Detroit and I don't know Jim Schwartz personally, but if there is a coach in the NFL who handles himself more poorly than Schwartz did on the sidelines the last five years, I haven't seen him.
There is an air of unjustified smugness that exudes from Schwartz and seemed to permeate the entire Lions team, which completely underachieved over the last two seasons given its talent.
Now, granted, the Lions were terrible when Schwartz got there, but this team should have run away with the NFC North this year and couldn't even muster a winning record with all that talent on both sides of the ball. After reaching the playoffs in 2011, Schwartz won just 11 more games in Detroit.
From where we were in 2008 to where we are now is a big difference. We owe a lot of that to him. He obviously a really smart guy that helped us get to where we are. Obviously we didn't win as many games as we needed to, or as we probably should have this year, but I think everybody in [the team meeting] was really appreciative of his hard work and how he treated us throughout the whole process.
There were already rumors floating around Twitter on Black Monday that Schwartz would get interviews for other vacancies around the NFL. As a defensive coach, sure, but as a head coach? Next year? Were those other owners paying attention the last two seasons?
The Minnesota Vikings resolve to give every season ticket holder a year's supply of hand warmers and scarves. Also, a quarterback.
Minnesota should have made its new stadium look like a Viking helmet. Instead the place looks like a giant tent that comes apart really easily to let the breeze in.
Modern stadiums, I guess.
Until then, the Vikings get to play in an outdoor college stadium for two years, which should be a blast for fans of a team that made the playoffs last year but took an enormous step back in 2013.
At least the fans could stay warm while watching a crappy team this year. What's in store for next season, with another new coach and another hope for success? At the very least, they have to come to terms with the fact that Christian Ponder is not an NFL-caliber quarterback. Matt Cassel can't be the answer either.
The Vikings, one year off making the playoffs, suddenly feel left out in the cold.
NFC East: Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles resolve to find an actual safety who can play.
Patrick Chung? With the season on the line and Dallas down eight points in the fourth quarter on a 4th-and-9, the Eagles designed a defensive scheme that left Patrick Chung covering Dez Bryant?
How in the world did nobody call timeout?
Chung is a former Oregon Duck, so maybe Chip Kelly felt comfortable with him in the secondary during his first year in the pros. Chung was let go by the New England Patriots for, apparently, good reasons. He is terrible. He has been a defensive liability all season for the Eagles.
And you know what...that's really the only thing wrong with the Eagles at all. One safety.
Chip Kelly has completely transformed the Eagles into a bona fide Super Bowl contender. The Birds are 10-6, but they finished the season 7-1 with Nick Foles in charge of the offense.
Sure, they could stand to score a little more with all those yards, but they averaged 33.25 points per game in the last half of the season. That's pretty good.
The defense, at least in the second half of the season, was pretty good too. The linebackers and defensive line really took to coordinator Billy Davis' scheme. While the passing numbers look awful, the cornerbacks proved to be a strong suit of the defense against physical receivers for Detroit, Chicago and Dallas late in the year.
The team isn't perfect, but it is way better than most people thought in Kelly's first year. It was just that darn safety position. And the inability to cover tight ends. Can we blame Chung for that too?
The Dallas Cowboys resolve to actually coordinate a defense.
Dallas gave up the seventh-most points in the NFL in 2013, which is amazing considering how inept its defense was all season. The Cowboys defense was one of the worst in NFL history (hedging for era comparisons only), giving up 415.3 yards per game.
Sure, players were injured, but a lot of teams had injuries, and Dallas seemed to have nobody backing up the starters who could even understand the calls of the defense, let alone be in the right spots to make a play.
I know Monte Kiffin was once a great defensive mind, but it seems time has long since passed him by. If Dallas isn't going to make a change at the top, it needs to give Jason Garrett a defensive coach who can actually coordinate 11 players, not just hope DeMarcus Ware has a better season and Sean Lee stays healthy next year.
Also, the quarterbacks should resolve to stop throwing horrible interceptions. Yeah, that too.
New York Giants
The New York Giants resolve to see what the team actually has in quarterback Ryan Nassib.
Nassib was picked in the fourth round of the NFL draft last year, but he did not see the field in his rookie season, even when it was clear the season was lost and even after Eli Manning was taken out of the finale to protect the Giants' starter from injury.
Who stepped in? Curtis Painter, that's who.
The Giants went into a completely meaningless finale of a year in which Manning was horrible and played out the season with Painter under center. Why not take the opportunity to see what you have in Nassib? Why not even dress the guy?
This isn't a suggestion that the Giants move away from Manning. He had a terrible year, but he also had a lot of injuries on his offense that contributed to his poor play. But they should have given the rookie a look, if for nothing else to see what they had heading into a relatively quarterback-rich draft.
According to Jordan Raanan of NJ.com, the Giants are looking at restructuring Manning's deal with a $20 million cap hit on the horizon. Any deal would certainly come with an extension, so playing Nassib would have made even more sense for the Giants.
First, a good showing could give the organization a little leverage with Manning. Second, a good showing could have showcased Nassib to a host of teams looking for a quarterback via trade.
It made no sense that Nassib didn't even see the field this year with the Giants eliminated weeks ago. It will make even less sense next year.
The Washington Redskins resolve to do everything the opposite in 2014. Everything.