New York Giants Face Possible Offensive Changes in the Offseason

Mike Gliddon@mikegliddonCorrespondent IDecember 29, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 27:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants against the Carolina Panthers at Giants Stadium on December 27, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

The New York Giants have struggled through the last half of the year.  All that is left is a meaningless game against the struggling Vikings.

So where do the G-Men stand on the offensive side of the ball?

The offense has not been the biggest problem for the Giants, but they have gone through stretches of bad play.

The running game that played so well last year was not so great this year. The yards per carry are down from a league-best 5.0 to 4.2.

The Giants are also struggling with turnovers. New York was first in the NFC with plus-nine in turnover differential in 2008-09. They had 13 giveaways and 22 takeaways. In 2009-10, the Giants are minus-five in turnover difference. What's the biggest reason for the turnaround? The Giants have 29 giveaways.

The offense has done a good enough job to keep Kevin Gilbride around for one more year. But if the offense struggles, he could be fighting for his job.

Now, what will Jerry Reese and management do with the upcoming free agents?

The Giants are set at quarterback for a long time. Eli Manning was given a lucrative six-year, $97 million extension back in August, and he has played well this year. He has already set career highs in touchdown passes, quarterback rating, yards per completion, yards, and completion percentage.

David Carr will be a free agent, and it is still up in the air if he will remain with New York. The Giants may want to see what current rookie Rhett Bomar can bring to the team. It is doubtful that they will spend a draft pick on another quarterback.

The running game has been one of the strong points for Giants teams in the past, but that was not the case this year.

Ahmad Bradshaw may become the feature back next year, with Brandon Jacobs' role reduced to short-yardage or goal line back.

Danny Ware will most likely be let go to make room for Andre Brown, who was injured early in the year.

Gartrell Johnson played sparingly and will most likely be a fourth option or be on the practice squad.

Madison Hedgecock will return as the fullback and should not have any challengers

It will be interesting to see if the Giants use a draft pick in the first couple of rounds to draft another running back.

Tight end is solid with Kevin Boss and rookie Travis Beckham behind him. Gilbride should make more of an effort to involve Boss next year.

The Giants may spend a pick in the later rounds as insurance to Boss and Beckham, but those guys are locked in as the top two tight ends.

Wide receiver was one of the most surprising spots for the Giants in 2009.

The loss of key veterans Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer scared most fans. But Steve Smith, Mario Manningham, and Hakeem Nicks played great in expanded roles and provided excellent targets for Manning.

All are locked in for next year and will be Eli's top three guys in 2010.

Domenik Hixon is the only key wide receiver who is supposed to be a free agent. He may be kept on as a No. 4 receiver but mainly as the return specialist.

Sinorice Moss will be let go. He has not performed well since being drafted out of Miami.

Two other players to watch will be Derek Hagan and Ramses Barden. 

Hagan saw limited action in the regular season and will remain on the practice squad or as a fifth wide receiver. Barden was supposed to replace Burress with his freakishly large size, but with the development of the other receivers, he never got to showcase his skills. He will be brought along slowly now, and the Giants will see what they have in years to come.

The biggest problem for the Giants was the offensive line. Expect it to look different after this year.

This unit worked well together over the past two years, but injuries and age are slowing them down. Rich Seubert and Chris Snee will be free agents at the end of the year.

Snee will be kept on. He is easily the best lineman on this front.

Seubert is another question.

David Diehl is not meant to be a tackle and has played better as a guard. Will Beatty has seen time at tackle, and he may get the opportunity at the right tackle position for next year.

Guy Whimper and Kevin Boothe are both key reserves and have seen time over the past two years. Whimper is the one more likely to be let go if management decides not to keep them both.

Expect a lineman to be taken in the third or fourth round.

The Giants will be spending most of their draft picks on the defensive side of the ball, but watch out for some picks on the offensive line that can make an impact in the coming years.



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