New York Giants: 9 Biggest Contract Concerns on the Horizon

Jeff ShullAnalyst IJune 28, 2011

New York Giants: 9 Biggest Contract Concerns on the Horizon

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    The New York Giants will have their hands full for the next two off seasons in terms of signing free agents, or letting them go.

    There is also that pesky situation with re-signing a certain player who all of a sudden decided the Giants need to make him one of the highest paid players in the NFL.

    Whatever the case may be, Jerry Reese is going to be a busy man both this summer and next spring. I feel for him because he will likely have to make some unpopular decisions.

    Let's look at the biggest contract concerns for the New York Giants in the next two seasons.

Ahmad Bradshaw: 2011 Free Agent

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    Ahmad Bradshaw broke out in 2010 with his finest season, which was his first as a starter. He had 1235 yards and eight touchdowns and will be looking to be rewarded for his efforts.

    The thing that puts a possible snag in the Giants' plans is the fact that the new CBA is expected to make most of the Giants free agents unrestricted. This means Bradshaw can sign with whoever he wants.

    It will likely drive the price up for the Giants to retain him, but Bradshaw has said he wants to return to New York so hopefully Reese can make that happen.

Steve Smith: 2011 Free Agent

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    Steve Smith is Eli Manning's go to guy and if the Giants don't bring him back, their franchise quarterback will have to get used to not having his long time security blanket around.

    However, Smith's rehab is supposedly going well and the Giants have made it clear they want to bring him back as well.

    I can't wait for the lockout to end, the suspense of not knowing who is going to still be on the team is killing me.

Mathias Kiwanuka: 2011 Free Agent

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    Mathias Kiwanuka missed most of the 2010 season with a neck injury, one that may end up shortening or even threatening his career.

    He worked out with the team during that short week of voluntary workouts, so that is a good sign, but the Giants will still have to evaluate his health before they make any meaningful decision on him.

    He is the Giants most versatile player and they really need him to come back healthy, especially if Keith Bulluck retires.

Barry Cofield: 2011 Free Agent

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    Barry Cofield has done a terrific job as the Giants nose tackle since being drafted in 2006. However, he will either be signed to a long term contract or hold out; he refuses to play under a one-year tender again.

    I can't blame him, but the Giants won't be able to afford him if they resign all these other players. If he is willing to lower his expectations on the money part then maybe the Giants can sign him long term.

Osi Umenyiora: Wants Re-Structured Deal This Offseason

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    Osi Umenyiora has made it pretty clear that he would love to return to the Giants next season, but that's not going to happen unless they rework his deal to make him one of the top five paid defensive ends in the league.

    Seems pretty selfish when the Giants have all of these free agents to worry about. I can see why he is a little upset that Chris Canty makes more than he does, but why not just wait until the contract runs out, or at least one more year for the Giants to actually believe you are back to 100 percent.

    Let's not forget that the promise made to you was that if you were playing at a high level for three years straight, then you would get a bump in pay. However, it was only in 2010 when your play was elite, so why the demands?

Mario Manningham: 2012 Free Agent

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    Mario Manningham emerged as a legitimate home run threat in 2010 as well as one of the best third wide receivers in the NFL.

    He could actually be a starter on many teams and the Giants would do well to bring him back next year.

    He and Eli Manning developed a solid chemistry and the Giants should look to keep that going.

Kareem McKenzie: 2012 Free Agent

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    A month or so ago, Pro Football Focus did an article ranking the best tackles in the NFL for the 2010 season. Kareem McKenzie was named the best right tackle in football, ranking third overall on the total list.

    He will be 33 this time next year and a free agent; the Giants will have to make a hard decision of whether or not to give him a two or three year deal or allow the young guys to take his place (Will Beatty, James Brewer).

Terrell Thomas: 2012 Free Agent

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    Terrell Thomas had an incredible 2010 season and has emerged as one of the most shore tacklers from the corner position in the NFL.

    His ability to come up and stop the run is what most likely earned him the starting spot over Aaron Ross.

    Both he and Ross will be free agents next year—three guesses as to who the Giants bring back.

    Thomas every time.

Shaun OHara: 2012 Free Agent

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    Despite the fact that O'Hara has made the Pro Bowl in three consecutive seasons, I doubt the Giants will look to resign him next season.

    O'Hara turned 34 five days ago, meaning he'll be the ripe old age of 35 next year looking for a new contract. The Giants have Adam Koets who played very well at center last year, or could even look to replace O'Hara in the draft.

    This will be his 12th season in the NFL, I'm not sure if the Giants will bring him back for lucky number 13.