New York Giants Report Card: Grades for Every Major Offseason Move Thus Far
The New York Giants have been very active in free agency, although they haven't made too many huge splashes. They surprised a lot of people when they announced they were cutting Shaun O'Hara and Rich Seubert, but made up for it with the signings they were able to make.
The most important item on their menu now is dealing with Osi Umenyiora, who refuses to play under his current contract. I've heard several different scenarios, but the most likely is that the Giants only get a second-round pick for him.
It's almost not worth it at that point; hopefully, Justin Tuck is right when he says Osi is coming back.
This article will examine and grade the Giants major moves thus far. If you disagree or what have you, feel free to comment!
Cutting Shaun O'Hara, Signing David Baas
I think it's safe to say the Giants are going to miss Shaun O'Hara, both on the field and in the locker room. O'Hara was the Giants' player representative and a leader on the offensive line.
The center position is the second most important after left tackle in my opinion, this is why the Giants made sure they got a good replacement when they signed David Baas from the 49ers.
The move to cut O'Hara was likely to clear up cap space; he was set to make $3.45 million in 2010. Although, Baas signed a five year, $26 million deal so that space went out the window almost immediately.
O'Hara had made the Pro Bowl for three straight years, but he only played six games in 2010 and has had a ton of foot problems. The Giants decided to move on and to be quite honest, Baas is an upgrade.
Losing Barry Cofield, Signing Gabe Watson
Given his general attitude and the fact that the Giants have drafted a defensive tackle the past two years in the second round, I sensed Barry Cofield would be out the door.
However, according to multiple reports, Cofield's agent said the Giants did not go down without a fight. Cofield has been one of the most underrated players in the NFL and a great run stopper for the Giants, so it's not surprising to hear they at least tried to retain him.
The 338-pounder adds a veteran presence to an otherwise young group; Linval Joseph only appeared in six games last year, and Marvin Austin is a rookie (who also happened to miss his senior season at UNC due to suspension).
I'm sure most of you would have liked to see him return, and with this whole Osi Umenyiora situation taking a turn for the worse, I bet the Giants would like to hop in their DeLorean and do more to keep Cofield.
If Osi and Cofield are both gone, it could be tough to replace them.
Grade: C (D if Osi is traded)
Cutting Rocky Bernard, Rich Seubert and Shawn Andrews
Rich Seubert has been called the 2010 team MVP by many people, including GM Jerry Reese, so it is sad to see him go after spending his entire 10-year career with the Giants.
However, the team did not believe he would be able to pass a physical, so it was time to let him go. Seubert vowed his career is not over, all we can do at this point is wish him well.
Rocky Bernard and Shawn Andrews were both asked to take pay cuts, but a deal could not be worked out with either of them, so the Giants sent them packing.
Bernard has mostly been a disappointment, but Andrews filled in very nicely when he was needed last season. He spent most of the year as a blocking tight end, but played some left tackle when David Diehl was hurt.
The Giants didn't allow a single sack when Andrews played tackle.
However, he was set to make as much a $7.5 million with incentives in 2011, so the Giants could not afford to keep him around at that price.
He was likely going to be a backup, and that's way too much money for a backup. These moves were instrumental in the signings thus far, as they freed up the necessary cap space.
Re-Signing Mathias Kiwanuka
This was a move the Giants absolutely needed to make, and they made it a priority. Though Kiwanuka is coming off a neck injury that caused him to miss most of the 2010 season, he has been cleared for practice and is one of the Giants' most versatile players.
I have a strong sense that Kiwanuka will be replacing Kieth Bulluck as the starting outside linebacker, but if Osi Umenyiora is traded, then the Giants will likely leave him at his natural position of defensive end.
If anything, this move kept Kiwanuka away from the Eagles, as they had shown interest in him, according to sources.
The neck injury allowed the Giants to sign Kiwanuka to an incentive-laden contract; hopefully, he earns that money.
Re-Signing Ahmad Bradshaw
The New York Giants cut Bernard, O'Hara, Seubert and Shawn Andrews and restructured veteran contracts, including Brandon Jacobs', in an effort to re-sign their big-name free agents.
Bradshaw had the Giants fans worrying that those moves were all for naught, when he was seriously considering offers from the Dolphins and Redskins while a Giants offer was sitting on the table.
The Dolphins and Redskins each traded for other running backs and moved on, leaving Bradshaw with no apparent options. He finally made his decision and re-signed with the Giants on Monday.
The move, ironically, was made during a Jason Snelling visit to the Giants facilities Monday morning and afternoon. It could have been a power move by the Giants, telling Bradshaw that he needs to stop jerking them around.
It obviously worked and the Giants got Bradshaw at an unbelievable discount, signing him to a four-year, $18 million deal.
This was incredible considering DeAngelo Williams got a five year, $43 million deal from the Panthers.
Bradshaw admitted on ESPN's NFL Live he was excited when he heard about that, but apparently waiting so long cost him some money.
The Giants got a steal with this signing and retained their dominating duo of a backfield.