Golden Tate: Giants 'Not as Far off as People Think' After Odell Beckham Trade

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 15, 2019

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 13:  Golden Tate #19 of the Philadelphia Eagles avoids the tackle attempt of P.J. Williams #26 of the New Orleans Saints during the first quarter in the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 13, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The New York Giants' massive offseason roster upheaval has included trading No. 1 wideout Odell Beckham Jr. and leading pass-rusher Olivier Vernon in addition to letting three-time Pro Bowl safety Landon Collins walk. 

Newly signed Giants wideout Golden Tate is confident in the team's future, however, saying the team is "not as far off as people think" in comments made to reporters during a Friday conference call:

"I really believe that you can win games while you build. And we have a great division that is set up for us to do some great things in. Just really kind of excited to play. I think we have some very important key, good pieces in this locker room that I'm anxious to learn more about. It starts with, we have a really good quarterback, I believe. We have a really good running back and ample other really, really good players. We just need to build that camaraderie and play as a team, day in and day out, week in and week out, play by play.

"I just believe if we can get this team to be on the same page all the time, we're going to win games, and we're going to build as we go. I feel every team in the NFL is building to an extent."

The Westgate Sportsbook doesn't agree with Tate's sentiment as evidenced by the Giants' Super Bowl LIII odds dropping from 40-1 to 80-1 after Big Blue traded Beckham to the Browns, per ESPN News Services.

The Giants also have no long-term solution at quarterback with 38-year-old signal caller Eli Manning still No. 1 on the team's depth chart.

And on defense, New York allowed a league-average 5.7 yards per play, per Pro Football Reference.

That may not be a big deal, but the Giants offense finished No. 13 in Football Outsiders DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) with Beckham playing 12 games last season. Without him, the Giants offense has the opportunity to sink, which doesn't help when the defense is coming off a mediocre year.

From a broad perspective, the 5-11 Giants jettisoned three of their better players, naturally leading one to believe that a last-place appearance is all but assured.

But there is some hope on the horizon.

First, the Giants' 2019 schedule isn't daunting. Divisional matchups with the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys will assuredly be tough, but Big Blue is only facing two other teams with 9-7 records or better from last season otherwise (the New England Patriots and Chicago Bears).

Conceivably, the Giants could win a bunch of close games versus below-average or average opponents and find themselves with a record closer to .500 and a shot at a playoff berth.

But New York also has promising young talent on both sides. Rookie defensive end B.J. Hill racked up 5.5 sacks, and first-year linebacker Lorenzo Carter added four more despite playing only 40.2 percent of snaps.

On offense, third-year wideout Sterling Shepard showed what he's capable of doing as a No. 1 wideout with a six-catch, 113-yard performance versus the Indianapolis Colts sans Beckham on the field. And then there's Saquon Barkley, the NFL's Rookie of the Year who surpassed 2,000 yards from scrimmage.

The key is the quarterback position, however. The Giants have the resources with the sixth and 17th overall picks in the draft to take a franchise signal-caller, like Oklahoma's Kyler Murray or Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins. If Big Blue emerges with one, then maybe the Giants' long-term future is bright. 

As for 2019, larger surprises have happened, like when the 1999 St. Louis Rams rode ex-backup quarterback Kurt Warner's MVP season to the Super Bowl. And Tate may not replace Beckham's production, but he's good in his own right (three 1,000-yard seasons in his last five years).

Still, the Giants are going through a massive reconstruction right now, and much more work needs to be done.

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