Featured Image Credit: All-Pro Reels from District of Columbia, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Folks, I have a saying that I’ve always said about poorly run organizations and that saying now unfortunately applies to my New York Giants: Bad Teams Stay Bad. The Giants, who are now going on their fifth straight year of being absolutely putrid, decided that it was a good idea to cut their best offensive lineman in Kevin Zeitler.
The team that ranked 31st in pressures allowed last season decided that they’re all set without the offensive line unit’s top player. It’s an incredibly bold strategy that likely won’t play out well for the Giants organization.
Was Kevin Zeitler’s $12M cap hit ideal? No. But neither is dropping your best offensive lineman only to have them replaced by the likes of Shane Lemieux or Will Hernandez who were both shaky at best last season. Especially when your alleged franchise quarterback spent all of last season running for his life.
The Giants are banking on all of their young players at offensive line working out unless they end up signing or drafting another one early. As of now, their projected offensive line looks something like this:
Left Tackle: Andrew Thomas
Left Guard: Will Hernandez
Center: Nick Gates
Right Guard: Shane Lemieux
Right Tackle: Matt Peart/Maybe Nate Solder but hopefully he’s cut
Now I’m not saying that a lot of these guys can’t be good but with such a young line it’s an incredibly uphill battle. I’m also not saying that they won’t end up drafting more offensive lineman this year. But there are no guarantees. As of now, this team is still extremely thin and very young at offensive line.
This also points to the biggest issue of all for the Giants: They’re an organization that loves the sound of their own voice too much. They operate off of gut feelings and very little evidence to jump to franchise changing decisions. It’s why the team has had just playoff season since 2011.
What else could the Giants have done to shed some cap space? Well for starters they could have not made Logan Ryan the 12th highest paid safety in football. Ryan is a good player but he’s not worth $10+ million as a safety especially when Xavier McKinney and Jabrill Peppers are both still young pieces that this team should hope to keep. This contract will absolutely go down as one that the Giants will regret, especially when Daniel Jones is running for his life next season.
The Giants also could have tried to restructure or renegotiate deals but Dave Gettleman pretty much said that he doesn’t believe in doing that which makes no sense considering the cap fell $15+ million due to COVID-19.
So at the end of the day, bad teams stay bad. I don’t want to hear any fans complain when Daniel Jones is running for his life last season if they’re defending the Logan Ryan signing. I don’t want to hear excuses from John Mara about how this team is building when they’re releasing important pieces in this rebuilding puzzle.
Free agency hasn’t even started yet and this team has found a way to get significantly worse. Bad teams stay bad. I’m starting to think that the Giants are going to stay bad forever.