As the dust settles from the down to the wire, breathtaking contract negotiations with quarterback Daniel Jones that eventually saw Jones get a monster contract and Saquon Barkley receive the non-exclusive franchise tag, one lingering question is on the minds of Giants fans…
What is next?
Retain, Rework, and Renegotiate
Joe Schoen feels like he has the foundation of the future. Jones and Barkley are back. Three key pieces of the Giants future could be looking at renegotiations or at the least preliminary talks: Andrew Thomas, Xavier McKinney and Dexter Lawrence. The Giants would do well to lock up McKinney and Lawrence long term and to at the very least lay the ground work for an Andrew Thomas extension.
The Giants have some talent and depth that will become free agents: Nick Gates, Joe Feliciano, Darius Slayton, Julian Love, Matt Breida, Landon Collins, Richie James, Sterling Shepard, Jihad Ward, Oshane Ximines, Jamie Gillan and Casey Kreiter. I wouldn’t be surprised to see these names show up on the transaction report as returning to the Giants for the 2023 season.
Julian Love may be the hardest to bring back as his market may swing both ways. He could have numerous suitors which would drive his price up. He may also get lost in a heavy on the safeties market and eventually take less money than expected.
The Giants could also choose to rework some contracts of talent already locked in for the 2023 season. Leonard Williams and Adoree Jackson would seem the likeliest two candidates for a rework.
March 15th at 4 PM eastern time ushers in free agency for the 2023 NFL season. The Giants will be big players in Free Agency. Pending the release of Kenny Golladay and the expected renegotiation of Leonard Williams the Giants may very well hit Free Agency with around $30 million to spend.
The Giants need to consider upgrades along the interior of the offensive line. Daniel Jones would certainly benefit from a play making X position wide receiver. Also under consideration is depth at tight end and running back.
The defensive side of the ball needs depth along the defensive line and in the secondary. The Giants would do well to find an answer at linebacker that prevents them from playing musical chairs all season long at the position. New York should consider starting level players at cornerback and safety.
The NFL Draft
The Giants, as of this article, have 11 draft picks in the 2023 NFL Draft that will be held April 28th through April 30th, 2023. Joe Schoen and company need to hit on as many of these picks as possible. There should still be starting level talent when the Giants select in the 1st and 2nd rounds. This draft is strong and deep at defensive line, cornerback, and offensive line positions. This should bode well for the New York Giants as they match needs and talent to fill out their roster for the 2023 NFL Season.
Joe Schoen has the Giants in a good spot walking into free agency with enough cash to make a splash. Schoen doesn’t really need to shop hungry when he has 11 draft picks in his back pocket. The Giants have some talent they can bring back on team friendly deals. Time will tell whether the decisions made thus far will work to duplicate the success of the 2022 NFL Season. If nothing else, this team should have more overall talent than the 2022 roster.