New York Football Giants
Photo by Jeffrey Auger Photography

What the Giants need to focus on in the offseason

As the Giants moved to 5-10 after falling to the Eagles on Christmas Day, I was sitting with my family, both happy that the Giants lost by less than 12 points (point spread is a trip, y'all) and disappointed that I have two more weeks of Big Blue football to consume and lose another year or two off my life. Although they showed some fire in the second half in Philadelphia, you saw an extremely overmatched team on the field against the Eagles.

As the season spirals to its conclusion, you can't help but look at the players on the field and imagine who will be with the Giants next season and who are already headed for the door after the season ends. For Big Blue, massive changes need to happen across the roster, and those changes were expected to happen after the season. I am a Giants' fans but we have to be real and forget everything everyone said last season and going into this season….


They were the beneficiaries of a weak schedule in 2022 and a lot of great bounces that went their way last season. Going into this season, they had a tougher schedule and a roster that still wasn't Joe Schoen's, as the team is still recovering from Dave Gettleman and his FUBAR'ing of the roster and salary cap before "retired." This team was and still is a rebuild, and just because they made the playoffs last season, that fact didn't change.

They re-signed Daniel Jones to a ridiculous but market-rate contract and pissed Saquon Barkley off to the point that he may not want to return next season. Work still needs to be done, and this article will point out three significant areas where the Giants need to improve to compete next season. Let's start with the most obvious one.

The Defense Needs Impact Players

Wink Martindale is a defensive genius, but even geniuses need resources and materials to showcase their genius. The 2023 New York Football Giants defense is below average, and that is being very generous. They rank next to last in sacks, have allowed the fourth-most rushing yards in the league, and are 27th in the league in points allowed, at almost 25 points per game.

The problem on defense is that the Giants need an impact player, whether upfront or in the defensive backfield. Kayvon Thibodeaux could be that player on the defensive line, but his inconsistency keeps him from being elite. Case in point, of his 11.5 sacks this season, 6.5 came in three games against the Redskins and the Jets….yeah, they are not world-beaters by any means. They need someone upfront like a Micah Parsons or Aidan Hutchinson, players that teams are concerned about every week.

The other problem is the secondary. Deonte Banks will be a star in the league, but he is a rookie, so he is still on the ascent. Xavier McKinney has taken a step back, and there's not one player in the secondary that forces teams to either throw away from their particular side or, at the very least, make opposing wide receivers work for their catches and yards. You address that defensive secondary and then Wink is more comfortable blitzing because he knows he has a secondary that can handle coverage.

Fix The Damn Offensive Line

Daniel Jones had a good 2022 season with an average offensive line. 2023 saw one of the worst seasons of offensive line play in my lifetime. They have improved over the last few weeks, but injuries and just downright dreadful play had the Giants on their third-string quarterback (four if you count Saquon playing QB for a play or two this season).

You have Andrew Thomas, who, when healthy, is a top-10 tackle in the league. John Michael Schmitz Jr. is a developing center and will continue to get better the more he plays. Besides those two, the line needs to be reworked. Evan Neal is a bust that looks headed to the scrap heap sooner than later, and Justin Pugh will probably head back to the couch after the season. Games are won and lost in the trenches. If your quarterback has two seconds to throw the ball or your running back cannot move north to south because there are no holes, something must be fixed.

The Giants are projected to have $34 million in cap space before any releases they make, so there will be more money in the pot. Besides taking care of Barkley (I'll get into that later), the Giants must invest in the offensive line. A free agent like Aaron Brewer from the Titans or David Edwards from the Bills, combined with a draft pick like tackle Amarius Mims from Georgia, and you don't need a complete teardown of the line—just some quality players who can fix this glaring issue.

What Is The Giants' Offensive Philosophy?

So, are the New York Football Giants a throwing team? Are they a run-it-down-your-throat team? Are they the Buffalo Bills circa 2021? There needs to be a conversation about what the team is offensively, and from there, figure out the quarterback quandary. However, the first line of business is to take care of Saquon Barkley.

Barkley is the Giants' offense, regardless of the O-Line situation or whomever the quarterback is. He has nearly run for 1,000 yards this season all while missing three games due to an ankle injury. He has 283 catches in his career and a catch percentage of 73 percent. Will he ever equal the over 2,000 yards from scrimmage he achieved in his rookie year? Probably never again, but the problem is that everyone is looking at that number and saying that is the expectation every year, and it's unfair. We should get over 1,000 yards on the ground and 300-400 yards receiving from the running back position, and we will be successful.

With Wan'Dale Robinson, Jalin Hyatt, and a healthy Darren Waller for the next three years (big if), the Giants have weapons along with Barkley. The quarterback question seems never-ending because Daniel Jones has yet to prove he is the guy. As of press time, the Giants are projected to pick fifth in the 2024 NFL Draft, and according to Pro Football Focus, Caleb Williams and Drake Maye are their first and third prospects on the big board, respectively. The problem is Jones' contract for the 2024 season.

Jones is guaranteed to be with the Giants next season as he recovers from his ACL injury, but it's also because cutting him (healthy or not) means a $69.3 million dead cap charge and a $47.1 million cap hit. In 2025, that number drops to a $22 million cap hit, which isn't ideal but more reasonable. Do the Giants take a big-name quarterback with their likely high pick, or do they take on a project like Jayden Daniels from LSU or Michael Penix Jr. from Washington with no intention of playing them next season and just watching for a season? And no Tommy DeVito is not a real option. The story has been great and as a Jersey Guy I love it, but he is no more than a good backup for Jones or whoever in the starting quarterback next season. 

There are holes all over this team; they must fill them through the draft and free agency. They took the cheap approach last season in free agency due to the continued salary cap hell from the previous regime, and they drafted well. They have to continue scouting and drafting well and go and spend some money this offseason, not just a bunch of one-year prove-it deals. The Giants have the bones of a good team; it's time to continue to build and mold them into a playoff contender. They have to stay the course and continue to push the narrative that it is a marathon, not a sprint, no matter what the fans or pundits say.