The top 4 decisions the New York Giants have to make this offseason

Author:
Sportsnaut

The 2023 NFL season is one New York Giants fans would like to forget. It was supposed to be the season where the Giants closed the gap between them and the upper-echelon teams in the NFL.

But instead, they suffered through a disappointing 6-11 season and were minus 141 in point differential. Now the pressure is on head coach Brian Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen to get the team back on track.

Schoen and Daboll will have to make some tough decisions this offseason regarding their roster and coaching staff. Here’s a look at four of the biggest decisions they’ll have to make.

What will the team do with the sixth pick in the draft?

new york giants
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New York has the sixth pick in the draft, but unfortunately for them, quarterback Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels, and receiver Marvin Harrison Jr will all likely be off the board when they’re on the clock. However, there are still a ton of top prospects that will be available.

The two names that are being linked to the Giants in early mock drafts are LSU’s Malik Nabers and Washington’s Rome Odunze. Taking a receiver would fit a huge need as the team doesn’t have a true number one wideout and they haven’t had a receiver eclipse 1,000 receiving yards in a season since Odell Beckham Jr. in 2018.

New York could also look to trade back and accumulate picks if the team offers the right draft compensation, and it’s conceivable that New York may look to trade up if they’re very high on one of the quarterback prospects. The team has two second-round picks this year due to trading Leonard Williams to the Seahawks that they could package, along with future first-round picks if they desire one of the top quarterbacks. We’ll get a better sense of which direction the team will go as we get closer to the draft.

saquon barkley
Kevin R. Wexler / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Giants are in the same exact position there were a year ago as it pertains to Saquon Barkley’s contract situation. The only difference this year is that Barkley is a year older and if they decide to use the franchise tag again, they’ll have to pay Barkley a little over $12 million for the 2024 season.

New York is in a real conundrum with Barkley. He’s undoubtedly their best offensive weapon, and no other running back on the roster has shown they can be an effective lead back. But until they’re able to build a solid offensive line, Barkley’s ceiling of production will be limited, and his price tag will be high.

Poor offensive line play and a high ankle sprain that caused him to miss three games played a huge role in his yards per carry average dropping from 4.4 in 2022 to 3.9 this past season.

He’ll turn 27 next month, so he still has a few prime years left in him. But the team must make a hard decision on whether to either give him a multi-year contract extension, let him walk, or franchise him again, which could leave the star running back disgruntled.

Find a new defensive coordinator

There were rumblings at various points of the season that there was tension between Brian Daboll and defensive coordinator Wink Martindale. Those rumblings proved to be true after Daboll fired two of Martindale’s assistants Drew and Kevin Wilkins. Soon thereafter, Martindale left the Giants facility, and a few days later, both sides agreed to part ways.

Now, the defense that ranked 27th in the league needs a new defensive coordinator. One of the candidates that the Giants had on their radar was Buffalo Bills linebackers coach Bobby Babich, who worked with Schoen and Daboll during their time together with the Bills. But New York will have to look elsewhere as the Bills promoted Babich to become their new defensive coordinator on Tuesday.

It’s imperative that whoever New York hires to become the new coordinator fix their two biggest issues, which have been their inability to stop the run and having a consistent pass rush.

Will New York Giants bring back Xavier McKinney?

xavier mckinney
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

McKinney is the second biggest free agent on the team after Barkley. The 25-year-old safety led the team in interceptions with three and was second on the team in tackles with 116 which was a career-high. But what was most impressive about his season was that he played on every defensive snap.

There’s no denying McKinney’s talent, but there’s also no denying that it won’t be cheap to keep him. It’s projected that the franchise tag for a safety will be a little over $17 million. That’s a huge investment especially, when there are other pressing needs to fill. McKinney and the team could work out a multi-year deal, but it will probably take an annual contract in the $14-16 million range to finalize the deal.

Whether the Giants decide to bring back McKinney will weigh heavily on who the new defensive coordinator will be, and how they feel about the other safeties on their roster.

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