Okay, we vented for 2 posts on why JPP was a wasteful way to spend precious money. We did, for our part, explain when Free Agency began that if you were going to sign JPP, to get the deal done so that cap room could be saved here in 2017. The Giants got it done, albeit 9 days later than we would have preferred, as whatever OL talent that was available is now threadbare.
THE JPP DEAL HAS FREED UP NEARLY $10M OF CAP SPACE IN 2017. SIGN HANKINS OR A SUITABLE OFFENSIVE TACKLE.
Effectively, the Giants are already “all in.” In for a penny, in for a pound. No such thing as a little pregnant. Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead. Use that extra cap space freed up and plow it into either re-signing Hankins or grabbing a functional Offensive Tackle. Do it now. Get it done.
Hankins knows the Defense. He knows JPP, Harrison, and Vernon. He makes Damon Harrison better. All 4 play the run very well. They cover up your LBer deficiencies in the run game. So bring him back. Jordan Raanan of ESPN estimates the odds of bringing Hank back are 50:50, “increasing every day” … every day (2!) that the Giants freed up cap space from the JPP deal. Is it a bit of a luxury of having all 4 on the Defensive Line? Yes. But in terms of going all-in for right now in 2017, Hankins is a known quantity that will make your team better. So you may as well tap out and send in all the remaining chips.
31 teams lose each year. If the Giants can grab another Free Agent (or two?) to win another Super Bowl title, it will not matter if they go up in cap-hell-flames in 2018-2019. It will have been worth it. That is a 33% hit rate. The times for being conservative went out the door when they blew $62M-$66M on JPP with $40M of that guaranteed. They went bat crazy with that money. Now that the course is set, don’t go into it with anything left held back.
The other pathway is: get a serviceable Offensive Tackle. Think last year.. what the Vikings did with Andre Smith. Smith is effectively a bust, having gone 6th overall in the Draft in 2009. At best he has been a solid starter, and in 2016 the Tackle signed a 1 year $3.5M deal to help shore up the beleaguered Minnesota OL. It worked, until he got hurt too. It is not an accident that soon after Smith went down (vs the Giants), the Vikings torpedoed from 5-0 to 8-8. Bradford had less time than Eli and it sunk that Offense.
So who is left in Free Agency that can plug up OL with a semblance of adequacy? There is mostly dogsh*t left, but try RT King Dunlap. He used to be really good. He’s slowed down a little. Very experienced. He needs to get past the Physical, and then he can hopefully hold up for a year. He has actually played LT, but at this point, he’s a serviceable RT. You are talking $3-4M for 1 year. Exactly what Smith went for last year. So we aren’t looking for Joe Thomas heroes who shut down the blind side. Just something to not get Eli killed and maybe give the Offense a chance at finding OBJ, Shepard or Marshall over the top once in a while.
There is actually a possibility of getting both Hankins and a serviceable RT if done properly.
Before Free Agency began, one of the players Wonder targeted was RT Menelik Watson. He signed a 3 year $18M deal with $5.5M guaranteed. You think that could have worked? OF COURSE IT WOULD HAVE. It has a cap hit of $3.3M in 2017. This was the deal. Watson is gone, so the Giants have to rummage through the scraps.
The Giants pushed the chips into the middle of the table. No sense in not making your best effort to win a title here in 2017. Get DT Johnathan Hankins, or limited help for the Offensive Line in a player such as RT King Dunlap.