Giants make early splash in '18 offseason
The New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman hit the ground running and has already made some major moves to reshape the Giants organization since he was hired in late December.
This is a crucial time for the Giants as free agency is right around the corner and the NFL draft is not long after that.
The team does not have a ton of salary cap space or a plethora of draft picks. Gettleman’s strongest bargaining chip outside of the Giants’ star players is the second overall pick in this year’s draft.
The new general manager does not have much to work with, but he is making due as he has already begun restructuring the team before free agency or the draft starts.
Gettleman began wheeling and dealing on March 7 and managed to acquire the best linebacker the Giants have had in recent memory by trading for middle linebacker Alec Ogletree.
The Giants obtained the athletic linebacker and a seventh round pick from the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for a fourth round pick and a sixth round pick.
Ogletree was the unquestioned leader of the entire Rams squad with him being voted team captain two years in a row and leading the team in tackles.
Gettleman has managed to address, and apparently solve, a problem the Giants have struggled with for almost a decade in a mere three months.
While this is considered a great move by most, it does have its drawbacks. Ogletree signed a four-year, $42 million contract with the Rams right before this trade that carries a $10 million cap hit this year.
The Giants, who are short on cap space, will struggle with that fat deal on the books. This does not bode well for Odell Beckham Jr.’s contract extension talks, with Beckham looking to become the highest-paid player in the league.
The Giants have also turned heads in recent days by releasing veteran cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
The veteran cornerback was in the final stretch of a five-year, $35 million deal that would have counted $8.5 million against the salary cap.
The Giants will save $6.5 million by releasing him. The team asked him to take a pay cut but he refused, and so, Gettleman decided to part with Rodgers-Cromartie.
This announcement came right off the heels of the Ogletree signing so it seems obvious that they are cutting Rodgers-Cromartie to make room for Ogletree.
It may not be that simple though. The organization has had issues with the cornerback last season as he was suspended for behavioral problems.
It also seemed Gettleman knew Rodgers-Cromartie would not accept the pay cut. This may be another example of the general manager’s “cleaning house.”
The Giants may also be looking to make a splash in free agency this year.
It seems Gettleman’s top target is right guard Andrew Norwell, the top offensive lineman in free agency and one of the best guards in professional football.
If the Giants general manager can pull off this signing it would be another example of Gettleman addressing a Giants position of need.
This is dangerous, however, because the team still has a salary cap problem and Norwell will not be cheap.
The market for great offensive lineman has skyrocketed with their rarity, and Norwell was projected to be the highest-paid free agent this year.
His contract, if the Giants get it, is going to sting and probably make the Giants’ accountants cry themselves to sleep.
The Giants may also be targeting Jerick McKinnon, the Vikings running back coming off a 1000-yard season, and Anthony Hitchens, the Dallas Cowboys’ linebacker, who would serve as a compliment to Ogletree.
None of these players will be cheap, and the Giants appear to be spending money they do not have; they would make great additions nonetheless.