The Giant Insider Online

Three Questions for the Giants to Ponder This Summer

The New York Giants are now mere weeks away from reporting for training camp in East Rutherford, New Jersey, but there are still several questions hovering over the team they must be concerned with.

Here’s a look at three of those burning questions headlined by, of course, the Odell Beckham Jr. contract situation.

Will Odell Beckham Jr. hold out?

The main question on everyone’s mind is when the Giants and Odell Beckham will come to terms on a contract extension. The consensus is that it will get done sooner rather than later so it does not become a distraction over the summer.

The Giants are waiting to see Beckham, who is coming off ankle surgery, go full throttle in a contested, padded practice before opening the vault for their 25-year-old superstar receiver. But that’s the rub. Beckham and his representatives will likely want the Giants to fork over a fortune before he busts it in practice and risks injury.

Beckham has looked spectacular in individual drills, workouts and other venues in which he’s been seen performing feats of athleticism, such as organized team activities (OTAs), mini-camp, his youth football camp and even hitting a home run during batting practice at Yankee Stadium this week. Plus, there was this….

Odds are he continues to limit himself until the Giants show some good faith at the bargaining table. At the current time, the two sides are said to be far apart on any deal. Beckham is scheduled to earn $8.4 million this year and will be docked in the excess of $40K per day should he decide to hold out.

Where is the pass rush going to come from?

When the Giants traded defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in late March for a third-round draft pick it was a clear indication they were revamping their offense from a 4-3 base to a 3-4. JPP, although he led the team in sacks last season with eight sacks, was grossly overpaid and with new defensive coordinator James Bettcher coming in, had no real role, either on the team’s defensive line or at outside linebacker.

The Giants have just one edge rusher with any kind of resume and that’s Olivier Vernon, who has been switched to outside linebacker. Vernon has had two lukewarm seasons statistically with the Giants after signing a mammoth $85 million free agent deal two years ago. He might fair better being moved out into space where he’ll have less entanglements with offensive tackles and a head start into the pocket. With any hope, Vernon can develop into a Chandler Jones-type, or at least put up similar numbers.

The thing with Bettcher is that he really can’t be pinned down to a specific style of defense. All you need to know is that he will be dialing up pressure almost every down and it can come from any one of the eleven players on the field. As the Arizona Cardinals’ defensive coordinator, he led the league in blitzing in 2015 and 2016 and was fifth overall last season.

That being said, look for the Giants to be stout up front and versatile in the other eight positions. Bettcher will make good use out of athletic linebackers Alec Ogletree and B.J. Goodson in the middle and stud safety Landon Collins everywhere else. Collins could end up being the “money backer,” a position Bettcher created for Deone Bucannon in Arizona. Another player he is expected to groom is rookie linebacker Lorenzo Carter, who has the talent and upside to become a star with the Giants.

Who will be the Giants’ No. 2 quarterback?

With Eli Manning firmly entrenched in his perch atop the Giants’ quarterback depth chart, this seems like a moot point. Both general manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur have committed to the two-time Super Bowl MVP as their starter.

But that’s for this season. What happens in 2019 and beyond is still very much fluid. With Davis Webb doing nothing but impressing the coaching staff on a daily basis and rookie Ryan Lauletta coming in and developing rapidly, the Giants’ quarterback room just got a lot deeper and more impressive.

Manning is 37 but he’s never sustained a serious injury or missed a game due to injury since he took over the job in the middle of his rookie season of 2004. He’d still be riding his consecutive starting streak had it not been for Ben McAdoo’s ill-fated decision to bench him in favor of Geno Smith in December last year. He has two years remaining on his contract and the Giants are hopeful he can fulfill at least those two seasons.

Now if things go swimmingly for Manning, he could earn an extension. If they don’t, he’s likely gone. That could happen as early as next season. as his cap hit dwindles down to $6.2 million. That’s why this season, the Giants might look to give the young bucks some playing time. Now that Eli’s streak has been dashed, it’s very possible we see Webb get some significant snaps this year. If Lauletta, who has drawn comparisons to Jimmy Garappolo, continues to progress, he could see action as well.

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