You ask, we answer. The Post is fielding questions from readers about New York’s biggest pro sports teams and getting our beat writers to answer them in a series of regularly published mailbags. In today’s installment: the Giants.
If Jadeveon Clowney decided to drop his asking price dramatically, since the Eagles have some interest, would the Giants jump in and try to grab him since they are still in dire need of a pass rusher? — Bill McAdams
We’ve been through this time and again with Jadeveon Clowney. It is not as if the Giants are the only team allowed to sign him, and they are petulantly refusing to do so. Almost every team wants to add a quality pass-rusher. What does it say, then, that the entire league has stated Clowney is not worth what he is asking, based on the fact he remains unsigned and on the open market?
The Giants have their sights set on Markus Golden. They placed the rare unrestricted free-agent tender on him and might actually get him back on a one-year deal for a bargain ($4.12 million) price. There is something of an obsession among some fans about Clowney, an obsession that is not matched by anyone making decisions in the NFL.
In 2019 and 2020, did the Giants draft for need instead of taking the best player available? Would the Giants be better today if they had drafted Josh Allen instead of Daniel Jones and Derrick Brown or Isaiah Simmons instead of Andrew Thomas? — James Lutfy
So, James, it seems you are a big defense guy. Nothing wrong that — especially considering how lousy the Giants defense has been the past few years. Let’s take 2020 first. I thought all along the Giants would take an offensive tackle in the first round, and I think it was the right way to go. If they do not once and for all fix the offensive line, it doesn’t matter who their quarterback is. So, I prefer Andrew Thomas to Simmons and Brown. As for 2019, I ask you this: If the Giants take the pass-rusher (Josh Allen) at No. 6, can you guarantee Daniel Jones is there to take at No. 17? No one can make that guarantee, and for that reason I stick with Jones. At the time, I was floored they took Jones over Allen. After seeing what Jones did as a rookie, the need for the next franchise quarterback outweighed everything, even adding a top-notch pass rusher.
The Giants are the worst team in the NFL over the past 3 seasons. I don’t see where they improved. Where is the improvement? Where are they even remotely competitive? — Michael
C’mon Michael. How can you say the Giants are not the slightest bit improved? Their offensive line is better than it was last year — this is indisputable. Blake Martinez is better than any inside linebacker the Giants had last year. Xavier McKinney should be a dramatic upgrade at free safety. I think the coaching staff is better than it was last year. Did the Giants solve all their problems? Of course not. Do the improvements they made to the roster and the coaching staff guarantee they will be a playoff contender? Of course not. But I am certain any talent evaluator in the NFL will say this Giants roster is better than the roster of the past two years. I get it, negativity is easy with the Giants the past three years. But Fair is fair when it comes to assessing where they are based on what they did.
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The Giants have had arguably the least talented roster in the NFL the last few seasons. Do you believe Dave Gettleman outsmarted himself when he jettisoned the talented Odell Beckham Jr. and Landon Collins? — William Kreudl
It is too soon to tell on this. The Odell Beckham Jr. trade must be featured in any evaluation of Gettleman. The Giants sent away one of the most physically talented receivers in NFL history because they got tired of Beckham’s antics and because they had concerns about his durability. Both of those concerns were evident in Cleveland last season. Beckham had a terrible first year with the Browns then needed surgery to repair a sports hernia. The Giants in return got safety Jabrill Peppers and draft picks they used on Dexter Lawrence and Oshane Ximines. If those three players become fixtures on defense for the Giants, the deal looks great. That’s a big if.
As for Landon Collins, he was a terrific player for the Giants, and after his truly great 2016 season he looked as if he were a rising star and perennial Pro Bowler. He did not reach that level of excellence in the ensuing seasons, and the Giants deemed he was not worth the $84 million contract the Redskins gave him. Collins, at least in his first year with the Redskins, did not make the Giants look bad. If rookie Xavier McKinney is as advertised, Giants fans will be thrilled and not yearn as much for Collins.