NFL Free Agency begins today.
Here are some final thoughts:
1) Karlos Dansby is a high profile that is worth going after. Wonder is of the strong opinion that the Cardinals made a mistake not re-signing him, that he is "the heart and soul of that defense." He feels the Giants and Redskins are the best situated to make a play for him.
2) Whether or not the Giants get Dansby, they need to rebuild through the draft. REPEAT, WHETHER OR NOT. Yesterday, Glenn pointed to Barrow and Pierce saving the Giants' collective LBer and Defensive skins. True. But look what happens to the defense a few years after these guys peak- it gets soft in a hurry. Getting a UFA LBer means a perishable commodity that better hit the ground running and be able to help you fast, because by the time they are done figuring it and getting comfortable they are gone. And if they do not hit the ground running, it is such a waste. Think Carlos Emmons. Think Barrett Green. So far, you can add Boley to that list. I think Boley was able to move well when he was healthy, but he'll be more effective if he gets other LBer help. Get the impact player through the draft and enjoy 8 years of impact play instead of ~3. Getting Dansby is not a bad thing but should not distract you from the task at hand. We need to REBUILD. We need to get younger on defense.
Bottomline: Dansby would answer the Giants needs in 2010, not the 2010's.
3) The early returns on Phillips' rehab are good. While this is not negative, it is not positive either. Phillips had microfracture surgery. I am not an MD, but suffice it to say that only an MRI will tell whether cartilage is filling in. Microfracture surgery is still a guessing game for whether it takes. Amare Stoudamire's surgery was a success. Others were far less fortunate.
4) DeMeco Ryans for the Giants is unrealistic. The Giants would have to give up too much in the draft to get him. They will not do that.
5) Yes, Maualuga had issues. Alcohol. But before he broke his ankle, he completely transformed the Bengals defense IN ONE SEASON! Football is a team sport, but we have seen it in the past how one player can transform your defense. We found out in its starkness how much of a difference Troy Polamalu made for Pittsburgh. Bob Sanders in Indianapolis. LT in New York. All it takes is one player. You can argue to a certain degree how Michael Strahan was that player for the Giants until he retired. I will say this much- we never got gashed like that in the running game when Strahan was around. And if we did, it ended very quickly and did not happen again.
6) The best for last- CC Brown. Tendering CC Brown is the lowest of the lows. What does it mean? It means the Giants have such low opinions of what is out there in free agency/draft combined with Phillips' question mark in terms of immediacy for 2010. So they have to hold on to this guy for strong safety. Just forget him totally at the weak side.. they could suit me up and I would do just as well back there. By tendering him it means he has a roster spot. The Giants are not throwing away $1.1M for nothing. And that is the sad endpoint of all of this- CC Brown is going to make it to the roster. Unbelievable.
Here is Safety math- they need 4 players on the roster. 3 was a joke and the gmen found this out the hard way. Michael Johnson did not win friends and influence people with that despicable coverage of DeSean Jackson in G2 vs Philly. So he is a reserve at best. Phillips? We can only hope and pray. Rouse? A reserve.. at best. So by tendering Brown it means that the Giants could get TWO Safeties from FA/Draft and then cut Rouse and Johnson ...OR cut one (Rouse/Johnson) and have Phillips on PUP/IR! We need a do-over back there badly. It is just so bad if Phillips is not back. Think about it this way- we said this was a problem this time last season, and Phillips is a big question mark. So nothing positive has happened.
7) For those of you thinking Sharper, he was off the Giants radar last season. So with him another year older, I cannot imagine him all of a sudden becoming an option the Giants would consider. Me? I'd sign him to a 1 year deal because at least he is not a complete liability back there at Free Safety. Right now, assuming Phillips is still out, who do you have confidence in at FREE Safety? Frankly, I do not even have confidence in these guys at Strong Safety either. Fwiw, Wonder would not do get Sharper, but I would.. for ONE year. The worst thing that happens if you make that move is that Phillips gets better and plays. Throw me in that briar patch.