2023 New York Giants Offseason Preview
The Giants cleaned house last offseason. General manager Dave Gettleman stepped down and was replaced by Joe Schoen from Buffalo. Schoen brought Brian Daboll, the Bills' offensive coordinator, to serve as the New York's next head coach. These moves signaled a pronounced shift out of the dark ages from a Giants organization that had been left behind by much of the league following the Eli Manning era. The philosophical changes became readily apparent as the revamped Giants cruised to a 6-2 record before their bye week. Teams seemed to adjust to New York in the second half of the season, but they still made the playoffs. The Giants then made a statement by putting up 431 yards on offense against the Vikings in their first playoff victory since 2011. They were ultimately dispatched with ease by the Eagles in the Divisional Round.
Key Offensive Stats
Points per game: 21.5 (15th)
EPA per play: 0.03 (9th)
Dropback EPA per play: 0.06 (12th)
Passing yards per game: 185.7 (26th)
Rush EPA per play: 0 (6th)
Rush yards per game: 148.2 (4th)
Through the use of a quick passing game and a shallow target depth, Daboll's offense was designed perfectly to eliminate the back-breaking mistakes from Daniel Jones's game. In turn, Jones had the lowest interception rate in the league and set a career-low in lost fumbles. He also set a career-high in yards per attempt and passing yards while posting a phenomenal, 120/708/7 line on the ground. This was all while throwing to the motley crew of Darius Slayton, Richie James, and Isaiah Hodgins. Saquon Barkley, healthy for the first time since his rookie season, rushed for 1,312 yards and 10 scores on 295 attempts. He added 338 yards through the air.
Key Defensive Stats
Points per game: 21.8 (17th)
EPA per play: 0.05 (28th)
Dropback EPA per play: 0.05 (20th)
Passing yards per game: 214 (14th)
Rush EPA per play: 0.04 (30th)
Rush yards per game: 144.2 (27th)
As has always been the case with defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, the Giants were a blitz-crazed team that succeeded at generating pressure but struggled when opposing quarterbacks got the pass off. New York let the league in blitz rate, ranked sixth in pressure rate, but only finished 16th in sack rate. They were a below-average unit in adjusted yards per attempt allowed and yards per completion allowed. Their defensive line carried the defense. Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence led the team in sacks and TFLs. Pro Football Focus graded him as their top defensive lineman in pass-rush and run-stopping situations. Rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux looked strong once he got on the field, totaling four sacks and two forced fumbles in 14 games.
Draft Picks (Top-150)
25th, 57th, 89th, 100th, and 128th
Notable Free Agents
S Julian Love, OG Jon Feliciano, CB Fabian Moreau, WR Darius Slayton, WR Richie James, EDGE Jihad Ward, LB Jaylon Smith, WR Sterling Shepard, and C Nick Gates
WR Kenny Golladay ($6.7 million in savings), CB Adoree' Jackson ($8.6 million), and DT Leonard Williams ($12 million)
The Giants' cap number includes the value of Saquon Barkley's franchise tag and the reported value of the first year of Jones' new contract, $19 million. It does not include the money saved from cutting Kenny Golladay. The failed signing has already been reported as a cut, but we don't yet know if he will be designated as post-June 1 release.
I'm not sure any team needs help at receiver more than the Giants. After trading Toney and losing Wan'Dale Robinson to a season-ending injury, the Giants were down to a trio of backups as their starters. Two of them, Slayton and James, are free agents.
New York has invested first-round picks at left and right tackle, but the interior of their line was sorely lacking in 2022. With Jon Feliciano and Nick Gates both hitting free agency, bringing one back while investing in guard at the draft makes sense.
Jaylon Smith led the Giants' inside linebackers in snaps and is a free agent whom the Giants are unlikely to pursue. Jarrad Davis was brought back, but likely as a depth option, and fifth-round rookie Micah McFadden struggled when he started last year.
Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka interviewed for four different head coaching jobs but was unable to land the coveted gig. Martindale got one interview but was passed over as well. Kafka is on a clear path to a head coaching gig within the next year or two if things continue to go well in New York. For now, the Giants get to run it back with the same staff in 2023.
The G-Men took care of the biggest items on their to-do list a week before free agency kicked off. They signed Danny Dimes to a four-year, $160 million contract that carries another $35 million able to be earned through incentives. The deal features $82 million in guaranteed money. New York also assigned the franchise tag to Barkley. It is worth $10.1 million. The Giants are also reportedly working on signing Barkley to a long-term extension. With these moves out of the way, the Giants' focus will turn toward setting their now-franchise quarterback up for success in the coming years. His line was weak in 2022 and he was throwing to a group of castoffs at receiver. Improving both spots will give Jones a shot at justifying the massive bag he just secured.