Advertisement

5 bold predictions for the Giants' 2024 offseason

The rebuild regressed and now the Giants face seismic questions, from answering the long-term quarterback issue to keeping (or not) their best offensive threat to fixing the offensive line. You know, finally.

That’s a lot of work for Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll, especially after the team showed promise with a playoff berth and playoff win in 2022. But that’s what happens when a team goes 6-11 and has to wonder where, exactly, it’s headed.

Here are five bold predictions for the Giants' offseason, some of which, if come to pass, would really change things for Big Blue...

QB or not to QB?

You don’t have to be a devotee of the Bard to know that this is a major plot point for this Giants administration going forward.

Here’s how they should handle it, assuming one of the biggies is still on the board when the Giants pick at No. 6 in the draft: Take Jayden Daniels, the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner from LSU. There are other options, obviously.

They could use a later pick for a more developmental QB since, whatever happens, Daniel Jones figures to be the starter next year, whenever he’s healthy enough to play, or find veteran insurance for the injury-prone Jones, who is returning from a torn ACL.

But resetting the quarterback room with a mega-prospect who can pass and run would at least give the Giants more than one potential long-term answer to the most important position in sports. It would also give them a head start on molding Jones’ successor if that’s where the QB situation goes.

Tag! Not it!

Saquon Barkley is a superlative playmaker via the run or pass and he would make an ideal Giant for life based on talent and the person he is. Seems like he’d enjoy that, too. It just doesn’t work.

Barkley is going to be 27 in February and it’s unclear right now if the Giants will commit major cash to a running back who has missed serious time due to injury. The Giants could use the franchise tag on him again (for around $12.4 million) and then try to work out a multi-year deal. Or they could start over at a position that some in football believe doesn’t have to be manned by a pricey player to be effective. It’d be a way to divert resources into other problem areas (offensive line!).

Of course, no Barkley would raise the question of how a bad offensive team would get in the end zone next season. The Giants were 30th in scoring last year at 15.6 points per game, ahead of only Carolina (13.9) and New England (13.9). Barkley scored 10 of their 29 total touchdowns.

Go on the offensive with the O-line

Seems like you could have built a Gothic cathedral or two in the time the Giants have been trying to beef up their offensive line.

The Giants gave up 85 sacks, the second-most ever, last year. And their porous line was one reason (but not the only one) that Jones’ play cratered in limited action, when he looked nothing like the QB who had soared in 2022. So the Giants must get better up front.

If Daniels or one of the other top QBs is not available at No. 6, the Giants will pick a lineman such as Joe Alt, an athletic 6-foot-7, 322-pounder from Notre Dame, to hopefully install a line building block. The work only begins there, however. They must devote free agent dollars to the O-line, even if that costs them in other needy areas, and use later picks for linemen, too.

October 29, 2023; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney (29) is shown with the ball during a pregame warm-up.

An X-it on defense

Xavier McKinney is a terrific player who hits free agency after a quality season in which he had 116 tackles, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. The 24-year-old played every defensive snap and believes he’s the most complete safety available this offseason, so his market will be fascinating.

The top five safety salaries in 2023 were all over $16 million per year, according to overthecap.com, topping out at $19 million for Derwin James of the Chargers. It remains to be seen how much McKinney will get, but he made his case with his season, which ended with a two-pick game against Philadelphia.

With so many other problems to sort out, the Giants will let a talented safety depart for the second straight offseason – Julian Love signed with Seattle last year.

Casting a Wide net

The Giants could use a No. 1 wide receiver, but they’ll go for mostly complementary types at the position and hope Wan’Dale Robinson and Jalin Hyatt continue to progress, and Darren Waller has better health next year.

It would be great to have more electric pass-catchers, of course. But how can the Giants deploy big-play guys if their quarterback is under siege on every snap because of a leaky line?

As noted above, that should be an offseason priority and the Giants must try to add helpful receivers in free agency and the later rounds of the draft – Big Blue has four picks among the top 70, so there should be an opportunity.