ESPN’s Bill Barnwell says Giants had one of worst offseasons in NFL
By almost every conceivable measure, the New York Giants had a successful offseason. They added quality talent at positions of need during free agency, had a strong draft haul, and handled the vast majority of their in-house work.
The Giants got stronger in terms of personnel, coaching, scouting and within their front office. They’re a better team — a better organization — than they were just four months ago.
That statement is one almost universally agreed upon. Their free agent grades were among the league’s best, their draft grades were among the league’s best and their offseason grades were among the league’s best.
Except in the eyes of one man.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell recently ranked the offseason of all 32 NFL teams and concluded that the Giants and general manager Joe Schoen were among the league’s very worst.
Barnwell ranked the Giants No. 29 out of 32, claiming the “organization appears to have bought into its own hype.”
An unexpected trip to the postseason and a road victory once they got there was a pleasant surprise for the Giants, who had been treating 2023 as a year to get their salary cap right and begin a rebuild. Their underlying performance wasn’t quite as impressive; they were outscored on the season and finished 21st in DVOA. They went 8-4-1 in games decided by eight or fewer points and were lucky to draw an even worse playoff opponent in the Vikings, whose DVOA ranked them as the sixth-worst team in the league.
In response, the Giants appear to be running it back. They franchise-tagged Saquon Barkley and committed to Jones, signing the same player who wasn’t worth a fifth-year option 12 months earlier to a four-year, $160 million deal with $81 million guaranteed over the first two seasons. They brought back Slayton and Shepard, who seemed to be on the way out, and while those weren’t major deals, the move for Jones certainly was just that.
The “Daniel Jones stinks” stuff is old, tired and boring so we’ll spare you that take, which has been beaten like a dead horse for years. But Barnwell didn’t stop there.
In addition to the “merr, DJ bad” stance, Barnwell also slammed the Giants for signing linebacker Bobby Okereke to a big-money deal. Nevermind that lacking a talented off-ball linebacker has been one of the team’s biggest Achilles heels for more than a decade.
A four-year, $40 million deal for off-ball linebacker Bobby Okereke was too aggressive at a position where the majority of useful players settled for much smaller commitments. Schoen used the team’s first-round pick on much-needed cornerback Deonte Banks, but this secondary is going to struggle against an NFC East full of imposing receivers.
The Giants certainly aren’t in perfect shape and no one should have expected them to be. They’re entering Year 2 of the Schoen-Brian Daboll era and there’s still a long way to go — both of them will admit that. But to claim the Giants had one of the worst offseasons in the league when they very clearly improved in every area…
Sorry. Those of us at Giants Wire simply do not agree with that.
Giants OTAs: Notes, videos and highlights from Day 3
Giants cut three large checks on Thursday
Giants announce dates and times for preseason games
Follow the Giants Wire Podcast:
Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts