Patience and Faith Are The Safe Early Bets in Schoen and Daboll

Be patient and keep the faith.


It will be the phrase Giants’ fans will need to keep saying to themselves over and over again. 


Be patient and keep the faith.


New GM Joe Schoen and new head coach Biran Daboll have brought a sense of credibility back to the franchise. There’s also returning cornerstones Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones. 


It all sounds like a good package and  everything will be OK, right? Not quite.


Schoen and Daboll have to be the right combination. The pressure is there.  There is plenty riding on the next two years to shape the path of the franchise.


The team’s salary cap catastrophe has been well publicized, and the revamping has begun with running back Davontae Booker and tight end Kyle Rudolph. Booker emerged as one of more productive players last year, while Rudolph was a dud.


Whether Schoen can clear the anticipated $40 million from the books is yet to be seen. Currently, Schoen is wading through the NFL combine to see what he can find.


Free agency will begin in approximately two weeks, and Schoen will need to be busy if the Giants want to be shoppers.


Aside from the Barkley and Jones issues to come, the Giants’ biggest current issue is corner James Bradberry.


By trading Bradberry before free agency – the Chiefs and Raiders would be landing spots – they could save $21 million against the cap. Bradberry had a down year last season, but he provides a veteran presence and likely will bounce back.


Schoen is a draft guy, and he may bounce Bradberry to build with a younger corner. He can also try and restructure his deal in which he could take roughly a $17 or $18 million hit. This will be a tough call.


Another queasy issue is wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who will be coming off ankle surgery. Before last season, Shepard easily was the team’s most productive and reliable receiver and a true fan favorite.


But the team has  veteran and young depth –  Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney – at his position, and Shepard also should  draw attention as a veteran slot receiver. John Ross, Austin Proehl, and Collin Johnson can provide more veteran depth.


Shepard’s departure probably will be in early June when he is recovered, and the team could save $.8.5 million. 


Some other mentionable cuts could be tackle Nate Solder, punter Riley Dixon, tight end Kaden Smith, and center Nick Gates. Guard Will Hernandez and tackle Nate Solder are free agents and probably won’t be back.


A big plus can be if the team can restructure either or both Golladay’s and 

defensive end Leonard William’s deals. Former Gm Dave Gettleman overpaid for the oft-injured Golladay, and he gave Williams a large deal after a record deal. This year, Williams looked like his previous years with the Jets that showed him to be a high-draft flop.


Barkley has been the topic of trade talks since the end of the season, and the Bills are still the hottest team on the burner. Over the last three seasons, he has played only 15 games due to injuries. Barkley’s burst to hit the hole has reduced, and he may be better suited for his pass-catching abilities than a 0- to 25-carry-a-game back. 


He’ll have a cap and dead cap hit of $7.2 million for each in 2022 before he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2023. 


Jones is coming off an apparent serosi neck injury, but he appears to be in good health. Dabolll surely will want to work with him to see if he can transform him into a Josh Allen prototype. New offensive coordinator Mike Kafka worked with Patrick Mahomes.


Pieced together, it sounds extremely tempting to keep Jones to see if he can develop. 


This is another interesting development. Schoen must decide soon to pick up Jones’ fifth-year option. Even though some – myself included –  believe Jones can be the guy, there are still too many doubts floating around the Meadowlands complex.  


Schoen proved he would shed some cash with the booting of Booker and Rudolph, and he filled out the coaching staff.


The clock will now begin to tick, and Schoen will begin to show his colors. Will he live up to his reputation as building through the draft and keep a few around for a foundation, or will he shed a few and keep a cast to float another year in mediocrity? Can you live with a 2-15 or 3-14 or a 5-12 season?


Be patient and keep the faith.

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

Get connected with us on Social Media