Giants fans have had a rough offseason. It kinda reminds me of the Eagles’ 2009 season, which was replete with injuries and front office gaffes. I think it’s safe to say that fans of the other three NFC East teams don’t want to see players go down to injury, and we certainly feel your pain. If you have a sense of humor about your football team, Giants fans, please read on. If not, you may as well just sit this one out:
June 16 – Osi Umenyiora says Jerry Reese broke a promise to re-do his contract. The numbers, however, say that Umenyiora is far from a Top 5 DE, at least during the time frame of the of the $41 million deal he signed on Christmas Eve in 2005. For a fan, there’s nothing more infuriating than watching a greedy player clearly in the wrong refuse to take the field because he’s unhappy with his deal. Terrell Owens and Drew Rosenhaus essentially ruined the Eagles’ 2005 season by acting like turds, and Owens would also go on to create problems in the Cowboys’ locker room years later. Albert Haynesworth was a major distraction last year for the Skins. This year, the NFC East turd is Osi.
July 27 – Barry Cofield signs with Redskins. Some Giants justified the loss of Cofield by saying he got “elite DT money” when he’s “only” a good DT. Any way you slice it, he produced, and now he’s a Redskin.
July 28 – Giants release Shaun O’Hara, Rich Seubert, Madison Hedgecock, Tiki Barber and Shawn Andrews. Nobody cares about Tiki Barber, so we’ll glaze over him, and Shawn Andrews was really just sort of a one-year rental, as he had a contract that made it unrealistic for him to stick with the Giants for more than one year. But by cutting O’Hara, Seubert, and Hedgecock, the Giants basically acknowledged (rightfully) that this OL, which formerly enjoyed the benefits of continuity and stability for so many years, was over. Think back to 2008, the year after the Giants won the Super Bowl. For much of that season, they were the alpha dog of the NFL, and looked like a juggernaut. They’d get a lead, and then just pound you into submission with the run game and play action. O’Hara was playing well, as was Seubert, and Hedgecock was an absolute sledgehammer that linebackers wanted no part of in the 4th quarter. The last two years, the Giants lost their ability to step on opponents’ throats. The Giants probably did the right thing by cutting these three players, but to the fans, it should come as a reminder that the days of holding leads with bruising drives in the second half are over, at least with a few of the key guys that did it for so many years.
Aug 4 – Bruce Johnson ruptures Achilles tendon. At the time, Giants fans likely thought, “Oh, that sucks,” and then promptly turned their attention back to the rerun of Family Guy on TBS.
Aug 5 – Kevin Boss signs with the Raiders. Apparently, Kevin Boss was on a plane back to NY to sign a deal. While he was in the air, the Raiders made an incredibly stupid offer of 4 years, $16 million, with $8 in guarantees… to an average starting TE. Boss took it. And how can you blame him, really? However, because the Giants tried to slow play Boss for so long into a more team friendly contract, when he signed with the Raiders, the Giants found the pool of available free agent TEs bone dry. While Boss wasn’t anything special, he was at least a competent starting TE, and reality began to set in that Travis Beckum was going to now be the guy.
Aug 5 – Giants sign rookie holdout Prince Amukamara. After missing the first 8 days of training camp, extremely valuable time for a rookie particularly in a shortened offseason brought on by the lockout, Amukamara became the last rookie to sign his deal.
Aug 7 – Prince Amukamara breaks foot. In his second practice as a pro, Amukamara suffers an injury that will keep him out for half the season.
July 27 – Aug 8 – The Eagles sign everybody. Giants fans watch as their primary rival and the team that has been most directly responsible for the end of their seasons the previous three years, the Philadelphia Eagles, sign (or trade for) the following players due to their healthy salary cap: Nnamdi Asomugha, Cullen Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Jason Babin, Vince Young, Ronnie Brown, Ryan Harris, Evan Mathis, Anthony Hargrove, Jarrad Page, Derek Landri, Johnnie Lee Higgins, and Donald Lee. Meanwhile,they watch as the Giants sign the following players: David Baas, Stacy Andrews, Gabe Watson, and Steve Weatherford.
Aug 8 – Reports surface that Steve Smith is scheduled to meet with the Giants. Fans anticipate enjoying a sigh or relief, hoping to keep their QB’s favorite receiver and chain mover extraordinaire.
Aug 10 – Steve Smith signs with Eagles. D’oh! Smith instead shocks everybody and signs elsewhere… with the Eagles. Upon hearing the news, I call my father-in-law (a huge Giants fan) and we have roughly the following exchange:
Bob – Heeeey Jimmy.
Jimmy – Hey Bob. Bob… You know me. And you know that there’s nothing I hate more than to be the bearer of bad news.
Bob – Oh no. What’s wrong?
Jimmy – Bob… The Giants lost another one.
Bob – Oh no. Smith?
Jimmy – I’m sorry, Bob.
Bob – Oh no.
Jimmy – Yeah, but that’s not even the half of it.
Bob – What… Where’d he go?
Jimmy – You know where he went.
Aug 19 – Osi Umenyiora undergoes arthroscopic surgery. No comment. Out 3-4 weeks.
Aug 22 – Terrell Thomas tears ACL, put on IR. Someone commented that the loss of Terrell Thomas was worse than Steve Smith and Kevin Boss combined. I agree. As new BtB writer Matt Chandik wrote yesterday, if you don’t have corners in the NFC East, you’re in deep doo doo. Naturally, post injury, you begin to comb the available free agency options. Kelvin Hayden, maybe? Randall Gay? Oof. Not a lot there. Shit, and we already lost Prince for half the season and Bruce Johnson to an ACL. There was a guy in camp that was doing pretty well, though. What was his name? Brian Weatherspoon, I think. Maybe he’ll turn out to be good.
Aug 22 – Brian Weatherspoon tears ACL, released. Nevermind.
Aug 22 – Marvin Austin tears pectoral, out for season. Seriously?