The New York Giants had a lot of questions regarding the structure of their roster heading into the 2021 season, and it unfortunately looks like the same will be true coming out of it.
Once again, quarterback Daniel Jones will be in the middle of all the drama.
We came into the year knowing that he had plenty of raw talent along with plenty of issues to fix, though we weren’t sure how he’d look with a good supporting cast and offensive line. And, well, we still aren’t really sure about all that.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Giants’ offensive line ranked dead last in pass blocking throughout the 2020 season. In 2021? Improvement… but not all that much, as they still rank as the fourth-worst unit in that respect. And as for the weapons he has at his disposal, running back Saquon Barkley — who also came into the season as a question mark, and will likely come out of it as the same — has been on and off the field and just isn’t the dominant weapon we saw from a couple of years back. New addition Kenny Golladay hasn’t been as healthy or impactful as one might have hoped. Rookie wideout Kadarius Toney burst onto the scene but has since been plagued with injuries. Sterling Shepard is done for the year after playing seven games.
Oh… and Daniel Jones is also out for the season, in case you missed that tidbit, meaning we’ve seen all that there is to see if we want to evaluate his performance. So how do we evaluate it? That is not my job, nor is it Eli Manning’s, who didn’t seem envious of the tough task ahead for Giants decision-makers in his appearance on Tuesday’s “Rich Eisen Show,” embedded below.
“Obviously it's a tough situation with everything going on, with the offense and the struggles they've had all season, and so I think really it's kind of a call for Joe Judge, John Mara, (Dave) Gettleman, and what they're gonna do from all those things,” Manning said. “And Daniel Jones is in the mix there as well, and so I think it's hard to give a true evaluation. I think he's made some adjustments and fixed some of the turnover problems, but overall just did not score enough offensively, and I think it's not just a quarterback problem.
“It's from receiver injuries, the running back injuries… the offense just had questions across the board that make it tough to get a true analysis of what you have. I think they've got to dive deep and really look at what the other options are as well. Do you give him another year to try to have a feel, or do you make a trade and get an established guy, or go to the draft, so none of these are easy decisions to make.
“There's not an easy answer, there's not a right answer, it's just trying to make the best and make some of those tough decisions. That's why, hey, you are the owner or you are the GM or head coach, because you're qualified to make those tough decisions.”
Perhaps there’s a reason Manning opted not to use Gettleman or Judge by name in that last segment, as it’s pretty safe to say that they might not have the most job security in the world. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Gettleman is "unlikely to return in 2022." But what will they, or whoever the decision-makers are during the upcoming offseason, do about Jones and his future with New York? Stay tuned.