The general manager has been in place for just a couple of weeks. There is no head coach yet. But the priorities for the New York Giants are already crystal clear in terms of what they must do if they’re going to improve this year.
And while Dave Gettleman will be a busy man simply trying to sort out this head coaching hire, the Giants have equally pressing issues on the field.
Here are three priorities that the Giants need to sort out before they head into free agency (head coaching search aside):
3. Eli Manning’s future: Having recently turned 37-years old, Manning is not the future of the Giants but he does have a future with the team. He’s a year removed from an outstanding season and with some help along the offensive line, the offense as a whole could and should be much better while Manning’s play will improve by leaps and bounds. He still has the intangibles to play and star for the Giants a couple more seasons.
Retaining Manning is a key to lure veteran free agents to put this team over the hump. He also can still play and his potential return buys time for the Giants to develop a quarterback for the actual future. Whether that is Davis Webb or…
2. Figure out what to do at No. 2: The Giants are sitting in a prime spot to land a quarterback at second overall. But they may not need to rush that pick and grab someone this year if they think Manning can contribute a couple more seasons.
Yes, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson are all potential long-term starting quarterbacks in this league. But the Giants might be able to punt this year on drafting a quarterback in the first round.
The Giants could potentially land an offensive tackle to build around for the next decade at No. 2 or trade back to accrue picks and fill needs later on. One look at the price the Philadelphia Eagles paid two years ago for Carson Wentz, taken second overall, shows that teams will pay a premium to land a young quarterback.
This is something the Giants might be able to exploit if they think Manning has a couple of seasons left.
1. Long-term deals: Gettleman was asked about the future of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and signaled his interest in bringing back the playmaker, something that would signal a long-term deal. But a long-term deal is also needed for safety Landon Collins, someone who might be an even bigger priority for the Giants to keep around long-term.
Collins is an elite safety and a building block for this defense. Keeping him in place and in this locker room is equally as key, if not more so, than giving Beckham a deal. Collins is a priority for this franchise moving forward.