The start of NFL Free Agency brought about two different philosophies and messages from the local pro football clubs.
For the New York Giants, the message and organizational philosophy couldn’t be more unclear.
Just a year ago, the Giants were very much a win now football team. They drafted running back Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick, signed veteran players, doubled down on Eli Manning, and re-signed Odell Beckham, Jr. to a monster contract.
Less than six months after the Beckham contract, he is now an ex-Giant.
The wide receiver, one of the best in the NFL, was traded to Cleveland for a first-round pick, third-round pick, and safety Jabril Peppers.
The Giants could have traded Odell Beckham a year ago before handing him a monster contract. They would have received a similar offer, but now they must take on a cap hit of $16 million for a player who is no longer suiting up for Big Blue.
It was the sort of trade that should signal that the Giants are ready to rebuild the organization from top to bottom; a sentiment that would make a lot of sense.
However, for the 2019 season the Giants have committed over $20 million to quarterback Eli Manning and signed veteran wide receiver Golden Tate.
Golden Tate is a nice player, but he’s no Odell Beckham, Jr.
It’s impossible to make the argument that the Giants are better positioned to win now, considering Beckham and their two top defensive players in Oliver Vernon and Landon Collins are also former Giants.
The Giants are trying to have it both ways, and it’s a befuddling philosophy.
They need their quarterback of the future and they have to rebuild the infrastructure, but the mentality of the organization is a complete 180 from what it was one year ago.
Even the biggest Giants apologist on the planet would have to acknowledge that it is very difficult to comprehend the team’s plan in both the short and long term.
On the flip side, the New York Jets are having exactly the sort of offseason they should be having, using their salary cap space to add legitimate talent to their team.
The Jets added the best offensive playmaker on the free agent market. LeVeon Bell can do it all as a running back.
Usually I’m against the idea of paying a running back big money, but that said, the Jets were able to sign Bell to a much friendlier contract than anticipated, and they are still well under the salary cap.
You have to spend the money, and they added much-needed help for Sam Darnold.
For the Jets to come away with LeVeon Bell, as well as linebacker CJ Mosley, shows there is a plan in place that makes sense.
If only the other team in town could say the same.
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