Letters to the Editor: January 16, 2014

Jeff H. writes…
I disagree with reasons I’ve read about why “WE CAN” afford to lose Linval Joseph. I believe it would be a critical mistake! Here is my laundry list of reasons:

1- Some say, “we already have depth at the position”. OK, so why make it a position in need of depth? Wasn’t this a position that we vowed to fix after 2012? The line is fixed, so don’t break it!

2- There were times late in the season when I said to myself “Geez– With the pressure our offense has put on our D, our entire defense would have collapsed into the abyss if it wasn’t for our STRONG 4-5 deep DT rotation!” Imagine if we collapsed against weaker teams such as Oakland without our strong arsenal of DT’s.

3- Some say, “We have Cullen Jenkins”. I really like Jenkins, but he might have a year of starting ability left in his tank– and he is best served in a rotation. He is an asset, but we could afford to sacrifice his contract if it meant securing the prime 25-year-old Joseph to a contract or franchise tag.

4- Some say, “Johnathon Hankins is the same player as Linval Joseph and he can do the job.” Can Hankins maintain a high level of endurance without depth behind him? Do we draft good players like Hankins so we can boot out other good young players such as Joseph? Come on! What happens if Hankins gets hurt? Can we afford to give 300-500 good snaps to a journeyman like Patterson? No way!

5- Some say, “We need to focus on the O-line!” Of course, we do, but we need to keep things in perspective. We can bolster the O-line & draft talent without breaking the bank and abandoning a young core DT.

6- Coughlin believes in high quality on both lines and Reese is big on the D-line. I hope we don’t go with the Barry Cofield strategy again. Joseph’s contract demands are unknown at the moment, but I hope we are moderately aggressive in keeping one of our key defensive components.

Jeff, what “some” (me) have outlined is the reality of the situation and I would be shocked if that’s not reflective of their thinking as well.

The Giants didn’t pick Johnathan Hankins in the send round to sit on the bench, nor are they going to sit there right now and worry about whether he can holdup is like worrying about a snowstorm that may or may not happen for the Super Bowl.

Cullen Jenkins had a solid season even though he didn’t have the numbers to support it, so I’d be surprised if he isn’t back. Markus Kuhn should be able to go through his first full offseason without having to rehab, so that should help as well.

With the Giants needing to devote money to the offensive line, there’s not going to be a lot of money to throw at Joseph to retain him, so unless he is seeking a reasonable contract, he’s as good as gone.

As for your point about why create depth (#1), Shaun Rogers probably won’t be back. Mike Patterson is 50-50 to return (I think they do re-sign him). So if Joseph leaves, guess what? They’ll either draft or sign a free agent to replace him. Depth problem solved.

The Giants are projected to have about $17 million under the cap – and that money might very well have dipped since I last calculated it. I highly doubt they’ll franchise Joseph (or Nicks for that matter) which would eat into that money.

Again, the offensive line is a priority, and while you note that they can draft to replace guys, it usually takes a full year for most OL not taken in the first round to step in. Therefore, you can pretty much count on seeing some veteran signings at that position.

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