Kevin L. writes…
I noticed in your last few replies in letters to the editor, that you reference the salary cap. You also mention a disconnect with the coaches and management. Here’s what I believe has happened and it is very evident this year.
The offensive system along with the Mara’s loyalty have hamstrung the cap. The offensive system requires experienced people to run it. You’ll notice how Ruben Randle, Ramses Barden and even Manningham struggled to learn this system their first two years. Jernigan is still struggling to learn it.
You can see the results when you put inexperienced players in the offense this year. It’s not a coincidence that when Wilson, Randle, Pugh, Meyers, Brewer, Cox and the other running back we got rid of ,who’s name escapes me right now, that Eli’s interception total was way up. That being the case, it requires that you keep a certain amount of veterans which means higher salaries. Because of loyalties to players who have won Super Bowls for the Giants you have second contracts like Diehl, Tuck etc.
This offensive system was made for teams that played before the salary cap era. When a player can have 4 years in this system and master it, the offense can take off. The contracts are only four years long now so that means either second contracts of start over. It is more affected by injury because the backups still struggle to learn it. I believe had Eli been in a more player friendly system he would have produced more than two Super Bowls right now he’s just wasting years
Kevin, I’m not sure I fully agree with every point you made, though I will concede that this offensive system is probably best run by seasoned veterans and not younger players. The 2007 Super Bowl champions did just fine with Gilbride’s system and that was because the only positions where they lacked any experience was at tight end, though as I recall, Kevin Boss, a rookie at that time, did okay as did Ahmad Bradshaw, who after sitting for most of the year, contributed. Ditto for receiver Steve Smith, though the main receivers were Burress and Toomer, both experienced veterans.
Loyalty has nothing to do with hamstringing the cap. What people fail to realize is that when Jerry Reese handed out those big contracts that ended up choking the cap this year, the salary cap was upwards around $128 million. So along comes the new CBA and suddenly, you lose $7 million of cap space, and guess what? Now those contacts you’ve handed out that fit into your cap puzzle stick out like sore thumbs.
Regarding Barden, head what, five summers to learn the offensive system? At some point, you have to look at the player and his success rate in grasping the concepts. Some guys study harder than others and while I don’t’ know how Barden or Mario Manningham approached learning it, it’s not fair to lump everyone together because people learn at different paces.
As I’ve said before, the salary cap picture for next year is a lot better looking, probably the best looking I’ve seen it in a while. I think they’ll be far more competitive with mixing in veterans and young players and I’m actually looking forward to 2014 without even knowing who will be on the roster, because as I said, a lot of these left over problems resulting from the new CBA, the cap, etc. will be mostly gone.