'Valentine's Views' podcast: Free agency review with Pat Traina
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You know working working just as hard even though been stuck in the house because of this outbreak in just hope again I know we said this last time we got together on the show. Hope everybody out there. A safe is taking precautions and and Just hanging in there. You Know Patty. I said to my wife earlier today. I said you know it's weird in a way because you know for those of us who cover the NFL in a lot of ways the work part of this has been fairly normal. But it's it's certainly not a normal time in in anyone's life. Yeah not at all but you know. Listen we do the best we can and we just hope that everybody is is safe out there and continues to be safe. And hopefully you know the steps. Were taking flatten out the curb and they'll be able to get this under control in one way shape or form. Alright Patty. So let's let's do this. Let's let's provide a little bit of a distraction from all of that. Let's Talk New York giants a little while and I thought what we would do. Today is go through a little bit of an old fashioned. You know you and I used to do the Friday five where we traded traded questions the last time you and I did this on the on our show on the show here. People seem to like that so I thought we would go through a A sort of Friday five regarding free agency. So what I'll do is I'll I'll sort of throw out a topic question. Kinda give you briefly my thoughts on on it and then and then see if you see if you agree disagree. Sorta turn the floor over to you. Sounds like a plan. Let's do it all right so the first topic as we've gone through the first week of free agency giants fans are kind of freaking out large large parts of of Of the fan base are freaking out. Because the giants didn't sign haven't signed a Premier. Pass rusher and. I think that I know that I've been telling people for weeks. Now that I thought that the giants would could very likely get through this off season without landing premier pass rusher. You know you know. Jvm cloudy the only one really on the market being available for you know for SIMP- without a trade or any of that so so I'm not surprised at all. You know where we are right now. How about you know not really. I mean Look Dave. Gettleman predicted it and really. You didn't have to be a notion. Dumbest predicted he said that. All the pass rushers. That would be worth something. Would end up being franchise tagged and that indeed is what has happened now. There are a couple guys that are still out there. That apparently think that they're worth big money and They just haven't found the market that I think they were. They were looking for and So I'm not surprised by this I know there was some interest reported earlier in the week in a couple of guys debut and cloudy who apparently has a high price tag or reportedly has a high price tag I don't know how much has been dumb it. Marcus Golden. I think it sounds like they're going to move on from him. Jordan Jenkins of the jets was a guy another guy reportedly. They were kicking the tires on. But look I mean at this point. You can't force a pass rusher if if you're not going to be able to get one in free agency and you're not going to be able to get a you know a stud in the draft which doesn't look like the giants are going to be able to do. Don't force it. Why would you overspend on a guy who is going to give you ultimately the production of what you want? I mean you're almost better off to saying okay. Let's try and scheme it or let's just sit and wait because you know you're never gonNA accomplish filling all your needs in one off season when it comes to. Clowney Patty before we move on to another topic when it comes to. Clowney the big issue for me is your price tag. Even if it drops to seventeen eighteen million a year from what we originally heard was going to be twenty two or twenty three. You're talking about a guy who while talented has up and down production throughout his career and has a pretty long injury history so it it's complicated. It's difficult I think to spend that kind of money on the guy. Yeah I I agree with you. He's also a you know the injury history would concern me as the fact that despite playing most of his career next to. Jj Watt where you would think. Jj Watt would draw double and triple teams. Which would free up clowney for one on ones that the production just wasn't what you would expect it to be so so. Yeah I think you know. Cloudy is a good player. Don't get me wrong but I don't know necessarily that. He's a number one pass rusher. That's what the giants need. And why would you pay number one? Pass rush money to a guy who is really a number two doesn't make sense no it doesn't Patty one thing you know. Let's go to the second topic. 'cause this sort of you know talking about clowney and talking about The pass rush sort of leads into it. I fully expected this free agency for the giants to be largely focused on the defensive side of the ball and it turned out that way. Now we can argue you know. Did they pick the right linebacker? You know to spend money on by spent you know by going out and getting Blake Martinez. Did they pick the right cornerback to spend big money on in James Bradberry? We can argue about those things but I think the giants Dave Gettleman Joe Judge. I think they did the right thing by taking the majority of the resources that they had and focusing them on trying to improve on the defensive side of the ball. You agree with that or disagree. Oh I absolutely agree matter fact. I thought that that might be the game plan because the defense needs more help than the offense at the stage of the game You know the offense. I think they can address that in the draft. I think they will address it in the draft but Defense I mean you go up from from front to back. Namie one position or one unit were. They didn't need help. And you only have what ten draft picks right now. If I'm not mistaken chances are they won't take all ten but You had to vote some of those resources to defensive side of the ball because that was the biggest problem plus you got rid of some guy. So you add all those factors together and it was a no-brainer indeed. That is what I thought as well. Patty. I thought that the draft sets up. You know with sets up fairly nicely for the giants and we'll get into this a little bit more later but I think the draft sets up nicely in areas of need for the giants to where they should be able to to address those things know in the draft so I did obviously think the defense was was the way to go in free agency. One thing that I wanted to ask your wanted to address one of the things that I liked about what the giants did with the contracts is these are none of these contracts that they signed guys to are the long term. You Know Five Year deals that that tie you to a player for three four years even if you fairly quickly determined that. Maybe he's not the right player that maybe he's not what you thought he was. I really liked what the did with the short term deals you know. I don't think any any of those contracts they gave out were longer than three years. I liked what they did with the bonus money because it. It's not going to tie them to so much dead money down the line if they do move on from guys. I just want to ask you if you liked the way that they that they structured in terms of of contracts and also. I know this is an area of expertise for you. So maybe you can. You can explain to people a little bit about why the giants did what they did with roster bonuses versus signing bonuses and all of that well to answer your first question absolutely and I. I wrote an article and did a video on that this morning for Giants country on SL DOT COM's network saying how much I liked the approach and how it's about time the giants abandoned that old approach of giving out signing bonuses which could potentially choke the cap regarding your second question basically when you give out a signing bonus that's signing bonus pro rates over the life of the CAP. I'm sorry over the life of the contract up to five years. So what happens is if you want to get rid of a guy. Say Two years before his contract ends and you want that money available to right away. You're going to have to eat whatever the salary cap the remaining pro-rated bonuses and let's take need solar for example. Nate soldier has thirteen million dollars. I believe left in pro rated signing bonus so giants wanted to get rid of him right now before June first they would have to eat thirteen million dollars and they already had ten million dollars in dead money. So you're talking twenty three million dead money if they were to make that transaction now so when you consider that the giants the last two years I've been in the top five in terms of teams leading the League in dead money going with the roster bonus is too smart away because roster bonus wallet does create a larger cap number in the first year it also eliminates the potential for dead money down the line. Should you want to get out of the contract after the dead? All the guaranteed money has been used up all right. Patty. Let's take a quick break here for a word from our SP nation sponsors. And then we'll come back. And I have two more questions for you. Hiring is difficult. You're looking for the just right candidate for your team's unique needs but knowing where to start the search can be challenging according to ziprecruiter research three out of four employers say. They're having a hard time filling open positions. 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En- did not do in. Nfl Free Agency so patty the next topic that I wanted to address and we talked a lot before the before the break about the defensive side of the ball and in the fact that we both anticipated the giants spending a lot of a lot of their resources on defense. The one thing they haven't addressed and it's another thing that people have have sort of gone a little nuts about on twitter. You know that you see from from giants fans. The giants did sign Cameron Fleming. You know basically a veteran swing tackle a guy who could play right tackle if the giants don't come up with a better option in the draft. Which honestly I I kind of expect them to do but did you anticipate that they would go a little bit more aggressively to try to fix the offensive line in in free agency. I know I didn't because of the way the draft sets up. Yeah I didn't either add. I said all along that this. If you were going to draft a franchise left tackle. This is the year to do it. You know the giants God willing are not going to be drafting in the top. Ten let alone the top five again. Next year fingers crossed so given that they are in the top five right now and given that they have In front of them a rich class of legitimate tackles nut. Guys wirt who were college tackles projected scarves at the NFL level. This would be the year to get yourself a guy who could potentially be your franchise left tackle for the next ten years. You've got your quarterback you've gotta running back. Receiver seems to be a by committee approach. Get Your Stud left tackle agree and you know. Initially when I started to think about the giants and Free Agency and players who were available I thought about Jack Conklin and I thought how signing conklin would be a good thing for the giants in terms of you know solidifying right tackle allowing them to use draft capital in the early part of the draft to upgrade their defense. Maybe use a day to pick to find that left tackle and over time. I kind of came off of that. It just doesn't make sense. You've got big big money. Invested in in Nate's older. Did it really make sense to to spend big big money on the right tackle on the other side when you could go into the draft and and and get you know what appears to be there just appears to be several quality options at the top of the draft so the more I thought about it the less sense it made for the giants to make a big splash on with an offensive line? Signing yeah I mean I initially thought okay. Well maybe they go that direction but but All the wall I believe in. Look it's a tossup I know there are people out there who want Isaiah Simmons. I think it's going to be very close to call. And who knows the giants trade down and are able to pick up another first round pick. I keep looking at the raiders. I keep looking at maybe Miami as a potential pick especially after what happened with Detroit Trading Darius slay to the eagles. You know that that to me screams that the probably go. Okuda at number three overall So if I'm the giants I and if I can trade one spot down with Miami maybe can come away with Sibbon's at number five and then if you pick up another first round pick for Miami later on maybe just maybe you can get your offense tackle. Sure you know. There's a lot of ways to go. I keep looking at. I keep looking at in terms of the draft. I keep looking at twelve. And nineteen from the Raiders. As for me a no-brainer. If if Mike May Awkward offer that to the giants I think I would be all over that. Yeah I think that would be a worthwhile trade. Chew now you know it might change a little bit on on how what you might be able to get but you have three teams right now though. The dolphins the chargers. And I believe the Panthers. Now all need quarterbacks so you just know that it offense tackle or maybe even a defensive player is going to get pushed down that that That chain if he will so it might be worth it to trade a little bit further down that maybe we thought it would be. You know at the start of this process. Sure Patty I agree. I think trading down is obviously obviously has to be in play for the giants you know but we. We have weeks and weeks for to discuss the draft at this point. So let's get back to free agency. Let's get back to really. What will be my final topic for the day and what I wanted to ask you about. I know that that you have complained about the giants doing this. And sort of relying on players who they knew you know going out and getting a whole bunch of Carolina Panther Former Carolina Panther players. A bunch of former Arizona cardinals players when James Becher was the defensive coordinator and here we are again with a free agency period that has seen the giants bring in several players who are familiar to defensive coordinator. Patrick Graham bring in a special teamer innate. Abner who played for years for head coach. Joe Judge Bring in an offensive Lineman who played for Jason Garrett and who played in New England where you know where Joe Judge was familiar with him and also their big signing at cornerback is a guy that Dave gettleman drafted do you. I see some advantages especially in this this crazy year where we don't know what the calendar GonNa look like. We don't know when these teams are going to be available. I mean I see this as fairly predictable when you have a rookie head coach and I also see some advantages to to to that familiarity. Do you do you have a problem with any of it. Why see the advantage to? I mean you know you don't know if you're going to have an off season calendar right now doesn't look like you will so I kind of get it but I also think that it's a safe way of doing things I mean I understand you know. Look you're you know the guy you're comfortable with what he can. Do you know what he can do. You know it's it's kind of like you know if I were to hire you as a writer. I know what kind of writer you are. What you bring to the table and I don't have to worry about your work whereas if I'm bringing on board brand new writer now I have to. Maybe pay a little bit more attention to what that person does. So I understand the philosophy with that. Said they did this last year and it didn't really work for them and I'm just concerned about history repeating itself because look it didn't work last year now. I don't know if it was because the team was bad and they didn't coach these guys up. Or what exactly happened but because of what happened last year. I'm a little squeamish about the same approach that they're taking from last year. I don't blame you patty. I do think you know there's a little bit of a difference because you've got guys who are still you know guys who are in in their late twenties. You're not bringing in a thirty five year old Antoine. But you're not bringing in guys who you who are beyond their best years and I guess as I said it's sort of predictable first year head coach. I would agree with you that I don't like to see it. You know year after year after year at some point you you have to move on and you realize that you have your core guys in simply scout and judge guys on talent but I guess as I said. I think this is Kinda predictable and I don't have a problem with it with the first year head coach. Well I mean you're starting over with a new coaching staff. I get that and you know but I'm a little squeamish because like I said it didn't work last year for them. Marcus golden was really I think the only signing that they brought in from Arizona that paid off dividends? And then if you go back the year before Michael. Thomas was the only signing that they brought in Michael. Thomas had connections within Luana Romo who was the defensive backs coach at the time. So yeah there are some advantages but to do that for every single pick. I. I just think that that's the safe way to address roster needs and you know people ask me. Why have the giants been so good with the draft and not so much with free agency and I can't help but wonder if that's the reason why could be Patty? But all we can do at this point is is cross. Our fingers hope that the giants have done better in free agency. This time around. You know I I look at it. And I think they probably didn't get the premier player it at any of the positions that they where they draft or where they were. They went out and signed player. But I think that comparatively from where they were to where they are. They have at least gotten better. Yeah they've gotten better at least on paper but really you know we were saying the same thing last year edge so I'm going to reserve judgment until do even more film work than what I been doing. And B. I see how these guys are playing. I mean right now. We don't know for certain what Pat Graham is going to do on defense. We don't know for certain. Would Jason Garrett is going to do on offense so we can say on paper? It looks good but you know you could say that for just about every other team sure all we can do is all we can do is wait until we see guys on the field you know whenever they get Whenever that takes place if maybe that's not going to be until training camp. Maybe that's maybe it's longer than that. We don't know but Giants fans on as we as Patty mentioned at the top of the show. We hope you guys stay safe. Follow the guidelines. Do what you can to protect. Not only yourself but but the people around you and as always giants fans we thank you for listening and we'll talk to you soon. Bye Bye if there was a spreadable cooke baker bowl plant face butter. That was better for your body and the planet. What would you make with it but our cookies butter pie? That's the thing by the way whatever it is country crock plant butter makes it happen and bakes delicious country Crock. Plant butter is so tasty. Even butter lovers love it. You can use it as a one to one substitute for dairy butter in all of your favorite recipes and enjoy it knowing it has twenty five percent less saturated fat than regular old dairy butter to try it for yourself. Use the store locator at country. Crock DOT com slash plant dash butter today.