The one trade the Giants shouldn’t do

There are things a team must do, things a team can do and things a team should not do.

Trading Landon Collins is something the Giants should not do.

The NFL trade deadline arrives at 4 p.m. Tuesday, and practically everything should be on the table for the Giants. They are 1-7 at midseason, the same as they were a year ago. This is a historically sad state of affairs for a franchise in steep decline. This is the first time since 1978, when the NFL adopted the 16-game schedule, that the Giants are 1-7 in consecutive seasons. This means they are not trending downward. It means they have hit rock bottom.

Last week, defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison and cornerback Eli Apple were traded away, with the Giants acquiring three draft picks — fourth round, fifth round, seventh round. In their first game since that dump-off, the Giants did their usual offensive disappearing act and lost 20-13 to the Redskins. They have been getting calls from around the league asking what it would take to pry players loose, as the rest of the NFL knows the Giants are open for business. The Giants should listen to every call but should not ship players out just for the sake of giving the appearance they are making moves to appease the paying customers.

Cornerback Janoris Jenkins and linebacker/defensive end Olivier Vernon are big-ticket players who are attractive to other teams, as long as those teams can accept hefty salary-cap hits for taking on their contracts. The Giants have nothing close to viable replacements for either player, and trading them would go a long way toward making their defense non-competitive. They are losers of seven of eight games with Jenkins and Vernon, so parting ways with them would not exactly hurt the cause too terribly in the second half of the season.

Collins has to be a part of the future. Moving him would be a mistake, unless the Giants can get back a first-round pick. Anything less is not acceptable. He was a second-round pick and has played up to his draft status, well above his four-year, $6.1 million rookie deal, He is in the last year of his contract and wants to stay, and also wants to cash in.

The Giants have not done right by him with what they surrounded him with in the secondary. A bullish strong safety, Collins is dependable and aggressive and at his best closer to the line of scrimmage. The Giants never gave Collins a quality running mate at free safety to work with. They thought they had one in Darian Thompson, but that lasted about 10 minutes. Mostly, it has been a bunch of guys who are starters only because there is no one else. Curtis Riley this season qualifies as nothing more than a stopgap. You wonder why Collins at times peeks and gambles when he should not be doing so? Give him a bona fide free safety to work with and watch him play the way he knows how to play.

General manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur spent all spring and summer and the first eight games evaluating their players. They should have a good handle on what Collins adds to a team. He is accountable, he tries to be a team leader and he shows up to work every day. He should be a part of the solution moving forward.

Other musings as the Giants hit their bye week on a five-game losing streak:

— The 2-yard touchdown pass to Evan Engram with 17 seconds remaining will not be remembered for much, by anyone. After the game, after the media scrum around Engram broke up — he spent most of the session talking about the fourth-down pass that shot through his hands — one reporter, arriving a bit late to the scene, asked Engram if he had spoken about his touchdown catch. Engram gave a half-smile and said he had not. The reporter asked Engram if he had anything to say about the touchdown. Engram said, “Not really.”

He knew how meaningless it was. Still, it counted, and it was the 347th touchdown pass of Eli Manning’s career. Given the state of the team, the state of the offense and the state of Manning’s play, you have to wonder when or if Manning will get the opportunity to toss another scoring pass for the Giants.

— Saquon Barkley played 68 of the 70 offensive snaps in the loss to the Redskins. He looks as if he never, ever gets tired and his body looks invulnerable. This break comes at a good time for him. Shurmur has the players in Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week, and the team has off the rest of the week. Barkley should use the time to rest up. The rookie has earned it.

— The Giants have four more home games in the second half of the season, against the Buccaneers, Bears, Titans and Cowboys. It is not the most enticing of lineups, and only the Cowboys will generate a huge influx of fans buying up tickets from Giants season-ticket holders eager to cut their losses and get back a few bucks off this lousy season. The Giants are 0-4 at home this season. MetLife Stadium will be Mausoleum Stadium this winter. The place has never had much of a home-field advantage anyway. The Giants are 34-34 in the most unloved new stadium in the league.

— Not only is the offense a disgrace, it is getting worse. For the second time in two games, the Giants went without a touchdown through three quarters when they trailed the Redskins 10-3 heading into the fourth quarter.

— Seven sacks is a whole lot of sacks to give up. It was the most allowed by the Giants since Oct. 12, 2014, when Manning was brought down eight times in a 27-0 loss to the Eagles. Manning has already been sacked 31 times in eight games. Manning, working behind the 2017 offensive line, was sacked 31 times all last season. So, the Giants are on pace to allow 62 sacks.

Source: Read Full Article