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Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese have key decisions to make as New York Giants end miserable season

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Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese have key decisions to make as New York Giants end miserable season

Post  Big_Pete on Sat Jan 02, 2010 6:18 pm


Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese have key decisions to make as New York Giants end miserable season

BY Ralph Vacchiano

MINNEAPOLIS - The Giants will say their final farewells to their miserable 2009 season Sunday and for some Giants, those farewells will be forever. Some have even already said their final goodbyes.

Those decisions won't be official, of course, until Tom Coughlin and GM Jerry Reese sit down in the days, weeks and months ahead to decide everyone's fate. But for many, that fate already seems pretty clear:


Position: Def. coordinator Age: 50

Situation: With just one season in the position, Sheridan is on the chopping block after one of the worst seasons for a Giants defense in the last 40 years.

2010 projection: Tom Coughlin is a loyal man, and Sheridan's plans were foiled by a remarkable string of injuries to the defense that began in June and never ended. It's possible that might be enough to save him. But not likely. Someone will have to take the fall for a defense that surrendered 40 points in four games for the first time since 1966. And if Coughlin won't do it, don't be shocked if ownership orders him to make a change. They've pressured him on assistants before.


Position: Off. coordinator Age: 58

Situation: A longtime Coughlin assistant whose offense was erratic and couldn't generate a rushing attack, but is sixth in total offense entering Sunday's final game in Minnesota, and eighth in scoring (26.3).

2010 projection: Coughlin isn't going to fire a man who has turned his offense into one of the most potent in the NFL. But Gilbride is always on the fringe of the NFL's head coaching carousel, and his name has already been mentioned in connection with the vacancy in Buffalo. Still, more often than not, he is a bridesmaid than a bride, so he's likely to return to the Giants. And yes, he says his offseason emphasis will be on fixing the rushing attack.


Position: Middle linebacker Age: 31
Situation: Unhappy with his playing time, but signed through 2012.

Situation: Signed through 2010 ($4.75M), recovering from bulging disk in neck.

2010 projection: If the salary cap is eliminated, it could tempt the Giants to bring him back, if for no other reason than his leadership. But Pierce's declining skills have made it clear it is time to let the youth movement begin. Pierce, who is not a favorite of Giants brass, is not getting a long-term deal. And while Jonathan Goff doesn't look ready to step in and replace him, there could be impact MLBs available in free agency or the draft. Put him in the “likely to be gone” category, but watch what else the Giants do at his position first.


Position: Defensive end Age: 28

2010 projection: He's not going anywhere unless the Giants are overwhelmed with a trade offer or he goes the Jeremy Shockey route and forces their hand. He's still young, valuable, and will likely be a better player next year when he's farther removed from his 2008 knee surgery. Will he be happy? Is he ever? But the Giants can deal with that. Plus, a new defensive coordinator might ease his pain and make him part of the DE rotation again.


Position: Running back Age: 27

Situation: Banged up (as usual), coming off a very disappointing year, and signed through 2012.

2010 projection: It's a near lock he'll be back, but remember: With no salary cap, anyone can be cut at any time with (obviously) no cap ramifications. So, after watching Jacobs struggle to rush for just 835 yards, if there is no new CBA and the Giants see a chance to upgrade through free agency, would they take it? Could be tempting.


Position: Right tackle Age: 30

Situation: Signed through 2011

2010 projection: The break-up of the O-line will begin here. Injuries (back, groin, knee) have gotten the best of McKenzie. And the younger, athletic William Beatty is ready to step into his RT position.


Position: Left guard Age: 30

Situation: Signed through 2012

2010 projection: The ultimate warrior could be back, but most likely as a backup and possibly with a pay cut. Backup Kevin Boothe showed some promise in this spot. A free-agent guard is possible, too.


Position: Strong-side LB Age: 32

Situation: Unrestricted free agent

2010 projection: He will not be re-signed. The Giants have Clint Sintim penciled into his spot next season.


Position: Defensive tackle Age: 25

Situation: Either a restricted or unrestricted free agent

2010 projection: His situation depends on the CBA. If there's no agreement, he's restricted and will be back. If there is one, he could be a UFA. Giants would like him back, but won't overspend on him. They feel he's a good player who will get better, but still needs to provide more interior push.


Position: Defensive tackle Age: 32

Situation: Unrestricted free agent

2010 projection: No chance of a return. Age and injuries (mostly to his knee) have worn him down. It's most likely time for him to retire.


Position: Defensive tackle Age: 30

Situation: Signed through 2012

2010 projection: Cap or no cap, he's likely gone. For four years, $16 million the Giants got nothing in return this season. And, since Thanksgiving, he's hardly played.


Position: Safety Age: 26

Situation: Either a restricted or unrestricted free agent

2010 projection: They might have cut him in November if they had any other options at his position.
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