Where the Giants Got Better & Worse This Off-Season

Where the Giants Got Better & Worse This Off-Season

The NFC East is open for the taking. With a busy off-season, the New York Giants made moves to get better and worse.

Giants Off-SeasonThe New York market adds pressure to its professional sports teams. The New York Giants enter the 2024 season needing to improve in many areas. This off-season, the Giants got better and worse in a few places.

The Front Office & Coaching: Worse

A reported stalemate between Don “Wink” Martindale and Brian Daboll led to his ultimate departure in New York. The departure of Martindale doesn’t look great on paper for the Giants, but the team can look forward to not having tension between Daboll and Martindale. While Martindale’s defenses in New York did not reach those of his former Baltimore Ravens defenses, his absence creates questions about the future of the defense. Martindale was known for his creativity as a defensive coach, especially when dialing up blitzes. While the defense was boom-or-bust during his time, New York led the league in forced turnovers in 2023 (per NFL.com).

Under his watch, players like Dexter Lawrence and Kayvon Thibodeaux emerged as premier defensive players. Thibodeaux came into the league as a blue-chip prospect but has not yet hit his ceiling. The hope was that Martindale could tap into the potential that made Thibodeaux a top-five pick in the NFL Draft, especially after the team traded for Brian Burns. It’s now up to Shane Bowen to capitalize on a defense that has cornerstone players like Lawrence, Burns, and Thibodeaux but also will be relying on young players in the secondary. Bowen had a strong run with the Tennessee Titans but will enter a pressure situation in New York. His impact will have a lot to do with the success or failure of the Giants 2024 season.

Offense: Better

Saquon Barkley’s decision to sign with the rival Philadelphia Eagles created mixed feelings among Giants fans. While Barkley was often the engine of the Giants offense, he could not stay healthy and reach his full potential in New York. The team did not find an upgrade at running back in free agency, but Devin Singletary should be serviceable. Where the team did upgrade their offense was at wide receiver. Malik Nabers entered the 2024 NFL Draft as a blue-chip prospect and has a chance to be a star in New York. Not since the days of Odell Beckham Jr. have the Giants had a premier player at receiver. Nabers instantly boosts the floor and ceiling of this offense.

Daniel Jones needs Nabers and the rest of the receivers to have a strong 2024 campaign. The organization has made no secret about the job security of Jones heading into this season. His play and availability must be at their best if Jones is to keep his job. The team did make one of the better free-agent additions at quarterback with the signing of Drew Lock. While Lock never won the job in Seattle, he has shown growth in his time as a pro. His presence raises the floor of the offense and gives the Giants a more stable situation at quarterback. The team needs more explosive plays out of the offense, but New York got better on that side of the ball this off-season and should have a stronger 2024 season.

Defense: Better

Like on the offense, the Giants said farewell to a solid contributor when they did not resign Xavier McKinney. The Green Bay Packers rewarded McKinney with a massive contract, but the Giants were savvy in the draft in finding his replacement. Tyler Nubin comes to New York with similar skills as McKinney but will need time to develop. The rest of the secondary is still young, making the play of Lawrence, Thibodeaux, and Burns even more important. High-level play from the front seven should make life easier for the inexperienced secondary in New York. The Giants need to see a bounce-back year from Deonte Banks but bolstered the cornerback position in the draft and free agency. Landing Burns in a trade with the Carolina Panthers was big for the defense and should put them in a position to be dominant moving forward. Even though Bowen remains a question mark for the defense, the Giants improved their defense this off-season with a few key moves.

Main Photo: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports


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