JOE SCHOEN ADDRESSES THE MEDIA…
New York Giants General Manager Joe Schoen spoke to the media on Monday at the NFL Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Florida. In discussing the upcoming NFL Draft, Schoen was asked about potentially trading down from the #5 or #7 overall selections.
“We haven’t discussed that,” said Schoen. “Really, honestly, right now, we’re trying to find, ‘Hey, who are seven players we like?’ I mentioned this at the (NFL) Combine, if we find seven players that we like as players, as people, that’ll be good for the organization, I’ll sleep good at night and then we’ll get into that, ‘Maybe we need 10 guys, maybe we need 11, maybe we need 13,’ if we decide to move back, depending on where we are.
“The roster continues to evolve. We signed a guy today in (offensive lineman) Max Garcia. We’ll be open to listening, but again, it’s got to make sense to us. If there’s two players that we really like as people and as players, then again, I’m absolutely fine staying there, taking a guy that we like, and I’ll sleep good at night.”
Schoen was also asked if the Giants will emphasize need over value. “We have enough needs on the roster that I think you can go take the best player available,” replied Schoen.
Schoen also acknowledge that the team’s salary cap restraints are an issue. “It’s a daunting task when you start adding in the draft picks and then trying to add replacement cost in-season and then where we were when I got here, that’s a daunting task,” Schoen said. “It’s hard to operate. Again, it’s always tough to sit on your hands in free agency when you have holes on the team that you’d like to fill. I knew what I was getting into. (Co-owners) John (Mara), Steve (Tisch), they understand what we’re getting into, and (Head Coach) Brian Daboll understood what he was getting into.
“Three of the things that were important to me were starting guard, so we’ve gotten (Mark) Glowinski and (Jon) Feliciano. (Feliciano has) played center and guard in his career. I think his best position right now in his career is at center. Obviously, kind of having a quarterback of the offensive line and knows the system and familiarity with him. He’s smart, tough and dependable and then I think the backup quarterback (Tyrod Taylor) – again, not looking too deep into that. Daniel (Jones) has had, there have been some injuries over his career, so to protect the team if we’re having a good season then someone who can go in there and win games for the organization. I thought that was important. We’ll continue to build depth as you’ve seen with some of the VSB signings (one-year contracts that give the team a reduced salary cap hit) that we’ve done over the last couple of weeks. You’ve got guys that have started games and played meaningful football. The more depth and competition we can create with the resources that we have, I think that’s important. I think we’ve been able to accomplish that.
“It was a priority (to get a back-up quarterback),” said Schoen. “I go back to – I can’t remember if it was my opening press conference or I said it at the Combine to you guys, backup quarterback would always be a priority of mine. Where I was last year, we got a little bit lucky at the value that we were able to get at what we thought was a good player at that value. I go back to my time in Miami, Ryan Tannehill gets hurt, tears his ACL, Matt Moore came in, kept the season alive and we went to the playoffs. We lost to Pittsburgh, but again, I think that’s an important position to have where someone can come in and steady the ship and win a few ballgames for you and it doesn’t completely decimate your season.
“I like Tyrod a lot. I was in Buffalo with him that first year when we broke the 17-year drought in terms of the playoffs there. Morning workout guy, he was always the first one in. He’s always in there. First one in, last one to leave. Smart, he’s a leader. He’s still athletic. He can run. Dabs and (Offensive Coordinator Mike) Kafka, the stuff they want to do on offense that Daniel can also do, you don’t have to change up your offense if he has to go in the game. Similar type skillsets and they can run the same offensive scheme and that was kind of some of the guys we targeted, it was guys that you don’t have to totally change your scheme in order to run your offense, so that was important.
“We’d like to be in better salary cap health next year for sure versus having to move on from people or cut guys or do any type of restructures. I’d rather not be in that situation.”
Schoen on the media reporting that the team is looking to trade running back Saquon Barkley: “That was taken a little bit out of context at the Combine. I haven’t called one team on Saquon Barkley, OK? Everybody ran with that from the Combine, I said I would listen if people called on any player, so it would be irresponsible if I didn’t. That doesn’t mean I’m going to do every deal, so I haven’t called one team on Saquon Barkley. I’ve gotten calls about a few of our players and he’s one where a couple teams have reached out, but again, I’m not shopping Saquon Barkley.
“It’d be irresponsible if a team calls – I think 31 other GMs would say the same thing – if somebody is going to call and offer you something ridiculous, you’re going to listen It doesn’t mean you’re going to do any deal or you’re going to say ‘yes’ to it. We’ve got an offensive head coach (Brian Daboll). He likes to have as many weapons and toys as he can.
“I like Saquon. We’re at a little bit of an advantage here, the players are coming in in two weeks, so we’re going to get around all these guys. Again, the guy was the number two pick in the draft for a reason. He’s got a lot of talent and I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Schoen on the belief that the team needs to cut or trade cornerback James Bradberry for salary-cap reasons: “He’s currently on the roster. He’s a good corner who was a Pro Bowler two years ago (2020), and he’s 28-years old and can still play at a high level and he’s on our roster… People have called about certain players and people have value. Again, like I said, he’s 28-years old. He’s two years removed from a Pro Bowl season. He’s still a high caliber starting corner… If it’s the right offer and it makes sense for the New York Giants, then I’ve got to consider (it)… a last resort is converting and restructuring contracts, so there’s ways we can get creative if we need to.”
Schoen on whether the team will pick up the 5th-year option on quarterback Daniel Jones: “We have until May 2 to decide that. Like I said at the Combine, we’re going to still continue to develop that and consider that. With guys coming in in two weeks (for the start of the offseason program), it’s a real advantage. We’ll get to be around guys in the building for four weeks or three weeks before the draft and have a veteran minicamp right before the draft. Again, we’ll continue to have those conversations as we move forward.”
Schoen on whether defensive lineman Dexter Lawerence will have his contract guaranteed for 2023: “Same deal. I’m still trying to get familiarized with our defensive staff and how they’re going to utilize players. We’ve had some really productive conversations. I haven’t worked with (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale). I haven’t been in a 3-4 since probably my time down in Miami. Just trying to figure out what traits they’re looking for in each player. Dexter’s a really good player and we’ll obviously have extensive conversations on what we’re going to do there.”
Schoen on the decision to cut safety Logan Ryan: “Best decision for the New York Giants. We thought it was best talking with the new staff that that was the best. I wish Logan nothing but the best.”
Schoen on the injury status of linebacker Blake Martinez (torn ACL) and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (ruptured Achilles’ tendon): “Both those guys are in there every day. Both working hard. I see them at lunch every day. Two guys I really enjoy being around, leaders, busting their butt. I think Blake could be back before Shep, just because of the timeline of the injury, but I’ve been really impressed with both of them and their work ethic and the time that they’re putting in. Hopefully by August, (they’ll be on the field). Again, we’re not going to rush them along. We don’t play until September. Ease those guys along. Again, they’re two professionals that understand their bodies, leadership, they understand their process. The goal is to have them on the field in August.”
GIANTS RE-SIGN SANDRO PLATZGUMMER…
The Giants have re-signed unrestricted free agent running back Sandro Platzgummer. The 6’0”, 198-pound Platzgummer was originally allocated to the Giants in April 2020 as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program, which also allowed him to remain on the team’s Practice Squad in 2020 and 2021 without counting towards the Practice Squad limit. Platzgummer played for the Swarco Raiders Tirol of the Austrian Football League. He has yet to play in a regular-season game.