NFL Offseason Outlook: Giants Ready To Put 2020 Aside, Get Back To Form In 2021

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The struggles of the NFC East in 2020 were well demonstrated by the fact the division was won by the Washington Football Club, who were under .500.

The New York Giants had their chances, but injuries as well as an awful showing by the team’s offense did them in as the club went 6-10, second in the division.

The club lost running back Saquon Barkley to a torn ACL for almost the entire season, and quarterback Daniel Jones had growing pains, going 5-9 in 14 starts.

To say that the offense was ugly is being nice. The unit was 31st of 32 NFL clubs, putting up just 17.5 points per game, 280 points overall.

The G-Men were 31st in total yards per game, 29th in passing yards, and 19th in rushing yards. How bad was the Giants’ offense? They went over 30 points just once the entire season.

There’s definitely a chance this team can get better, especially with a healthy Barkley coming back and with another season under Jones’ belt.

The team is more than willing to give Joe Judge at least one if not two seasons to try and right the ship in New York, but the NY media market won’t allow this team to be bad for very long before big changes will be made.

Another name on the hot seat is GM David Gettleman. The team is just 15-33 under his leadership, and they have to show marked improvement in 2021 for him to keep his job.

Entering free agency, the Giants are in good shape with 20 free agents. They are also an estimated $846,275 under the salary cap.

Here is a list of the free agents the Giants will have to make decisions on for 2021 and beyond:

WR C.J. Board, 28
OT Cameron Fleming, 29
RB Wayne Gallman, 27
RB Dion Lewis, 31
WR Austin Mack, 24
QB Colt McCoy, 35
RB Alfred Morris, 33
WR Da’Mari Scott, 26
WR David Sills, 26
QB Joe Webb, 35
S Adrian Colbert, 28
S Nate Ebner, 33
LB Kyler Fackrell, 30
CB Madre Harper, 24
DT Austin Johnson, 27
LS Casey Kreiter, 31
CB Ryan Lewis, 27
DE Jabaal Sheard, 32
DT Dalvin Tomlinson, 27
DE Leonard Williams, 27

Offseason Outlook: The Giants have to make a tough decision regarding their defensive line in 2021, a unit which has two good players – Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson.

It’s not likely that the Giants can bring back both players, but if they had to choose one, they will probably go with Tomlinson, who at age 26 set career bests in sacks (11.5), tackles for loss (14), and quarterback hits (30) in 2020.

They could make up for losing Williams in the draft and could likely get a player on the cheap in free agency, but Tomlinson is a special player and he proved it last season.

Tomlinson was named a team captain in 2020 and was the Giants’ nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.

Another position the team needs to address is running back. When healthy, Barkley is one of the best in the game, but the team has no one behind him right now and that needs to be addressed.

Expect the team to either draft a running back or land one via free agency as they try to make sure they don’t cut themselves short in the backfield.

The NFC East cannot possibly be as bad in 2021 as it was in 2020. The Cowboys, Washington and Philadelphia will all be better.

If the Giants are going to go from 6-10 to possibly .500 or better, they have to make a number of tough decisions soon. There’s no way that they leave themselves in the dark with a roster that isn’t ready to compete next season.

Written by Matt Loede

Matt has been a part of the Cleveland Sports landscape working in the media since 1994 when he graduated from broadcasting school. His coverage beats include the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. He's written three books, and won the "2020 AP Sports Stringer Lifetime Service Award."

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