In 2011 The New York Giants went 9-7 and went through an amazing playoff run that culminated in their 4th Super Bowl title as they defeated the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl for the 2nd time in four years. In 2012 the Giants went 9-7 and were eliminated from the playoffs on the last day of the regular season.
Immediately after the 2012 season ended, General Manager Jerry Reese began making preparations for the 2013 season with the hopes that this season will have an ending that 2011 had.
As with all teams, rosters can change within a blink of an eye. This season the Giants said goodbye to a number of key players that left via free agency or were cap casualties. It was especially hard for the Giants to say goodbye to Ahmad Bradshaw, Osi Umenyiora and Chase Blackburn. Umenyiora and Blackburn left via free agency, and Bradshaw was a salary cap casualty. Each of these players was instrumental in the Giants Super Bowl runs in 2007 and 2011. With the departures of Bradshaw, Umenyiora, and Blackburn only 23 of the 45 players remain from the Super Bowl team of 2011.
While the Giants said goodbye to members of the recent Super Bowl titles, they welcomed back one player as they resigned cornerback Aaron Ross. Ross was Reese’s first ever draft pick back in 2007 and when the Jacksonville Jaguars cut Ross after one season, Reese jumped at the opportunity to bring Ross back. Ross will add depth to a secondary that has been depleted with injuries in recent years.
In the offseason the Giants also beefed up their defensive line, signing free agents Cullen Jenkins and Mike Paterson. The Giants also addressed their interior defensive line in the draft by using their second round pick to draft Jonathan Hankins from Ohio State. With the additions of Jenkins, Paterson and Hankins expect to see improvements in the Giants run defense which was 25th in the league last year. Another addition to the Giants defense was the signing of free agent linebacker Aaron Curry. Curry was the number 4 pick in the 2009 draft and if he can play up to his potential, expect him to bolster a defense that gave up the second most yards in the NFL last season.
With their first pick in the draft that Giants provided Eli Manning with more protection by selecting offensive tackle Justin Pugh from Syracuse. Pugh will add versatility and youth to the Giants veteran offensive line.
In the fourth round of the draft the Giants selected quarterback Ryan Nassib from Syracuse. This was a great value selection by the Giants as many experts believe Nassib has a bigger upside than quarterbacks that were taken a few rounds ahead of him. Even though Eli Manning is the ironman of the NFL having never missed a game in his career, Nassib will valuable backup for years to come.
With the acquisitions the Giants have made this offseason, they have the talent and depth to reach the Super Bowl which will be in MetLife Stadium in less than 260 days. Now the only lingering question is whether they can reach a contract extension with Victor Cruz. Cruz is seeking a long term deal and wants to be paid as a number 1 receiver. Recently it was reported that Cruz lowered his asking price of 10 million a season and it seems as if a deal will be reached before training camp. If Cruz and the Giants are able to reach an agreement not only will the Giants be one of the favorites to reach the Super Bowl this year but for years to come.