Do the Giants Have the Personnel to Keep the DE Rotation Alive?

John Fennelly , Lead Writer

Osi Umenyiora has not caught on with a new club as of yet, but with him certain to be out of the Giants’ DE rotation, will it even continue to exist? We think they’ll figure it out even if the esteemed Dan Pompei of the National Football Post reports differently….

It is expected that free agent Osi Umenyiora will not return to the Giants, so the team is planning to compensate by using its remaining pass rushers differently. Instead of playing a rotation in which three men split the snaps pretty evenly as the Giants did last year, I’m told Jason Pierre Paul and Justin Tuck will get the majority of the snaps. And Giants coaches don’t want the ends flipping sides as much. The early talk out of the Timex Performance Center is Pierre Paul may become a full-time left end, with Tuck concentrating on the right side.

He’s probably correct in the sense those two will see the lion’s share of the snaps in 2013. But that depends on if Tuck returns to form. He’s had two down seasons in row and he needs to turn his game around for Pompei’s assessment to come to fruition.

By moving JPP to the left side, he will draw right tackles, not the more pass-blocking savvy left tackles of the league. That solves one problem. His numbers should rebound. But Tuck. the Giants’ defensive captain, is the variable in this equation. What happens if he continues to decline?

The Giants have four other DEs on the roster, unfortunately all of them are largely unproven. Adrien Tracy, Adewale Ojomo, Matt Broha and Justin Trattou all have shown promise, but none appear ready to play at the level of Tuck and JPP in a rotation. Mathias Kiwanuka is listed as a LB, although he does on occasion put his hand in the dirt at DE.

It’s not out of the realm of possibility the Giants will take a look at a veteran, but the price would have to be right. Dave Tollefson, who was once part of the Giants’ rotation was released by Oakland the other day.

A more likely scenario would be a rookie. There are several that may be available to the Giants early in the draft. Ezekial Ansah, Bjorn Werner, Damontre Moore are the top-rated choices. Florida DE Cornelius “Tank” Carradine has been likened to Tuck, but his college career ended in November when he blew out his ACL. If he is there in Round 2, the Giants might take a look.




46 comments
Scott Weinstein
Scott Weinstein

We all need for Minnesota to have a shitty second half and miss the playoffs. If Minnesota has a deep playoff run, they'll push hard for Vanek to get them over the top next season. If they fall into the lottery, adding another expensive piece may not be a wise decision for them.

jimmydev
jimmydev

they should sign Vanek then sign Moulson at the end of the year so they can make up for the draft pick losses-then tear up Taveres' contract and pay him like the star he is-YEAH RIGHT!

mrcisback
mrcisback

I'd love to sign Vanek but i'm a little worried about paying Vanek 2 to 3 million dollars a year more then Tavares. Now you can say Tavares knows its just business but he also knows now that he is way underpaid to. I'd also listen to offers for Vanek to see exactly what he could bring back in a trade. Some team like LA could feel they have a good shot at the cup and offers the Islanders a deal they can't turn down. It should be interesting anyway.

dkdk
dkdk

"Being comfortable here" and "liking Long Island" is a decent start but it certainly isn't "I love here and want to get an extension done ASAP"

shlo
shlo

I am skeptic especially when someone says all the right things during contract negotiations. Have no illusions, this was the first shot of the negotiation process. Wang will have to spend more to get to the floor so you might as well spend it on vanek, it has been said before , I am just repeating it. Agree with all who said we paid a hefty price for him might as well go all the way. Snow is very careful and calculating, I am sure he and Wang knew what iwas involved, so they will give him what he wants, that will not be a problem. The question does he want to play on l.i with jt ? end of story.

fan42long
fan42long

Remember - this is Wang's World. Snow had to trade away Moulson, because of salary, in order to get Vanek. So why think he'll pony up for Vanek? Even if he does, it will be at the expense of another position or 2. If the Isles make the playoffs, and I don't think they will, they sure aren't going deep. 

Trade Vanek. Address your needs in goal and D. During the off-season you can always address a need at Fwd. Again, this is crazy Islander stuff that never makes sense, so I have little faith that they will do the right thing.

dzruggie
dzruggie

Vanek will sign here!!  The Isles will want the marquee name for Brooklyn and not to mention what they gave up with the picks for the right to test him out here (and vise verse) and be able to have the extra year to sign him up.  While the CAP goes up next year which will give a lot of big market teams extra cash, remember the floor also goes up and teams hmmm aka The Islanders will HAVE to spend.  Throw in playing with JT and living on LI collecting some $7-8M per year - there are far worst things in life.

bubbamac19
bubbamac19

What'd vanek say when he was in Buffalo...? Something about not wanting to play on a team that dressed a bunch of teenagers - something like that; are the isles, next year especially, that far away from that condition? Will Minny want 3 HUGE contracts though?

Isles are in a very weak bargaining position with this player already because of the very high cost to get him here - as a rental of all things. Now, I dunno, maybe 8 years at 7m per to lock him up? Guy's character has been questioned in the past... don't need another Yashin (not that I see that extreme a comparison, I don't). Whatever happens with the standings, I'll say this for Snow...he's made the season interesting with this deal alone.

And don't think the Rangers won't be involved...at the least Vanek's agent will use them as leverage.

Jason Zimmermann
Jason Zimmermann

In the midst of season. Say right things/be sure not to say wrong things. Vanek not an Islander next year.

palffy
palffy

This deal needs to get done regardless of what it costs.  Losing Vanek would be a major setback, and would send a horrible message to any potential future UFA targets.  I like to think that this trade would not have been made if management didn't have some idea what the odds were that he would sign.  But, "you never know"...

ny711ot
ny711ot

" you never know...."

Doesn't stir a great sense of confidence but a little better than the comments heard when we played the Wild.

It will be a good sign if wife and kids are visiting during presidents week.  He grew up in Salzburg and Graz so he's used to the hip cosmopolitan feel that Brooklyn will provide

..

neeza06
neeza06

Lets hope for the best. I think a 7 year deal is more than fine at 29 and giving him a little extra cash is just something that has to be done. He is an important player to resign not only because of his skill set but because of his high profile.  He honestly needs to sign just to help bring other free agents which makes his price tag (and value) higher for the isles.  


Also dont underestimate a Marion Hossa at 41 haha (will prob retire by then anyway). but this guy has been a two way beast forever(still onlny 34) and ill buy that he no longer can be a productive player when and only when he actually stops producing and not a minute more. If Chicago wants to clear some cap space in this offseason id be willing take on hossas contract and the early retirement penaltys for sure.  Its no coincidence that hes played in four stanley cup finals and has 2 to his name.

David Schwartz
David Schwartz

@mrcisback Yes, but he also took the guarantee of getting paid millions for years to come.  It's the price to pay for being young and awesome in this league and many players around the league take the same approach.  I know if I were him i'd rather have wanted a long term deal over a short term contract early in my career heaven forbid I have a career ending injury or changing injury.  

Don22
Don22

@dkdk You are right DK.  But would it really be in his best interest to do that?  Unless the Isles make him a really great offer before the end of the season why would Vanek want to do that?  He's in a stretch of some of his best hockey of his career and playing with JT.  His bargaining power will most likely be so much more once he completes what could be one of his best seasons. 

I wish he would say that too, but from a business standpoint he would be nuts to do it.  Any player would be.

Don22
Don22

@fan42long Wait.  They traded away Moulson because of salary in order to get Vanek?  Vanek costs almost 2 million more than MM.  If Moulson was dumped for salary reasons then a) you don't include 2 draft picks with it and b) you don't acquire a player that costs more. 

David Schwartz
David Schwartz

@fan42long I have faith that the move to Brooklyn has a much bigger affect then most fans realize especially since Wang and his world are about to actually make a profit instead of currently having THE WORST LEASE IN PRO SPORTS.  If in two or three years this team is still at the cap floor then fine i'm on board the sell the team train, but Wang is first and foremost a business man who got spurned over and over again by the county and the surrounding communities and is now joining a partnership that is actually paying him to be there.  Smart businessman reinvest into the companies they own to make them profitable especially when making a profit and whether you like Wang or not he didn't become mega rich by accident.

Don22
Don22

@bubbamac19The Isles are no doubt much further along than Buffalo.  He's playing with much more talent here and he never had anyone close to JT in his years there.  Unless the Isles make an offer too good to refuse before the end of the season, he will certainly hit FA.  It doesn't make sense for him to commit to anything now when he is having one of his best stretches of hockey and most likely will finish with a very good season.  

I don't think it's fair to compare him to Yashin.  What has been the questions about his character?  The only thing I've heard is that over the last year or so he said he didn't want to be part of a rebuild.  Yashin's character came into question mainly because of money and contract issues.  


With all that said, I think the Isles have a shot at signing him as long as their offer is competitive. Maybe they need to overpay a little bit, but what team hasn't done that?  It will be tough, but I don't think it's out of the question.

Ari BZ
Ari BZ

@neeza06 Hossa is certainly a great, elite player, as is Vanek. Gaborik, another UFA is also an elite player, but he's had an injury plagued season at the very worst time. Heatley, on the other hand...what in the world happened to him?

mrcisback
mrcisback

@David Schwartz @mrcisback Your right David but since Tavares has signed his contract two years ago many other young players with lesser talent have signed for the same money or more. I would still like to see what type of offers come in before we consider signing Vanek.

⚓Sween638⚓
⚓Sween638⚓

Let's not forget one of the reasons he's doing so well is because he's playing alongside arguably the 2nd best player in the league. And that's a huge selling point.

dkdk
dkdk

@don .... It doesn't help or hurt in my opinion. He says it and then forces Wangs hand, if his intent is really to stay. If he says it and wang doesn't pony up he still goes UFA. It isn't like saying means he has to take less. Maybe it is a bit of semantics but it would have been nice to hear I WANT TO STAY. And as many quasi nice things that were said that wasn't one of them.

fan42long
fan42long

@Don22

No. Sending Moulson over to Buffalo in that deal was ridiculous. Yes they took on more salary by adding Vanek, but relieved that somewhat by including Mouslon. That's not a real hockey deal. Serious organizations don't operate like that, especially when they are closer to the cap floor than ceiling. Those excited about the idea of signing Vanek long term have not been paying attention and live in a fantasy world. If they do, Wang will not invest in other areas. He's not doing it now, he won't later. Brooklyn won't change that. Just my opinion. Goalie and D first, by way of Vanek trade. Forwards by way of UFA or trade or cap relief trade. You don't need a 7 million dollar Vanek playing with Tavares. You can get production there from a 3 million dollar player.

fan42long
fan42long

@David Schwartz

Faith is good. I'm not a faith guy, I'm a practical guy. Wang is the the worst owner in the NHL. His decisions have been terrible, He hires inept people. He plays favorites with people and creates golden boys at the expense of success. A new building doesn't change that. Same stink, new box. A smart businessman would have been practical and realistic in his efforts to get a new arena. Mr. Wang chased a dream with the Lighthouse. It was doomed from day 1. He should have known that. I hope you faith is warranted, because I'm a fan too and would love to see success. I'm not optimistic as long as the Wang circus has control. We'll see.

dkdk
dkdk

Yep he got it by stealing 700M from CA shareholders

Don22
Don22

@mrcisback @David Schwartz There is no way the team could be worried about paying Vanek more than JT.  If that were the case then they wouldn't have traded for him.  I don't know if there is an option to redo his contract down the road, but if there is I am sure they will do it.  And I am sure that JT is not worried about not being the highest paid player on the team.  I am sure he would gladly be second/third if he is getting talented players on the team.  If he were to be worried about that  then he wouldn't have signed his contract in the first place.

jepliberty
jepliberty

@since72

You got 1 year of fandom on me with this team, it was the 73/74 season when I became a Islanders fan.

jepliberty
jepliberty

@since72

Maybe we the fans should put a decapitated horses head  ala Godfather in Wangs bed, to coerce him to sign Vanek no matter what, by making him an offer HE can't refuse. lol

since72
since72

@Don22 @dkdk @jepliberty I believe that they will make him an offer that he can't refuse.  JT will understand that the market is higher than when he signed and his day will come.  Meanwhile he gets to play with a very talented player for years to come.  Vanek said he likes it here.  This means that he can be signed.  Mr. Wang simply has to make sure it happens.  If, however, Vanek insists on checking out the free agent market, then as DK said above, he has to be moved by the deadline.

Don22
Don22

@dkdk @jepliberty Right.  Which is why I think the Isles are prepared to do whatever they can to keep him here.  I think they know it may take an over the top offer.  They have shown willingness to do that before.  

I am sure as Vanek had said, they are talking.  A lot goes on behind closed doors that we aren't privy to.  But I also don't think we should read into anything just because we don't hear him saying he loves it here and wants to be buried here. 

dkdk
dkdk

Completely agree jepliberty

jepliberty
jepliberty

@Don22@briane10@dkdk

Shouldn't Wang, and Snow take into consideration of what, and how JT will feel if an unsuitable offer is offered to Vanek, and he bolts for greener [money] pastures, I imagine that JT is getting a bit sick of changing his wingers even so often, that doesn't give him a sense of optimism, and success, and perhaps a jaundiced eye at the whole organization, causing him to think he made a mistake, re signing.

dkdk
dkdk

Sorry Briane I don't think I am looking at it as a fan only, I am looking as an expense. We were not and are not in position to trade away a very good player and a 1 and 2 for 65 games of a player. If he isn't signed he has to get moved. There is no way you can let him get to July and have 10 plus teams bid on him.

Don22
Don22

@Scott Weinstein@Don22@briane10@dkdkDefinitely.  I would say he's going to get at least 7 mil per.  I guess it all depends on what is most important to him.  He might take less money per if he can get a longer contract, or visa versa.  Either way, I truly think the Isles will make a worthwhile offer.

I was reading a little about the history of the Isles and so many past players would say how they were skeptical about coming to the team because they right away thought NY = city, crime, traffic etc.  Then they see Long Island and are blown away.  Hopefully Vanek can experience how great Long Island can be and how different it is from "the city" without being in the middle of nowhere.


Scott Weinstein
Scott Weinstein

@Don22 @briane10 @dkdk Vanek's going to get paid whether it's here, Minnesota or someplace else. I agree both sides are bargaining with each other, but, ultimately in the end Vanek holds the winning hand.

Don22
Don22

@briane10@dkdkI see what you are saying DK.  It doesn't really hurt or help his position, but I guess my point is that - unless the Isles throw out a too good to refuse offer in-season, he's not going to commit here.  My gut says he is going to hit the FA market to see what is out there.  That's not to say that the Isles won't be in the running - they may even have an edge.  But I'm sure he is going to let the market decide how much he is worth.  The risk for him is that it's not as high as he would have liked.  Hopefully Garth is able to make a good contract offer before the season is out that makes him consider not hitting the open market.  Unfortunately I don't think he will consider anything from the Isles until he sees what else is out there.


I would love to hear him say I love it here and want to stay, but I agree with Briane10 - that's from a fans perspective and just not how it works in the business side of it.

briane10
briane10

@dkdk you're thinking about it from a fan's perspective. vanek's bargaining chip here is that he can walk at the end of the season. so it would be silly for him to say, "PLEASE LET ME STAY!" it tips his negotiating hand. from a UFA-to-be, i think he struck the perfect tone: he likes the team, he likes the area, and they're talking. i, honestly, really can't ask for any more than that.

Don22
Don22

@jepliberty@fan42long@Don22I don't think anyone is under the illusion that once they move to Brooklyn they will automatically play better.  They might be a little bit because some of the young talent will have more experience and (hopefully) better.  But going into that building they need to bring in some more talent.  I know many will say it wouldn't surprise them, but I can't imagine they aren't going to spend some money to get some higher profile talent.  That is why Vanek is an important signing and I really truly believe that the trade for him was more about next year and beyond than just helping this year.  They will throw the kitchen sink at him.  If at that point he still walks, then what can you do?  You can't stop trying.

jepliberty
jepliberty

@fan42long@Don22

The move to Bklyn and the notion that this team will be playing well due to said move is moronic without an upgrade to it's talent base, the goalie situation is cloudy,the D albeit playing better needs improvement, and if they lose Vanek forget about it for another season or 2.

dkdk
dkdk

Fan42long I couldn't agree more particularly on his overly grandiose plans for the land that the Coli sits on. That as much as inept politicians will be why the team is in the basketball boro.

fan42long
fan42long

@Don22@fan42long 

I hope you are right, because I bleed blue and orange and I have hated what has been going here for a while. I don't dispute Vanek's talent and agree re. lifting Tavares to another level. I just worry that the Isles being limited financially may become a top heavy team, causing the existing holes to get wider. I wouldn't accept just anyone on JT's line. There are quality values out there every year ie. Raymond, MacArthur, etc. I'd love to be wrong about this as it would mean Isles success.

Don22
Don22

@fan42long@Don22It's also worth mentioning that there was a time when Charles did spend on this team the first few years or so.  But when the new arena didn't pan out and revenue was still declining, he pulled back.  It remains to be seen, but I think this off season will see more money spent on the team.  It has to be done going into the new arena in 2015.  Otherwise what is the point?


You say he is a bad businessman.  Many in the business world would say he is doing just was a good business man should when revenues aren't hitting expectations.  Cut back on spending.  Of course as fans, that doesn't cut it with us - but in the long run, he owns a business and just like any business you want to maximize your profit margin. 

Don22
Don22

@fan42long@Don22First off, let me thank you for replying like an adult and not calling me names or dismissing me just because I disagree.  That is how this site should be.

Anyway, it sounds like you are saying that they should just find anyone to put on JT's wing, because JT will help them produce.  If so, then you are probably the 1st person I have seen that hasn't been calling for a top wing to play on his line. 

What you are saying is true to an extent.  Most anyone can have success on JTs line. But having Vanek there does so much more. He is a player that actually makes JT BETTER.  He opens up the ice and forces teams to focus a little less on JT.  When you have middling support on the line (like MM and maybe Raymond), the focus is on JT and he has to work that much harder to make that line successful.  If he is eliminated, the line is pretty much eliminated.  Now with Vanek and JT on the same line (and KO), it makes them that much harder to defend and I think you can agree that line has been a beast and probably one of the best in the league these past couple of weeks.

I agree that they need to focus on D and G, but Vanek (or someone like him) is another aspect this team needs and I think if they can sign him it is well worth it.  If it is at the expense of upgrading the D and G in the off season then that's another thing - but that remains to be seen.

fan42long
fan42long

@Don22 

Look at a guy like Mason Raymond. 2.25 mill/yr. Put him on a line with JT and he's a 60 point guy. That's a smart signing, especially if you are light on cash like the Isles. 

Trade Vanek. Get a goalie, a steady vet dman, sign a Raymond type. Same investment, better team.