Replacing the Released: What’s the Plan?

It’s that time of year. The time when teams have begun making their offseason “evaluations” by shedding their rosters of  high-paid veterans.  The Giants have perhaps made the biggest splash by releasing RB Ahmad Bradshaw, LB Michael Boley and DT Chris Canty.

So how will they replace these veterans?

First off, there’s no replacing Bradshaw. He is one of the toughest runners in all of football. That is, when he’s healthy. Unfortunately, Bradshaw has not been healthy lately and, as we speak, he’s recovering from another surgical procedure on his foot.

His departure leaves the Giants with second-year RB David Wilson at the top of the depth chart. No complaints with that, but its what’s behind him that worries us.

Andre Brown is an RFA who the team expects to tender, but he finished the season on IR after breaking his leg in Week 12. If he’s healthy, hopefully he can regain his form. The Giants will need to find a power back if Brown is not ready.

Third-year enigma Da’Rel Scott will be back, but he has yet show what he can do from scrimmage. Vets Kregg Lumpkin and Ryan Torain, both who will become UFAs next month, could be brought back cheaply.

These options may not be satisfactory for the Giants. It may cause them to take Bradshaw’s temperature this summer if a) he hasn’t been scooped up by another team and/or b) if he’s healthy. That is, if they haven’t already brought in another vet, draftee or UDFA by that time.

The other two appear to be gone for good.

Boley, whose playing time was cut as the season went on, has been nagged by several injuries – most notably a hamstring. The take-out plan for him has already been mapped out. He will be replaced by either Jacquian Williams, Spencer Paysinger or Keith Rivers (should the Giants re-sign him).

It is rumored that Carolina has interest in Canty, which makes sense now that former Giant exec Dave Gettlemen is calling the shots down there. This could be a fit for the former Virginia star.

With Canty gone, the Giants have several options at tackle. Linval Joseph’s development has been slow, but he’s been getting better in increments. He’s a starter. Shaun Rogers, who spent all of last season on IR with blood clot issues, has been re-signed.  Seventh-round draft pick Markus Kuhn played well before his season was ended by a knee injury. And then, there is Marvin Austin, if you’re still interested….

The Giants have mentioned they may slide Justin Tuck into a tackle slot on some plays to give the others a blow. Now that Mathias Kiwanuka will be back in the DE rotation, Tuck’s reps could be reduced, freeing him up for other assignments. Not ht most ideal situation, but they are locked into Tuck for at least this season.

If there is a drop-dead, lead-pipe cinch at DT that falls into their lap at the draft, the team will look at any and all low-cost options available.