You ask, we answer. The Post is fielding questions from readers about New York’s biggest pro sports teams and getting our beat writers to answer them in a series of regularly published mailbags. In today’s installment: the Giants.
Do you see Daniel Jones leading the Giants to a Super Bowl in this decade? — Marcadiell Scott
That is really what it is all about, isn’t it? A quarterback should be taken high in the draft only if the team can envision him leading it to a Super Bowl. Anyone who says for sure Daniel Jones can or cannot is blowing smoke. What I can say is this: After Jones’s rookie season, I feel more confident about him than I did about Eli Manning after his rookie year in 2004.
Jones led the Giants to just three wins in 12 starts, and Manning won only one of his seven starts as a rookie. Based on what I saw from Jones in 2019, what I sense from him and how I believe he will continue to attack the job, I see no reason why he cannot be a big part of any future Giants success — as long as the front office and coaching staff do their parts, as far as adding talent and molding that talent.
Why did the Giants hire Jason Garrett if he might move on after a successful season? Won’t this put Daniel Jones into another learning year? — James Loughead
Possibly, yes. This is the risk taken when hiring a former head coach with a winning record for a coordinator role. It could be viewed as a win-win situation for Jones and the Giants. If Garrett is a highly sought head-coach candidate in 2021, it means he did some really good things with the Giants, and Jones, in 2020. Don’t forget, Garrett, in more than a decade with the Cowboys, has on his résumé just two playoff victories. He is 85-67 in the regular season but 2-3 in the postseason. Doing great things with Jones will benefit Jones, even if Garrett leaves after only one year.
How likely is a Markus Golden return to NYG with just over a month until the UFA tender requires him to come back to Big Blue? — John Schmitt
That’s a tough question to answer, because the unrestricted free-agent tender the Giants put on Golden is not used often, thus there are not many precedents to look back on. At this point, I think it is quite likely Golden stays with the Giants. The tender will pay Golden $4.1 million for the 2020 season, and unless he can find a better offer before July 22, he can only play for the Giants this season.
Is any team willing to give Golden more money? Maybe, but probably not, considering he has been on the open market and teams could make a play for him at any time. It seemed to me Golden, after playing in all 16 games last season and leading the Giants with 10 sacks, did enough to improve his market value. Apparently, that was not the case. If the Giants get him back on a one-year deal for $4.1 million, it will be a huge factor for the pass rush.
Will the players have enough time to be in player shape if the season opens on time, or do you think there will be a lot of injuries? — Roger Levin
Submit your Giants questions here to be answered in an upcoming Post mailbag
This is a great fear coursing through the entire league, as no one knows what to expect when players scattered across the country finally gather at the team facilities at the end of July for training camp. The players should be in shape, but they will be far away from any reasonable football shape. There is a difference. There was no on-site offseason workout program this year. Normally, players spend several months doing football activities, together, at the team facility, and there was none of that this spring. This will be an issue.
Coaches are going to have to slowly indoctrinate players back in. There is a chance teams will open up a pre-camp a few days early to acclimate players who have been away for months. You can be sure the trainers and medical staffs will be on high alert this summer.
In 2019, the Giants lost 5 games by a total of 29 points to the Cardinals, Lions, Jets, Bears and Eagles. I’m not saying they should’ve won those 5 games, but they were in (them) till the end. … Is their new roster capable of matching up that much better with the 2020 opponents? — John Lynch
Those games you reference caught the attention of Giants ownership and led to the determination that Pat Shurmur and most of his coaching staff needed to be replaced. Ownership was aware of the talent deficiencies on the roster and also the risk-reward inherent in starting a rookie quarterback. Those close games against mostly middling competition were an indication Shurmur was not up to the job, as far as navigating the Giants to victories in games they could actually win. I know the terrible start (falling behind 17-0), at home, coming off a 10-day break, to the Cardinals particularly galled ownership. So, it is not a pipe dream to think with an improved roster and better coaching, the Giants can win a few of those close games in 2020 that slipped away in 2019.