Jun 14, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receivers Rueben Randle (82) , Isaiah Stanback (18) , Dan DePalma (15) and Ramses Barden (13) during the Giants minicamp at their training facility. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
When it comes to the Redskins offseason, no news is typically good news for all parties involved--except the media, that is. Still, it's incumbent upon writers to find a productive use of this time. With that in mind, I thought we'd take an early look at the personnel changes our NFC East opponents have made since last season. Let's start with the Giants, because why not?
Released Brandon Jacobs. Signed first-round pick David Wilson and undrafted free agent Joe Martinek (FB). Jacobs had 40 percent of the carries last season, so his absence leaves Ahmad Bradshaw as the only other accomplished back. Rookie Wilson brings speed and explosiveness to the table, and the Giants hope he can become Bradshaw's primary backup this year.
Lost Mario Manningham, Devin Thomas, and Michael Clayton in free agency. Signed second-round pick Reuben Randle and undrafted free agents Brandon Collins, David Douglas, and Julian Talley. Victor Cruz excelled, especially in the slot, last season, but the Giants lost an outside threat in Manningham. Hakeem Nicks will sit out with a broken bone in his foot until August, leaving the door open for Domenik Hixon or even rookie Randle to step up.
Waived Jake Ballard (torn ACL). Signed third-round pick Adrien Robinson and free agents Martellus Bennett, Ryan Purvis, and Larry Donnell. Both Ballard and Travis Beckum tore ACLs in the Super Bowl. At 6'4" and 260 pounds, Robinson has been called the "Jason Pierre-Paul of tight ends" by Giants staff. They added another young, athletic TE in Bennett, but he suffered a series of injuries at the end of last season and showed up to OTAs at 291 pounds.
Lost Kareem Mckenzie (OT) , Tony Ugoh (OT), and Stacy Andrews (G/OT) in free agency. Signed fourth-round pick Brandon Mosley (OT), sixth-round pick Matt McCants (OT), and undrafted free agent Stephen Goodin (G). Signed free agents Sean Locklear (OT), Chris White (C), and Joel Reinders (OT). Slated starting guards Kevin Boothe and Chris Snee will anchor the line, but iffy performance by starting LT Will Beatty last season has opened the door for challengers.
Lost Aaron Ross in free agency and waived Brian Witherspoon (torn ACL). Signed third-round pick Jayron Hosley and free agents Antwaun Molden and Dante Hughes. Injuries to Prince Amukamara and Terrell Thomas forced Corey Webster to step up, and he delivered. Giants hope Thomas will return from injury to take the departed Aaron Ross's starting spot, but Amukamara is also a viable candidate. The health of Thomas and Amukamara will determine Jayron Hosley's opportunities.
Waived Chad Jones (failed physical) and lost Deon Grant and Derrick Martin in free agency. Signed undrafted free agents Janzen Jackson and JoJo Nicolas, and free agents Chris Horton, Stevie Brown, and Will Hill. Often used a three safety package of Antrel Rolle, Kenny Phillips, and Deon Grant last season. In the absence of a competent replacement for Grant, the Giants would have to rely more on linebackers, a historically weak spot in the defense.
Lost Jonathan Goff in free agency to the Skins. Traded 2012 fifth-round pick for Keith Rivers, and signed undrafted free agent Jake Muasau and free agent Chase Blackburn. Linebackers have been a perennial roster weakness, and Rivers looks like a steal. Minicamp starters were Michael Boley, Chase Blackburn, and Mathias Kiwanuka. The team is also excited about the potential of young Jacquian Williams.
Lost Jimmy Kennedy (DT) and Dave Tollefson (DE) in free agency. Signed seventh-round pick Markus Kuhn (DT) and undrafted free agents Matt Broha (DE) and Adewale Ojomo (DE). Signed free agents Shaun Rogers (DT) and Rocky Bernard (DT). One of the best pass-rushing groups in the league. The soft spot will be Chris Canty and Linval Joseph, who could lose their starting spots to Marvin Austin if the Giants don't improve against the run. Adrian Tracy has been moved to DE, and is shaping up to be a competent backup to Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul.