An elite-level QB with elite-level swagger, RG3 more than deserves a shot elsewhere
The NFL's cut down to 53 players has come and gone and Robert Griffin III was not one of those cut by the Redskins despite the uneasy relationship with management, embarrassing on the Washington Redskins part. As a Giants fan I certainly don't like the Redskins but when it comes to the NFC East I'll root for Washington over Philly and Dallas any day of the week, especially when RG3 is under center. One could argue I'm bias after I closely followed and relished his college career at Baylor, or maybe one could just look at the facts/numbers. The facts are Robert was drafted #2 overall (!) not because of his arm but because of his arm/feet combo, in other words he can make plays running (ran for 815 yards, 7 TD, 6.8 yards per carry as a rookie). And it somehow seems that Robert's best attribute (his ability to take off and run) has become his biggest weakness. The Redskins (and it's primarily Jay Gruden) have taken away RG3's running game which has limited him as a player. When you take away his running capabilities then teams preparing for RG3 focus solely on his passing which come gameday has showed the last 2 seasons. I understand the injuries that come with a mobile QB, and which are certainly tied to RG3, but again, he wasn't drafted #2 overall because of strictly his passing ability. If the front office is all the sudden going to say "don't run" then they basically wasted a #2 overall pick, and if they didn't weight out the positives and negatives of drafting a scrambler #2 then shame on them. RG3 is a consummate pro who can play the game of football and certainly deserves a starting role elsewhere in the league. Say what you want about RG3 publicly saying he's the best QB in the league but how do you not love that fire and cockyness? - It kind of reminds me of Tom Brady (disclaimer: I'm not comparing RG3 to Tommy Terrific). Those are certainly qualities I want in my QB. Since the team did not cut Robert then hopefully they trade him for not only his sake, but their own as well since we all know that as long as RG3 is a 'skin, this will drag on. But from a team in such disarray that isn't going to finish above .500 this season, what else can you expect?
My favorite image of Osi has to be his sack of Matt Ryan (and tackle Will Svitek) in the 2011 Wild Card game. From that moment on, I knew the Giants were clicking, and indeed they were as Osi and the Giants went on to capture their 2nd Super Bowl victory in 5 years.
“Umi” was a 2nd round pick to the Giants in 2003 out of Troy University. He recorded 1 sack in 13 games his rookie season but followed that with a promising 7-sack sophomore campaign. In 2005 Osi recorded 14.5 sacks (good for 2nd in the league) accompanied by 4 forced fumbles and was selected to the Pro Bowl as well as receiving the prestigious “All-Pro” tag. He missed 5 games in ‘06 but got back up to speed in 2007 and teamed up with Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck, and Mathias Kiwanuka to combine for 36.5 regular season sacks (6 of which came from Osi in one game vs. the Eagles) en route to a Super Bowl victory over the then-undefeated New England Patriots.
Strahan retired after the ‘07 Super Bowl victory leaving Osi and Tuck the keys to the kingdom, but things took a turn for the worst when Umi injured his knee in the ‘08 preseason and missed the regular season.
Nobody knew what to expect in 2009 coming off the injury but Osi still managed to sack the quarterback 7 times and recover 4 fumbles. Not knowing if Osi was truly back, the Giants drafted a raw defensive end by the name of Jason Pierre-Paul with the 15th pick of the 2010 draft. Paul got to the QB 4.5 times as a rookie which was nothing compared to Osi’s 11.5 sacks, and maybe more impressively his 10 forced fumbles. Umenyiora was perhaps snubbed by the Pro Bowl voters that season but had bigger plans in 2011. He missed a lot of time to injury that year, but in 9 games he still had 9 sacks, and he added 3.5 more sacks in the postseason - a postseason that ended with Osi and the Giants hoisting another Lombardi Trophy.
The following season, the 31 year-old Osi only had 6 sacks in 16 games (only 4 starts) and the Giants appeared that they were more committed to their new star, Pierre-Paul. Osi spent the last 2 seasons in Atlanta where he tallied 10 sacks and had a couple big return touchdowns.
It was only appropriate that he retired as a Giant. I thought that he might reunite with Coach Spagnuolo for one last run in a blue uniform but that was not the case. 85 sacks, 5 touchdowns, and 2 Super Bowl victories later, what else is there for Osi to prove? I wish him the best of luck in his life after football and thank him for his 9 years of playmaking for the New York Giants.
Eli Eli Eli. Highest paid QB in the NFL? Come on now. Making Eli Manning the highest paid QB in the league would be a contract solely based off what he’s done (2 Superbowls - of which I’m very grateful for) but a sane front office knows that a contract should be based on predicted future performance, to avoid leaving, what I call, dead money, on the table. Eli’s 34 now and it’s hard to make the argument that his best days lie ahead. Yes, he does have one of the best young receiving corps on his side but the Cruz-Nicks duo of 2013 wasn’t bad on paper and Eli still threw a whopping 27 picks (yes, I suppose that offense was a debacle all around). I say see what Eli can do this year. 2nd year with the new offense, healthy RB’s, uber-talent receivers, the o-line is so-so but it has been and will be until they can find a legitimate anchor. If Eli can get the G-Men back to the playoffs, which [t]he[y] haven’t managed to do since winning it all in 2011, then sure, go ahead and pay the guy. But if you pay him now and the Giants struggle, then what? In that scenario (one where the Giants miss the playoffs), Coughlin is most likely gone (McAdoo too?), and you’ve spent all this money on Eli that could be allocated towards other upcoming team free agents (Amukamara, J. Brown, DeOssie, Jenkins, McClain, RANDLE, J. Jones? Fells?) and the outside free agency pool (which the Giants never seem to win). I’m just saying, letting Eli go isn’t the worst thing for the future outlook of this franchise. Especially if the timing is right for him to leave with Coughlin, paying Eli his due diligence - if there is such a thing. There’s plenty of good young college QB’s (Hackenberg, Cook, 12 Gauge, Goff, Kiel, Kessler, etc.) that will be draft eligible in the upcoming drafts that would look mighty fine in big blue. I love the goof ball and I think in the end he will be a Giant, but I think Jerry Reese needs to look at this proposed deal long and hard before any ink is set to paper.