Yes, the Giants are champs, but we're already thinking repeat. So we came up with the 10 burning questions Big Blue will need to answer this offseason. We addressed the first five on Thursday. Now, without further ado, here are the rest.
Mo' Money, Mo' Problems
As you can see, the Giants have some tough decisions to make in the offseason. Their cap situation could make those even tougher.
The salary cap for next season has yet to be determined, so we'll have to see how close the Giants are to the cap. The Giants have 24 players who are not under contract for 2012 (Jake Ballard is an exclusive rights free agent and Bear Pascoe and Bruce Johnson are expected to be restricted free agents). Teams also have to have $5 million put aside for the upcoming draft picks.
Reese was pretty conservative with his spending for the most part last season, and it paid off. Instead of making sexy moves like the Eagles did, Reese made some minor moves that turned to be key ones, like signing punter Steve Weatherford and re-signing guys like defensive end Dave Tollefson, offensive lineman Kevin Boothe and safety Deon Grant.
He also was hoping for young unproven talent like Cruz and Ballard to step up and they did. So, who will be the next to step up on the roster? The Giants have some intriguing young talent. Could Ramses Barden or third-round pick Jerrel Jernigan get a chance if Mario Manningham leaves? The Giants have young running backs like D.J. Ware, Da'Rel Scott and Andre Brown if Jacobs does not return.
And there could be injured players returning like cornerback Terrell Thomas and middle linebacker Jonathan Goff. Both are free agents, but the Giants are expected to try to bring both back.
While the Giants often went with three safeties, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has a core of young linebackers behind those four with Greg Jones, Mark Herzlich and Spencer Paysinger. Blackburn, who had the big interception in the Super Bowl and was a huge addition late in the season, is a free agent. And Goff, another free agent, will be making his way back from a torn ACL.
The Giants' offensive line has some question marks entering next season. Who will be the starting tackles? Will Beatty has been cleared to play again after eye surgery. David Diehl displayed his versatility, moving from left guard back to left tackle, where he started the Giants' final 10 games, among them their six-game winning streak to finish the season.
Right tackle Kareem McKenzie is a free agent. So if McKenzie does not return, the Giants will have to figure out who will play right tackle. While the running game improved late in the season, the Giants need to make it better and improve on run blocking next season.
Thanks to their Super Bowl victory, the Giants will select with the last pick of the first round (32nd overall). Reese could go with the best talent available, but at that spot, he could address his biggest needs as well.
The Giants can use an offensive lineman, tight end, running back, speedy/athletic returner and another cornerback or safety for depth.
But Reese will be adding to a Super Bowl roster, not trying to build one.