Who will be the head coach next year? The Giants have said nothing official regarding the status of longtime coach Tom Coughlin, and Coughlin declined to answer questions this week about whether he wanted to come back. But signs seemed to point to a parting of ways, and it's possible the Giants could be in the market for a new coach as early as Monday. Would they promote one of their coordinators? Would they go out on the market and start interviewing other people's coordinators -- guys like Hue Jackson, Adam Gase, Sean McDermott? Would they try to lure a college coach like Stanford's David Shaw? If Coughlin goes, it begins an era of uncertainty.
What to do with all that cap space? Once they're done adjusting and jettisoning veterans' contracts, the Giants could have something in the neighborhood of $50 million in cap room. They need to build a defense with it -- find a free safety, at least one pass-rusher, a middle linebacker, lots of stuff on that side of the ball. They will need to address wide receiver, with Rueben Randle likely to leave in free agency and Victor Cruz still a question mark. They need another tackle if Will Beatty's gone. The Giants will have a high draft pick again, but they'll need to get to work on some roster building when the market opens in March, too.
Does Jason Pierre-Paul come back? The Giants' 2010 first-round draft pick lost his right index finger in a July 4 fireworks accident and missed the first eight games of the season. He's playing with a heavy club wrap on his badly damaged right hand, but he's having surgery after the season to repair his middle finger and hopefully allow him to play with a four-fingered glove instead. Since his return, Pierre-Paul has shown he has something to offer in the pass rush, but he's also obviously limited by his condition. The Giants likely would bring him back for the right price, but if he's looking to get as big a free-agent contract as possible, he might end up elsewhere.
And what about Prince Amukamara? The Giants' 2011 first-round pick is also a free agent and has struggled through the latter part of the season with a pectoral injury. He has played a full 16-game season only once in five years, and while they like Amukamara a lot, the Giants will wonder about the wisdom of committing big free-agent dollars to a player they can't trust to stay healthy. After guys like Josh Norman and Sean Smith likely sign for mega money, there's still going to be a robust market for cornerbacks and demand for Amukamara. He, too, could price himself out of the Giants' preferred range.
Whom should they draft? Looking at the free-agent market, there isn't likely to be an impact answer in the pass rush. Denver's all but certain to re-sign or franchise Von Miller. Mario Williams could hit the market but isn't a long-term solution. Ditto Justin Tuck, though it'd be fun to bring him back. And it's hard to imagine them going after Greg Hardy or Aldon Smith. So it seems pass-rusher is the way the Giants should be thinking with their first-round pick. Someone like Oregon's DeForest Buckner or Clemson's Shaq Lawson could make sense.