Trade deadline shows GM Joe Schoen, Giants realistic about 6-2 squad

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The look on New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen’s face said it all. He’s enjoying the hot start to this season, the Giants' best since 2012, but he’s not unrealistic about the team he assembled in his first year on the job.

“6-2,” Schoen said with a smirk when asked if the Giants’ early season success is sustainable. “Recipe or not, it’s working. I think, again, there’s nine games left. There’s things we know we can improve on. You can’t coach effort. You can’t coach toughness, and our guys have been tough. They’ve been competitive. They’ve been resilient. They’re playing their butts off. They’re preparing right. Some weeks, there’s just going to be negative matchups.”

This was a clear look into the Giants’ mentality at the midway point of the season. Schoen and coach Brian Daboll share a motto: Compete for today and build for tomorrow.

Still, the Giants didn’t make any moves at the trade deadline on Tuesday. Their only trade came last week when they shipped oft-injured wide receiver Kadarius Toney to the Kansas City Chiefs for a 2023 compensatory third-round pick and sixth-round pick.

The Giants traded away a talented player at a position of need and didn’t add anyone back but have been consistent in saying it was the best decision for the organization.

“You just can’t be reckless with those draft picks and the future capital where we are as we build this thing,” Schoen said.

Schoen’s “fingers are crossed” that wide receiver Kenny Golladay will be back following the bye week and he left open the possibility of re-signing Odell Beckham Jr. when the wide receiver is fully recovered from a torn ACL he suffered in Super Bowl LVI, even if the latter seems way more unlikely than not.

“You have to step back and honestly evaluate the roster too,” Schoen said. “You can get caught up in the, ‘Hey, we won the game,’ but we were also down 17-3 in the game at some point. You’ve got to step back and look at it for what it is. Again, there’s several positions where you look at it and maybe you don’t have a lot of depth or maybe we’re a little bit older or what’s best for the future in a three-to-four-year window -- you’re always analyzing that -- or what’s just better for this year.”

The Giants will talk this week about extending their impending free agents -- safety Julian Love, running back Saquon Barkley and quarterback Daniel Jones come to mind. Schoen said that if any deals are done, he would like to have them by Monday to avoid any distractions the remainder of the season.

And although he was complimentary of Barkley and Jones, it seems more likely those decisions will be made after the season.

“There’s nine games left, so it’s an ongoing evaluation for everybody on the roster, not just Saquon and Daniel being [unrestricted free agents],” Schoen said. “Obviously, those are two important players to where we are right now, but it’s a constant evaluation. We still have nine games left.”

The Giants kick off those remaining nine games as a surprising sixth seed in the NFC with home games against the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions -- who are a combined 2-11-1.

“I just take it day by day. Those [wins] are in the past; put money in the bank, so to speak,” Daboll said earlier this week. “We’re sitting at 6-2. We have nine games left that are on the schedule, and we got to take them one week at a time.”