He’s all-in on quarterback Eli Manning going into his age-37 season, and there’s an urgency to win now. How do we know?
At No. 2, the Giants went with a running back, which indicates a need to build around Manning. Gettleman also acquired Will Hernandez to strengthen the interior of the offensive line. The UTEP product should help keep defensive tackles away from Manning and clear lanes for Saquon Barkley.
Barkley immediately elevates the Giants backfield that currently rosters 31-year-old Jonathan Stewart, 2017 fourth-rounder Wayne Gallman, third-year ball-carrier Jalen Simmons and undrafted rookie Robert Martin.
Secondly, it would serve the Jets well to give Bridgewater time on the field to showcase him as a trade asset. Once Darnold starts, there’s no turning back, but it’s not going to happen until midway through the year at the earliest. McCown has never started a full 16-game season, and he’s not going to start at age 39.
The Browns need a lead cornerback after trading Jason McCourty to the New England Patriots. The front office acquired slot cornerback T.J. Carrie and E.J. Gaines. The latter put together a solid year with the Bills, but injuries have cost him several games in the past three seasons.
It helped that their rookie class was one of the best in league history. They became the first team in half a century to possess both the Offensive (Alvin Kamara) and Defensive (Marshon Lattimore) Rookies of the Year, but it didn’t stop there. First-round offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk and second-round safety Marcus Williams also became tremendous assets as regular starters.
There’s no reason to believe those four won’t continue to improve coming off their first full offseasons in the league. And if that happens, a team that was a Super Bowl contender in 2017 might actually become a favorite in 2018.