The New York Giants are one of the most successful franchises in the NFL. Since their inception in 1925 they have won 8 championships, including four Super Bowls. They have a 4-1 record in Super Bowls, including winning their most recent 2 as underdogs against the mighty New England Patriots. However, since that 2011 triumph a lot has changed for the Giants.
They have made the playoffs just once since then, quickly getting ousted in the wildcard round by the Green Bay Packers. They fired Tom Coughlin and then quickly dumped his successor Ben McAdoo. They now find themselves at the foot of the NFC East after an all-in bid in 2016 failed. However, the Giants still have a number of quality players that you can build a team around, unfortunately the holes in the roster greatly outnumber the star players.
In Madden 19’s Franchise Mode you have the chance to take over the Giants, rebuild the team, and make them a Super Bowl contender once again. You have a long road ahead of you as the Giants start Franchise Mode with an appalling 73 overall rating. This is tied for the worst rating in the game and is made up of a 77 rated offense and a 73 rated defense, which is also tied for the worst. That shows you the extent of the job at hand for anyone trying to lead the Giants back to the top of the NFL. Let’s start by looking at how much cap space the Giants have to work with.
New York Giants Cap Space
The Giants start Franchise Mode with 62 players on their roster and $55.7 million in cap space. This is a pretty healthy place to start from as you have plenty of money with which to retain your star players and also make additions in free agency.
You have to cut 9 players to get down to the 53-man regular season roster limit, but thankfully there are 33 players that can be cut without incurring a cap penalty. While you don’t have to make any cuts for strictly financial reasons, There are some players like tight end Zak DeOssie that you can save over $1 million by getting rid of and you won’t notice their absence. Cutting down to 53 should open up another $2-3 million in cap space too, which will help restock the roster with talent when you reach free agency at the end of season 1.
New York Giants Impending Free Agents
The Giants have 30 players entering the last year of their contract at the start of Franchise Mode. Most of these players can be allowed to leave after season 1 with little worry, but there are some whose departure will create a problem and that you may want to retain.
Kicker Aldrick Rosas (84 OVR) is the first player you should ink to a new deal. With both kick power and kick accuracy over 90 and at just 23 there is no reason to roll the dice with a new kicker so just re-sign him to a long-term contract and put the position to bed for a while.
Strong safety Landon Collins (84 OVR) is next. This position is a little less easy. Collins is a good player but his coverage skills are a little lacking. Strong safety is a position you should be playing as fairly regularly so his athleticism and physicality are useful tools, but if left to the AI he could get lost in coverage. Collins is 24 so you can work on that part of his game via training, and with a lot of other positions to focus on improving it would be wise to re-sign Collins so you don’t have to worry too much about that spot.
Next up is defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. At 73 OVR he isn’t great, but he has a quick development trait and is one of three defensive ends about to hit free agency. Edwards Jr isn’t a starter in an ideal world, but it is almost impossible to completely overhaul a position group in one season, so you’ll have to hold on to players like Edwards on short-term deals so that you have some depth for any new starters you may draft or sign.
Other key impending free agents: Josh Mauro (DE), BW Webb (CB), Grant Haley (CB), Curtis Riley (FS)
New York Giants Roster Needs
This part starts with the quarterback and you shouldn’t move on until you have a firm plan for this position. Eli Manning has been a terrific servant for the franchise, but at 37 and with a rating of just 76 he can’t be under center any more. You’ll have to put up with him in season 1, but for season 2 you need a new player. Be that a highly drafted rookie or someone you trade for, securing your quarterback for the future is all-important to any Super Bowl hopes. Most draft classes hold one or two quality quarterback prospects, but they often come off the board early so you may have to trade up to the top of the draft in order to grab one.
Once you have your quarterback in place you need a plan to protect him. The Giants invested in left tackle Nate Solder and guard Will Hernandez last year, but from center to right tackle the offensive line is weaker than a wet paper bag. Throwing mid-round picks and cap space in free agency at the offensive line is a smart move as it will make utilizing the quality at running back and wide receiver much easier.
Speaking of wide receiver, the Giants only have 2 receivers signed for season 2 in Madden 19 so you’ll need to either re-sign a few or find some more that can compliment Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard.
Defensively, the Giants are little better off. They currently run a 3-4 defense with little talent along the defensive line or at linebacker. This is good in a way as it means you can change their scheme to a 4-3 without worrying too much about moving players out of position. If you do this you can move Olivier Vernon back to defensive end and then seek to add another pass rusher to play opposite him. Of course, if your scouting and free agent targets are better suited to a 3-4 then you can simply keep things as they are. Whichever way you go, finding talent in the front seven is a must. All positions need an upgrade, with Vernon and defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson being the only players you are likely to keep for multiple seasons.
The secondary is not in a much better state. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins is solid, and if you retain Landon Collins then your strong safety spot is sorted, but the #2, #3, & #4 corners are all impending free agents, as is starting free safety Curtis Riley. None of these players are particularly good so you’ll want to try and find replacements as quickly as possible. There aren’t many good safeties or corners hitting free agency after season 1, so the best way to hit all your needs may be to focus your free agent signings on the offensive line, defensive line, and linebackers, and then find your quarterback and new secondary in the draft.
That’s an awful lot to try and achieve in one offseason. It would require a perfect draft and a lot of teams to allow their best players to hit free agency. This is a multi-year project to get quality in all the spots you need it, but that will just make the ultimate triumph even sweeter. The giants are not a team that can immediately compete for the Super Bowl, but through hard work, expert roster building, and some talent on the field, you can take the Giants back to the top of the mountain and win them yet another Super Bowl.