So where are the Giants going into Week 1 of the regular season? The NFL betting at TopBet.eu Sportsbook provides us with a first look at what the public thinks of the team's chances. With the team pegged as road dogs, it means the there is nothing incrementally strong or weak, inspiring or uninspiring about beginning impressions of what we will see. Also, the site has NFL Futures which indicate the Giants are rated the 11th best out of 32 teams for chances of winning Super Bowl XLVIII.
Back to the roster, word from Garafolo via twitter was that the Giants were trying to make a trade for Austin before they would cut him. Obviously no one was interested. When you have to cut your #2 pick from 2 years ago, it is never good. There is a lot of pride that goeth before the fall. The Giants were surely hoping for a face-saving trade from the large investment that has not panned out. Two years ago, we liked the player but did not like the move. Why? Because the Giants were once again short on LBer and long on DL, so what position did they pick again? DL. It was an exasperating move, if only because this site has also been leery of big investments in DT. We liked Linval Joseph as a player very much, but here it is the Giants have made such heavy investments in JPP, Joseph, Austin… and … what at LBer in Rounds 1-3? Zippo. Even this year, again, Hankins at DT in Round 2 and Moore at DE in Round 3. So should it surprise anyone that the Giants were trying to get some kind of refund on Austin before cutting him? When you bring in Jenkins and Patterson, and when you draft DL seemingly every pick in Rounds 1-3 for a while now, it has to hurt the balance elsewhere on the team. For the biggest bald spot, try LINEBACKER, where the team only has 5 on the roster. FIVE! And as we noted a week ago, only Rivers (when healthy) is going to be a starter anywhere else in the league, as the others are (to politely quote Carl Banks) "inconsistent."
The Giants have invested heavily at DL. When your team takes 5 Defensive Linemen in Rounds 1-3 out of a total of 12 in the last 4 years, one would hope you'd be "loaded." We understand that DL is important in today's NFL. But when it leaves another position barren, it has to cost you. The Giants are likely to scour the other 31 teams' cuts to find a LBer to fill out the roster, but there is an easier way- just draft a LBer once in a while with a credible pick in Round 1-3.