Joe Schoen’s first Giants roster limited by salary cap

Joe Schoen avoided sharing any thoughts on how he feels about the Giants’ first season as general manager, emphasizing the task at hand on Thursday rather than the upcoming journey.

“We’re just trying to get through today’s game,” Schoen said, referring to potential practice team moves he’s considering. “We’re still trying to put the pieces together, so I don’t want to set any expectations.”

All is well, but not completely comprehensive. For the first time, Schoen was in a position of supreme authority, knowing that he had to live for today and plan for tomorrow. He did what he could to solidify a weak roster given the salary cap constraints he had to face, and had no illusions that the Giants would be a strong team in 2022.

The more success Schoen and his handpicked head coach Brian Daboll have in their first seasons, the better it will be for the Giants. Schon must also look forward. He will hit the road this weekend with his scouting cap on for the start of the college football season. His first stop: Notre Dame in Columbus vs. Ohio State.

Giants general manager Joe Schon, left, and coach Brian Dabore speak to the media before practice in East Rutherford, New Jersey
Giants general manager Joe Schein, left, and coach Brian Dabore speak to the media before practice.
Bill Costlawn

Well, who might Schoen be particularly interested in seeing? The always-loaded Buckeyes have three potential candidates for the Heisman Trophy: running back TreVeyon Henderson, wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba and quarterback CJ Stroud. Schoen will be in the same building as one of the top quarterbacks entering the 2023 NFL Draft, a storyline that runs through the fall and winter.

In the here and now, Schone has Daniel Jones as his starting quarterback, and Jones enters the final year of his contract. Maybe he played well enough to warrant an extension. Maybe he didn’t. Schoen will be ready for either situation.

“I’m not going to live up to expectations, but I’m happy where he is,” Schone said. “I think you guys watched the two preseason games he played and I think he played really well. You guys are here for the Jets practice. I think he’s doing well in the Jets practice.

“I know some people started attacking him early on. It was [defensive coordinator Wink Martindale’s] Defensively, he gave away from left field, we didn’t have a game plan for that, and he was trying to be consistent with some of the receivers as well. So, I think Daniel is in a good place. I’m glad where he is. But again, we all know that everyone has to go to the show on Sunday, and that’s when the real evaluation begins.

Yes, sir. All the assessments and intrigues so far have put the Giants on their 53-man roster. When the Giants face the Titans in Nashville on Sept. 11, time starts with Jones, running back Saquon Barkley — also entering the final year of his contract — and the roster. All the other players, look different to 2021, and likely look even more different in 2023.

The Giants are facing salary cap issues, and Schoen said he will have to restructure some of his existing contracts next week — defensive lineman Leonard Williams is a prime candidate — to create the space needed to operate this season line-up.

As Buffalo’s former assistant general manager, Schone knew what to expect when he took over the Giants’ job, he studied the books and realized that the ability to write big deals in free agency wasn’t enough in his first year. possible. What his biggest contract can do on the open market is Mark Glowinski’s three-year, $18.3 million package that brings in a new starting right-back.

“The situation is the situation,” Schoen said. “It’s a hand we’re dealt with and we’re going to do what we can with what we have.”

Schön’s first Giants had a very thin cornerback lineup given financial constraints, and was also vulnerable at interior linebacker, safety and tight end. Unless the injured player recovers quickly, depth on the offensive line is also questionable.

Schoen knows all this. He did what he could. He said he was excited about the kind of people he brought.

“When you come in as a new regime, one of the big things is that you try to set the culture of what you want the culture to look like — the depth of the body or the position or whatever that might be,” Schoen said. “I think what I’m most proud of is a lot of players we’ve brought in, whoever they are and how we want to do things.

“They’re helping us lay the groundwork for where we want to go and how we want to build the roster.”

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