Eli Manning and the New York Giants are going to have a tough time of it this year.
During this offseason, the Giants have released 21 people who were unrestricted free agents back to free agency and had two retirements.
What's worse is that they'll have to continue to splash the free agent cash as they only have seven draft picks.
Only eight players have survived in the squad now from that of the team between 2007-2011. Which means there are a lot of holes to fill.
Since their current general manager, Jerry Reese, has had the position, they've won two Super Bowls, but haven't seen any playoff action for four of the last five seasons.
Why is this? Well there are a few reasons, And these same reasons will come back to haunt them again this year.
Firstly, age. As now one of the oldest players in the team Eli Manning is becoming more of a franchise burden than a franchise tag.
He's not been hitting the form that he has the capacity to show. Ok you can argue that a lot of this isn't his fault as the team has ebbed and flowed beneath him with rough consequences.
But given his 'elite' status, you have to pick fault with a guy that isn't getting any younger, or noticeably better. With him now recovering from shoulder injury, the franchise might want to start thinking about the future. No one is safe in football.
With age also comes the wise elder, Tom Coughlin. The head coach at times last year appeared to be more of a crazy old coot trying to battle a rubber dinghy in high seas rather than a majestic captain.
Gelling a team together and getting cohesion and confidence should be his one goal and he's not succeeding at it.
The nature of the money issues and lack of draft places mean that building a team out of what you've got has been New York's way rather than investing in their future.
I'm sure young draftees will bow to the superior wisdom of their coach but a journeyman who's seen two or three of them already and is aware that they'll have a year of money before being slung out on their behind won't be as easy to coerce around to his vision.
You then have to ask if there is any vision. There's been some unfortunate injuries and off the field problems for the Giants. But their main problem has been their squad, and the lack of any talented depth in it.
There's only so much Manning can do when the team in front of him just isn't up to the job. Poor acquisitions are the risk you have to take when forced to dabble in free agency for so long.
Eventually this is going to take its toll on the team. And it may take a losing season and a worst record for 2014 to kick start the change.
You can't really see the Giants doing any better than 8-8, but you could see them going 4-12. A losing season at the expense of Coughlin and the run of the 2015 draft may b e what the Giant's need to get themselves back to the top.
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