The New York Rangers Should Not Use The Cap Space They Have This Summer

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The New York Rangers are in the midst of continuing their rebuild and reports say they are interested in bringing in character guys and guys who play much harder than they did last season. Any signing the Rangers make should be a one year commitment only. Although the Rangers have a lot of cap space, they also have a lot of restricted free agents. Whether its signing unrestricted free agents or worrying about their own restricted free agents they have to be careful what contracts are given out with an eye on upcoming NHL free agent class that can be as star studded as this year’s MLB free agent class.

The Rangers goal this season should not be to attempt to bring in guys and then try to sneak their way into a playoff spot. This is New York, ultimately we dont care about playoffs, the goal of a New York team should be to win a championship. The Rangers are nowhere near that at the moment. What sense then does it make to bring in players (maybe outside Tavares whom they didn’t even request a meeting with) for a multi year commitment? The Rangers did that with Michael Grabner and although he performed well, what exactly did that do for them in the end? The Ranger are nowhere close to a championship this season. The goal this off season should be to continuing to attempting to build the team with as much high end talent as possible.

While its true NHL free agent superstars rarely hit free agency, the odds next year are better that at least a few of them will shake loose because there are just so many impact players and so many teams who don’t exactly have a ton of cap space. This list includes guys like Tyler Seguin, Arteri Panarin, Erik Karlsson, Logan Couture, Drew Doughty among many others.

The Rangers have almost 30 million in cap space this Summer but they should be very careful with how they use it. They have to make a decision on guys like Kevin Hayes and Brady Skjei who probably should be part of this solution but guys like Spooner, Namestnikov and the other restricted free agents they have should not be. The Rangers can’t get stuck in the same cycle they were in the past where they were paying good money to players who are simply not going to win you a Stanley cup if they are who you are relying on.

If you’re the New York Rangers wouldn’t Arteri Panarin and/or Tyler Seguin look good on Broadway? The Rangers need to make moves this off season with an eye on the star studded class that could await the team after the 2018-2019 season.

Four Reasons Why Alex Morgan Is The Most Irreplaceable Player on the USWNT

Over their history, the United States Womens National team have been blessed with many great players such as Mia Hamm, Michele Akers, Kristine Lilly and Abby Wambach. The United States in 2010 introduced yet another player who is well on her way to joining those greats. The player I’m talking about is Alex Morgan who has quickly become the most irreplaceable player on this national team much like Hamm, Akers, Lilly and Wambach were on their respective teams.

The first reason is Alex Morgan has such a unique skillset that nobody else on the team has at this current moment. She possesses all the qualities you want in a top forward; speed, strength, balance, agility, and most of all the ability to score a goal from pretty much any angle and almost with any part of her body. She has the ability to beat a goalie with the narrowest of windows, she has the ability to beat a goalie by heading the ball in the net,  and since her return from Lyon, she has become quite proficient in being able to play back to goal and improve her hold up play in the attacking half. She has improved her technical ability on the ball and she has made a career out of making timely runs off the ball getting into the dangerous areas for scoring chances. She is also a very underrated playmaker who creates chances for others.  She has everything you want in a striker, something no other US player at the moment possesses, the others have strength indeed, but they dont possess everything that Morgan does.

Secondly, the United States is able to play a much faster tempo when Morgan is on the field playing striker opposed to anyone else there. While coach Jill Ellis has attempted other players in that spot such as Christen Press, Crystal Dunn, and even Carli Lloyd, none of them have stood out the way Morgan has. In fact at times, the United States would actually be playing some of their worst soccer going back to 2017 with anyone but Morgan there.  Morgan has made a career of being the top striker on the USWNT (evident by her 86 goals in just over 140 caps) going back to her teaming up with Abby Wambach as far back as 2012. The opposing defenses game plan to stop Morgan from getting in behind them, they sometimes try to have 2 or even 3 players around her at all times in the final third which opens up space and other opportunities for her teammates.  The other forwards haven’t been able to provide that.

Alex Morgan is also one of the biggest leaders for the United States Womens National team whether its on the field or off the field. She was instrumental in their fight for equal pay and better fields, she has been a captain numerous times both for the national team and in club play and her coaches and her teammates respect her. They say she’s the consummate professional and will literally throw her body around in order to help her team win which in the past has led to her being a bit injury prone. She constantly will give you everything she has to help get you a win which is something you want in a leader, someone who can inspire others and hates to lose, she does both.

The final reason she’s irreplaceable though is because of her ability on the field. She has made a career out of scoring big goals in big moments going all the way back to 2010 with the u20 womens team. Then, at age 19, she scored what turned out to be the game winning goal in the final against North Korea to help the United States win that world cup. In that same year, for the USWNT Morgan would score the only goal against Italy which helped them qualify for the 2011 World Cup. Speaking of the World Cup, at just age 21, Morgan would score the goal against France late in the game that essentially would send them to the finals. From there she would go on to score the first goal against Japan in the second half of the 2011 WC final and assisted on what should have been Abby Wambach’s world cup clinching goal before Japan was able to come back and tie it while eventually defeating the US on PKs.

The following year in 2012, perhaps her most memorable moment to many is the header in the semi finals against Canada in the 123rd minute that sent the United States to the gold medal game against Japan. In the final it was again Morgan who was also influential as she had the assist on Lloyd’s first goal. In 2015 Morgan was coming off a serious knee injury and couldn’t  quite get in form, however she did draw the penalty kick against Germany in the semi finals which ended up leading to being the game winner when Lloyd converted the kick. Many people will bring up the missed PK in 2016 (one of the very few times she didn’t get it done when it mattered) in the 2016 Olympics against Sweden but will ignore that when the US was trailing in that match late in the second half, it was again Morgan who would come to the rescue when she scored the equalizer before the United States would again lose on PKs. You want more proof? Since Morgan’s debut in 2010 in the games she has scored in the only 2 losses are the 2011 WC and the 2016 Olympics both losing on penalty kicks. The United States in 2017 would also play one of their worst years of soccer when they lost 3 times on their own soil, something that they have never experienced before as well as losing the She believes cup getting dominated by France in that tournament 3-0. Morgan at that time was back and forth between the US and Lyon and barely played in that tournament and it was some of the worst soccer we’ve ever seen from the US. The US would struggle at times in 2017 while Morgan had her 8 game goal drought, after Morgan broke that the United States would finish the season undefeated and haven’t yet lost in their last 15 games (13-0-2) with Morgan scoring 13 goals total and in at least 10 of those games.

In the World Cup one of the biggest areas of need for a team like the United States is having a quality striker. With the ability to score big goals in big moments, read the defense better than the other forwards, possess leadership abilities, and open up space for others while drawing players to her, Morgan is simply the most irreplaceable player on the national team. When Alex Morgan is in form like she’s been lately she’s almost impossible to stop.

 

Five Players The Rangers Could Select With the 9th Overall Pick In The NHL Draft

The New York Rangers are in a rebuilding phase. They sold off some assets such as Rick Nash, Michael Grabner, Nick Holden and Ryan Mcdonagh at the NHL trade deadline and acquired prospects and most of all draft picks in this upcoming 2018 Draft. While the Rangers have the ammunition or draft capital so to speak to move up in this year’s draft for a player like Andrei Svechnikov, Filip Zadina, Brady Tkachuk or even Quinn Hughes, there are also a few quality players to have if they were to stay at 9.

  1. Jesperi Kotkaniemi – C (Finland)

If you’re looking for a potential future #1 center the only center in this draft class that might have that ability is Kotkaniemi. He is a skilled player who at 17 is playing against players much more older and seasoned than him. If you’re looking at points only, (29 points in 57 games) you will be disappointed. The team drafting Kotkaniemi will be drafting him based on his potential, much like other players such as Patrick Laine (33 points in 46 games) in the SM-liiga league. Kotkaniemi is only 17 years old and will be a top 6 center in the NHL with the ability and skill set to become a top line center in the NHL as he matures.

2. Noah Dobson – D (QMJHL)

Dobson projects as a two way defenseman with top pairing potential. He is a right handed defenseman who can move the puck very well which is essential in todays NHL. The Rangers have not been able to move the puck out of their zone quickly enough but this guy has the ability to do that whether he’s moving it to another teammate or skating the puck out of the zone. He has a strong shot from the point which is also something the Rangers defenseman have lacked maybe since Sergei Zubov. Some scouts believe that Dobson could develop into another Alex Pietrangelo which would be a coup for the Rangers at 9.

3. Evan Bouchard – D (London Knights OHL)

Bouchard is becoming one of the fastest risers in this years draft class due to his impressive size (6″2 195). Bouchard also is another right handed defenseman which are very valuable in the NHL today, just look at what the value is in trades to acquire one. Bouchard offensively has dominated the OHL (87 points in 67 games) this year and has the ability to develop into a top 4 defenseman in the NHL. He very well might end up the best offensive defenseman in this years class.

4. Adam Boqvist – D (SHL)

This on the surface seems like a long shot, some believe this kid offensively has the ability to become the next Erik Karlsson so why is there any chance the Rangers might be able to get him at 9? According to reports, some teams are becoming skeptical of Boqvist due to the two concussions he had last season as well as his smaller size (5’ll 165). While he may be on the smaller size, he possesses every skill you need in the NHL, he moves the puck very well, he skates well, and has offensive ability of a top line forward. Some may also be turned off that Boqvist seems to be less proactive in his own end, but the old saying here is true, you can teach talent, and Boqvist is oozing with it. The Rangers should run to the podium if he somehow slips to them at 9.

5. Oliver Wahlstrom – RW (USHL)

We have all seen the video of the penalty shot that this kid made when he was just 9 years old playing on NHL ice. Wahlstrom possesses something the Rangers haven’t had since Jaromir Jagr, a potential dynamic offensive player. Wahlstrom is said to have the best shot in the entire draft and with 22 goals in 26 games this season its hard to say thats not accurate. Furthermore, his performance in the 2018 WJCs did nothing but help his stock. Some have him only a step below guys like Svechnikov and Zadina who are projected to go 2nd and 3rd overall. Wahlstrom is committed to Boston College so any team that drafts him is going to have to wait for him. Could that help the Rangers who are in a rebuilding mode? The Rangers surely wouldn’t have a problem waiting for Wahlstrom if they believe he’s the next Ilya Kovalchuk as they’re not really expected to contend for the next few seasons as they figure out their next best course of action for this rebuild. If Wahlstrom were to somehow be available at 9 the Rangers shouldn’t take any time and run to the podium to select him.

 

 

 

Yankees Should Say Hey To J.A.

The New York Yankees have the second best win percentage in major league baseball behind the Red Sox who have played 4 more games this season. The Yankees lead the league in homeruns, and pretty much every category offensively and when right they have the best bullpen in the game. If the Yankees are going to win the World Series though, they are going to need to upgrade the starting rotation. The Yankees would be wise to look at left handed pitcher J.A. Happ of the Blue Jays to fill that need; three reasons why.

First the Yankees have always had a left handed pitcher in every year they won the World Series; whether it was Ford, Guidry, Pettitte or Sabathia. A left handed pitcher is crucial for a team to succeed in Yankee Stadium; not only that but a left hander who can also eat innings.  While its true the Yankees already have left hander CC Sabathia, he is 37 years old and just can’t give them the innings they need averaging only five innings per start. On the other hand, Happ is averaging 6 innings per start and has pitched into the seventh inning four times.

The second reason is the Yankees are gearing up to make a World Series run and post season experience counts. The left handed J.A. Happ has that experience that guys like Pettitte and Sabathia have had in the past when he pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2016 post season and was their game 1 starter.

The most important reason might come down to cost, not only money but prospects that would have to be given up. While its true that guys like Michael Fulmer and Chris Archer are much younger than Happ, they’re also team controlled for more years and younger which means the return for them would be a lot more than the return would be for Happ. The Yankees dont seem to want to trade away guys like Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield or Estevan Florial but to get a guy like Fulmer, Archer or the dream of Madison Bumgardner of the San Francisco Giants, the Yankees would likely have to part with at least 2 of those guys. On the other hand, J.A. Happ is a free agent after this season so he will be a rental. The Yankees are stacked with pitching prospects; The Toronto Blue Jays not so much. A complication could arise with the Jays and the Yankees being in the same division, but with Happ due to be a free agent after this season wouldn’t it make sense for the Jays to get the best return possible for him? The Jays likely will not be competing with the Red Sox or the Yankees for the AL East this season so an in division trade for Happ likely wouldn’t be too much of a hurdle if they can agree on prospects.

The Yankees need another solid pitcher if they are going to win the World Series, if they want to go big and try to acquire a Bumgardner, Fulmer, Archer or someone of that nature then by all means go for it. If they fail to come to an agreement there however, the Yankees could do a lot worse than picking up a guy like J.A. Happ to slot into their rotation along with Severino and Tanaka and take their shot this year and try to add someone either by free agency or trade in the off season.

 

The Mets Will Not Trade Degrom or Syndegaard to the Yankees.

By now you have heard the debates on social media that if the Mets were to blow up the team and rebuild the Yankees would make sense as a trading partner. The ideal candidates for the Yankees would be Degrom or Syndergaard. Does it make sense for both? maybe. Will it happen? Absolutely not.

First, if the Mets were to trade either starting pitcher they would essentially be telling their fan base that they’re throwing in the towel for the foreseeable future. It doesnt matter what they get back in return. If you dont have pitching you have nothing and the Mets have very little pitching with Degrom and Syndergaard.

Second, If the Mets do intend to rebuild, why wouldn’t they keep these 2 pitchers who are under team control for 3 plus years? These are guys you build around if you’re building a team.

Finally, the Yankees and Mets are both afraid of the PR nightmare. Can you imagine if Degrom or Syndergaard delivered the Yankees their 28th World Series Championship? The Mets fans would never let the team hear the end of it. It doesnt matter what the Mets got back in return. These are the two teams that couldn’t even agree on a trade for Lucas Duda or Jay Bruce but they’re going to agree on a bonafide ace starter? Not a chance.

Its something fun to speculate and for writers it gives them clicks but in reality the Yankees have a better chance of getting 2012 Jacoby Ellsbury again than they do of getting Degrom or Syndegaard from the Mets.

Why The United States Should Win The 2019 Women’s World Cup

In 2017 The United States men’s soccer team failed to beat the 92nd ranked team in the world in Trinidad and Tobago. With the loss the United States also failed to qualify for the 2018 World cup something that they haven’t done since 1986. The good news is the United States also has a women’s soccer team. The United States women’s soccer team has won 3 world cups since the existence of the tournament and they are also the favorites to add a fourth world cup to their resume in 2019.

The Women’s world cup first started in 1991 and the Americans defeated China by a final score of 2-1. They have since added two more victories; first in 1999 with a victory on their home soil over China once again this time in penalty kicks with Brandi Chastain scoring the world cup clinching goal. They would also go on to defeat Japan in 2015 on a Carli Lloyd first half hat trick to a final score of 5-2 and getting retribution for Japan stunning them in the final of the 2011 women’s world cup on penalty kicks.

While there are some teams that are catching up to the United States on the women’s national level, as evident by the US failing to reach the semi finals in the 2016 Olympics, they are still the team to beat for next years world cup. The United States at that time lost key players in Abby Wambach, Lauren Cheney among others who retired before the 2016 Olympics. They also did not have a healthy Megan Rapinoe for the Olympics. They were also in a transition phase then and after that loss that would continue until mid 2017 under Head Coach Jill Ellis. The United States would have one of their worst professional tournaments during the 2017 she believes cup losing two of their 3 matches on home soil. There were many that questioned whats wrong with the women’s national team. The US would also lose yet another game to Australia in the first game 2017 Tournament of nations. It was the first time in 30 years the United States lost 3 games on their home soil. Ironically those losses will be the reason the United States should win the 2019 world cup.

During the transition phase, Jill Ellis would experiment with things that didn’t need to be experimented with. There were many fans that would call for the firing of Ellis who said that her goal was to get the squad ready for the 2019 World Cup and she was not concerned about the results. This became quite clear by some of the formations she would try as well as the personnel she would use. Some of these personnel decisions were head scratching; forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Julie Ertz were pretty much substitutes while forward Megan Rapinoe was also in and out of the lineup.  In the summer of 2017 during the 2nd game of the Tournament of Nations vs Brazil the United States were heading for their 4th loss on home soil, something that they have never experienced before when they were trailing by a score of 4-2. The United States led by mid fielder Julie Ertz and Megan Rapinoe two of the catalysts for the 2015 World Cup championship and incidentally two of the players not seeing a lot of time during this transition phase on the field,  came storming back and ultimately led the United States to a 5-4 comeback win. The next game was probably one of the most important games for the United States. It was a game that didn’t mean anything due to Australia already being the champions of the tournament but for the United States it was something that they desperately needed. In the 80th minute of that game forward Alex Morgan who was coming off an 8 game goal less streak finally found the net. This goal lead to Morgan going on a tear too finish off 2017 scoring 6 goals in the teams final 7 games. The US also got contributions from midfielder Julie Ertz (5 goals in 6 games) as well as Megan Rapinoe and the US finished 2017 with a 5-0-1 record.

In 2018 the United States have scored 18 goals while conceding only 5 in six games; including during the she believes cup (which they were crowned champions) and against some of the best teams in the world like Germany, France, and England. Despite missing several key players. While the play of Morgan, Ertz and Rapinoe has been mostly the reason for the US turn around since last summer, the additions of several key players have also helped. There is now starter forward Mallory Pugh who combined with Rapinoe and Morgan to form a dominant front 3 that we haven’t seen in women’s soccer since Alex Morgan went to Lyon and played with Eugene Le Sommer and Ada Hederberg. They are creating havoc for any opposing back line.  The additions to the back line of Emily Sonnett and newcomer Tierna Davidson have seemed to help stabilize a leaky back line that also features Kelly O Hara and Becky Sauerbrunn.  There is no other country that has as much talent and depth as the United States.  The addition to the midfield of Julie Ertz combined with Sam Mewis has given the team 2 linchpins there. There are also players like Christen Press, 2015 world cup MVP Carli Lloyd, Tobin Heath, Abby Dahlkemper among others that head coach Jill Ellis can insert into the line up.

While injuries can certainly change the outlook of a tournament, as we saw with the United States not having a healthy Megan Rapinoe for the 2016 Olympics, the United States have so much depth that they should be able to put a great team on the field next summer. If the United States were to be completely healthy at that time, there’s not another team in the world that can contain the front line of Rapinoe, Morgan and Pugh up front who are all playing at a top level and also contend with a back line that could feature Sauerbrunn, Davidson, Ohara and Dunn. This does not even factor in the the depth that will be available to head coach Jill Ellis. There simply is not another team in the world at this moment that has as much talent and depth as the United States Womens National team currently has and its why they should win their fourth world cup and become the second team ever along with Germany to win back to back world cups.

The Truth Of Why Sonny Gray Isn’t Made For New York.

Many New Yorkers and beat writers alike will tell you that Sonny Gray needs to pitch to back up catcher Austin Romine. They go so far as to say not only does he need to be behind the plate for Gray, but he needs to be his personal catcher every start he makes. This is completely bogus and an excuse for those looking to explain Gray’s struggles as a Yankee so far. The truth is like many others that have come before him, he has the stuff but he’s unable to handle New York’s bright lights.

Sonny Gray was one of the better pitchers in the AL in 2014 and 2015 before suffering some injuries in 2016 that pretty much gave him an up and down season. During those years, Sonny Gray did not have a personal catcher while he was one of the better pitchers in baseball during that time. At that time, Sonny Gray wasn’t a member of the New York Yankees, so why all of a sudden does he need Austin Romine behind the plate? I’ll tell you why, because he’s a mental case, he like many others that have come before him can not pitch in the bright lights of New York. Why is it that Luis Severino, Jordan Montgomery, CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka have no problem pitching to Gary Sanchez? Why is it that last year the Yankees rotation had a better ERA with Sanchez behind the plate than with Romine? Why is that none of them have asked for a personal catcher? Why is it that his homeruns and his walks have skyrocketed while being a Yankee? Why does Sonny Gray have an ERA approaching 5 with the Yankees when he was one of the better pitchers for 2 straight years before coming here?

Many fans and media will tell you that Gray needs to stay down in the zone to be effective and thats why he needs Romine behind the plate. However with a 95 mph fastball and a wicked slider to go along with a curve ball why does Gray struggle so much no matter who is catching him in New York?  Why are the homeruns and walks way up in New York opposed to when he pitched in Oakland? Why are the ground balls not coming? I’ll tell you why its because Sonny Gray doesn’t trust his stuff. He is constantly nibbling and getting in hitters counts where he has to come over the plate and results usually aren’t good. If this sounds familiar to you its the same exact issues that plagued Phil Hughes In New York.  The issue with Sonny Gray is not Gary Sanchez or a personal catcher. The issue with Sonny Gray in New York is he’s become afraid to trust his stuff and when things go wrong he just gets down on himself and it further snowballs; again much like many others that have come here before him that have been unable to sustain success.

How Brian Cashman Changed The New York Yankees Future

In the year 2016, the New York Yankees were not the storied franchise team that their fans were used to. You can make a case that the Yankees were not that kind of team since their 2009 World Series Championship honestly. The Yankees rode out the final years of Yankee icons and certain hall of famers Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera and tried to win more titles with them, it did not work. The Yankees became an older and boring team with no flexibility. However, because the Yankees were not the cream of the crop in 2016, it quite possibly was the best thing to ever happen to their franchise going forward. It allowed the Yankees to return to how they built their dynasty run in the late 90s and early 2000s.

The New York Yankees always had a mantra; that mantra was win the World Series or the season is a failure. After securing their 27th World Series championship in 2009 who can blame them? The franchise only knew winning. However, as we know all good things eventually come to an end. The Yankees were a bubble playoff team at best from 2012 to 2016.  In 2016, while they weren’t a bottom feeder,  they were a team full of older, boring players. There was no excitement in the Bronx anymore as evident by the lack of seats filled and the lack of ratings from the YES Network; fans wanted something different, they wanted change, they wanted the Yankees to worry about the future rather than the present. This is something that would be considered unheard of if you know Yankee fans. The next few weeks of losing would shape the future of the New York Yankees going forward and the excitement that fans are feeling today.

So what exactly happened in a mere weeks that would change the Yankees future and bring excitement back to the Bronx?  They did something many thought they would never do they waved the white flag. They had what baseball deems a fire sale signed off by owner Hal Steinbrenner. This was actually what Yankee fans believe it or not were hoping for as the season went along as they knew the team presently constructed at the time was not anywhere good enough for their “World Series or bust” mantra that they knew for so long. The fans wanted to see the farm system get a chance like the glory days of the late 90s and early 2000s. They wanted to add to the farm system that was already middle of the pack and had guys like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and others. They wanted to cash in on valuable veteran players to make it even better and prepare for the future. The fans demanded it and the Yankees obliged.  They traded closer Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs for a 20 year old short stop named Gleyber Torres, as well as OFs Billy McKinney, and Rashad Crawford and relief pitcher Adam Warren. They then traded their other closer left handed pitcher Andrew Miller to the Indians and in return received OF Clint Frazier, SP Justus Sheffield and right handed relievers Ben Heller and J.P. Feyersien. A few days later the Yankees finished off their fire sale by trading DH Carlos Beltran to the Texas Rangers and received right handed pitchers Dillon Tate and Erik Swanson as well as trading starting pitcher Ivan Nova to the Pirates. The Yankees also traded catcher Brian McCann in the off season to the Astros for pitchers Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman.  It was pretty clear that despite Brian Cashman saying the Yankees weren’t throwing in the towel they were. Those trades took the Yankees from a middle of the pack farm system to the best in baseball depending on who you ask. The Yankees also promoted some of their own players fans wanted to see such as catcher Gary Sanchez, OF Aaron Judge, OF/1B Tyler Austin among others.

The next year later Brian Cashman saw the fruits of what he was hoping one day would be the next great Yankees core or foundation if you will. In 2017 Luis Severino turned into an ace,  Aaron Judge was the runner up for AL MVP and Gary Sanchez was the future behind home plate; combine that with players they already had such as veterans Masahiro Tanaka, Didi Gregorious and Aroldis Chapman who they signed a few months after trading him away, the Yankees made the seventh game of the American League Championship series. Along the way to their magical playoff run, Brian Cashman used some of that farm system and acquired starting pitcher Sonny Gray, relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle and 3B Todd Frazier all who played an instrumental run to coming one game from making yet another World Series.

A year later, here the Yankees today sit with a record of 25-10 and have won 16 of their last 17 games. Not only is Aroldis Chapman still closing games for them, but Gleyber Torres the 20 year old they traded Chapman for is in the major leagues contributing almost every day on this historic run. They still have Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge as part of their foundational core. They are on a historic run right now and they still have the other guys in those fire sale trades like Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, Dillon Tate, Albert Abreu among others still to come. The Yankees are never known for waving the white flag, but when Brian Cashman finally convinced owner Hal Steinbrenner to do it he changed the future of the New York Yankees, not only on the field but in the stands as well as Yankee Stadium is packed once again today and there’s an excitement that they haven’t felt in the Bronx since 2009.

Taking Saquon Barkley Will Not Cost The Giants Odell Beckham JR Or Landon Collins.

The question of many Giants fans and people around the league after the 2018 NFL draft is how will the Giants be able to afford all of Eli Manning, Odell Beckham JR, Landon Collins and now Saquon Barkley for the 2019 season and beyond. The Giants fans especially are concerned about this, but I’m hear to tell you that this is a myth, Odell, Collins and Barkley going forward will be three of the players the Giants build around.

The New York Giants going into next season, at the moment, have a projected 50 plus million dollars next season. Yes, its also true Odell Beckham JR should be getting a monster contract, and they have yet to sign running back sensation Saquon Barkley to his first NFL contract after drafting him second overall with the number two pick. The Giants would likely use the franchise tag on Odell Beckham Jr for the 2019 season if nothing else. What is more likely to happen though is that the Giants will sign Odell for a less cap hit than he would receive on a franchise tag and push the money back towards the 2020 season when the Giants will have a staggering 100 million plus in salary cap space. This would be the final year of Eli Manning’s contract.  While its true that Landon Collins is a big part of the New York Giants, lets face it, he’s not going to get Odell Beckham JR money. The top safety in the entire NFL Eric Berry is making 13 million per season and while a very good safety in his own, Landon Collins is not in that class. He had a sensational 2016 season but a subpar 2017 season. Who didn’t on a 3 and 13 Giants team right? We will have to see which is the real Landon Collins before we get into what money he will make.

As we saw with the trade of Jason Pierre Paul, there are ways of creating cap space as well. The play of JPP did not warrant the contract that former GM Jerry Reese gave him. The same can be said quite frankly about their other free agent signings defensive end free agent signing Olivier Vernon and corner back Janoris Jenkins. These player had a great 2016 season but again like Landon Collins both struggled and had a subpar season in 2017. Who didn’t tho on a 3 and 13 football team?

It’s true that Saquon Barkley’s first contract will make him the fifth highest paid running back out of the gate in football. However, do people really believe that David Gettleman would draft him if he thought at any point it wouldn’t allow the Giants to keep Odell Beckham JR providing as an organization they want to? The Giants may not know who their quarterback will be after Eli Manning. Will it be Davis Webb, Kyle Lauletta the fourth round pick this year or someone else? Time will tell. However, I believe there’s one thing for certain, should management deem all three players as worthy the Giants are going to be built around Odell Beckjam JR, Saquon Barkley and Landon Collins and whoever their next quarterback will be for the foreseeable future.

Why Saquon Barkley Was The Right Choice For The Giants

While it’s true that when building a football team the most important position on the field is the quarterback, the old adage is when you have a very high pick you draft on talent over need. You simply put take the best player on your board and the Giants did just that. They had such conviction that general manager Dave Gettleman said he would have put the pick in 30 seconds into their allotted ten minutes if he could have. Everyone from coach Pat Shurmur to owner John Mara were convinced they were picking the right guy.

When the Giants traded for Alec Ogletree and gave up picks to do it many questioned why if they were in rebuilding mode. After all if you’re in a rebuilding mode you usually try to acquire picks not trade them away. Then the Giants signed left tackle Nate Solder away from the Patriots by giving him the most money for an offensive lineman in the league. At that point, it was clear the Giants were trying to win again.

With the Giants believing 37 year old quarterback Eli Manning has years left in him, it makes sense to give him the most talent around him doesn’t it? That’s where Saquon Barkley the human highlight reel comes in. If there was a such thing as a perfect prospect, its Barkley. This kid can literally do it all; run the ball, line up as a slot wide receiver, line up as an outside wide receiver, catch passes out of the backfield and oh yeah he can block like an offensive lineman. He literally can do it all. Also, by all accounts he is a great person with no character issues something the Giants have ran into the last couple of seasons with some draft picks.

Some will say that betting on a 37 year old quarterback is the wrong thing to do, and they could end up having a point. However, if you’re going to take a few more shots with Eli you have to put the best talent around him, that according to almost every board was Barkley.

Finally, whether its Eli Manning, Davis Webb, or some other future QB, when they take the field, they will have the likes of Odell Beckham JR, Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram and now Saquon Barkley. The good thing about it is Barkley is 21 and will be here for at least 6 years (2 franchise years). He isn’t just a “win now” move no he will also be around for the next quarterback whoever that is. In the meantime,  the Giants whether right or wrong still believe in Eli Manning. It’s been said that part of Eli’s problem was not only the offensive line, but the threat of a running game. The Giants haven’t had even a good running game since Tiki Barber. What the Giants did this Thursday night is give Eli Manning what many believe was missing; the threat of a running game. They did that by taking the best overall talent in the draft in Saquon Barkley.