Following the New York Giants‘ disgraceful loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, I ranted on the need for Jerry Reese to be immediately fired. However, I’ve never explained Reese’s recent offseason decisions that evidently destroyed the Giants’ chances of being successful this season. While Reese has been known to make drastic moves during the offseason, this past offseason was historically bad for a GM that needed to get it right.
One of the most shocking decisions that occurred over the offseason was the release of Ahmad Bradshaw. This was a running back that had been with the Giants for seven years, including the 2007 and 2011 Super Bowl seasons. During his last season as a Giant, Bradshaw led the team in rushing with 221 carries for 1,015 yards and six touchdowns. He was productive with an injured right foot and limited help from the youngsters of Andre Brown and David Wilson. In fact, for three straight seasons, Bradshaw was the lead rusher for the Giants.
Furthermore, he fit into Kevin Gilbride’s offensive system, which relies heavily on a physical running game. That physical presence was also a force to be reckoned with when it came to putting pressure on Eli Manning. In other words, when Manning needed extra protection he got it through Bradshaw. Yet, after Bradshaw was out of commission in the final four games of the season due to his injured right foot, the Giants decided to release him. After all of his contributions to the team, how could Reese allow Bradshaw to walk away?
Another player that was mysteriously allowed to leave the Giants was linebacker Chase Blackburn. Even during a disappointing 2012 campaign, Blackburn was one of the better defensive players for the Giants. He finished the season with 98 total tackles and three sacks, and those statistics are the best he’s had throughout his entire career. Instead of rewarding him for his success, Reese and the Giants simply watched as one of their best defenders signed with the Carolina Panthers.
Reese’s final blow to the Giants’ chances at making a 2013 playoff run was deciding to not offer Martellus Bennett an acceptable contract. While it’s unclear how talks broke down between the Giants and Bennett, Reese is responsible for the failure of not signing Bennett to a new deal. In 2012, the tight end was instrumental in giving the Giants a chance at making the playoffs. While he was second in receiving with 55 receptions for 626 yards and five touchdowns, he was also a safety net for Manning. If Victor Cruz wasn’t open, Manning would turn to Bennett to make a big play. Yet, just like Bradshaw and Blackburn, Bennett was tossed aside by Reese for reasons that will never be understood.