The Giants were buried from postseason consideration by Halloween, losing their first six games and stamping themselves as one of the league's biggest disappointments. A strong closing run made things respectable, but New York finished 7-9 and out of the playoffs for the second straight year.
Tom Coughlin quietly signed a contract extension, proving that two Super Bowl wins earn a coach plenty of rope (as it should). Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride retired and was replaced by former Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo, who will be tasked with fixing Eli Manning after a miserable year.
» DT Linval Joseph: Joseph stepped up in his contract year and will be rewarded for it -- either by the Giants or another team looking for a promising defensive tackle just reaching his prime. If Joseph walks, the D-line becomes a trouble spot.
» DE Justin Tuck: A link to both Super Bowl champions in the Coughlin era, Tuck is coming off an 11-sack season. The question is how much the Giants are willing to commit to a defensive end on the wrong side of 30. General manager Jerry Reese said at the NFL Scouting Combine that Tuck would have the opportunity to test the open market.
» WR Hakeem Nicks: While Joseph thrived in his walk year, Nicks came up small. The wide receiver started 15 games and never found the end zone, a dearth of production that cost him any chance of cashing in as a free agent. Like Tuck, Nicks will be allowed to test the open market.
What they need
A complete revamp of the offensive line is in order coming off a season in which the unit finished 31st in pass protection and in the bottom half in run-blocking. Manning was sacked a career-high 39 (39!) times last season -- a strangely overlooked factor in his struggles.
Running back and defensive line are areas of need as well, but the priority is clear.
On the way out?
» C David Baas: Baas has struggled to stay healthy during his time at the Meadowlands and is scheduled to make $4.75 million in 2014. Approaching his age-33 season, Baas will probably have to take a significant pay cut to stick around.
» G Chris Snee: Another member of the old guard, Snee is trying to make his way back from hip surgery and an even more involved procedure to repair a nerve issue in his elbow. The 32-year-old likely will be released, but could be a candidate to return on a team-friendly one-year deal.
» TE Brandon Myers: Tight ends have typically thrived with Eli Manning, so it was telling that Myers and Manning never developed any chemistry in their first season together. The Giants will head in another direction.
Offseason crystal ball
The Giants are a near lock to revamp the middle of their offensive line through free agency and the draft. Expect a brand new G-C-G-combination as the team hopes to take the pressure out of Manning's face.
We expect the Giants to lean on a wide-receiver rich draft to replace Nicks, who will take the money and run. Running back Andre Brown will likely be re-signed, but finding a complement will be key with David Wilson's status uncertain.
A big part of this offseason will be about repairing the infrastructure around Eli Manning, who should have several productive years left. McAdoo's success or failure as a first-year offensive coordinator will be based on returning Manning to a player who resembles a top-10 quarterback.