By: Evan Slavit
For the past five seasons, Antonio Pierce has been the "quarterback" and leader of the New York Giants' defense. As the seasons have gone on, however, it has become apparent that he is slowing down. Now coupled with the fact that Pierce was recently put on IR for a bulging disc and Pierce's value to the team has greatly diminished. This is why it comes as no surprise that he was released today, marking the end of his time as a Giant.
So what now? For a while the Giants have had problems with their linebackers, throwing mediocre talent out there year in and year out. So do the Giants go to free agency to find their replacement? There should be some options out there, even if there is a uncapped off-season, but should the Giants sign another linebacker free agent after bringing in Boley only a season ago? What about the draft? Positioned at number fifteen the Giants should have some options, like a Rolando Mcclain. Or should the Giants just stay in house and hope that Jonathan Goff can be the answer?
All of these options can work, but the main thing the Giants must keep in focus is leadership. It was embarrassing to see the lack of pride these players showed last season. Outside of Pierce there were very few people who spoke up and became leaders. The middle-linebacker is usually the one calling plays for the defense and so I believe it would be a good idea to go out and bring in a good proven linebacker in free agency. A draft pick would be nice, but it is seldom seen that a rookie comes into the NFL and acts as a leader. Perhaps I am overstating this and guys like Tuck and a healthy Phillips can fill this role, but to have a real presence in the middle would be great for this team.
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