Saquon Barkley Credit: Bill Moore photo

Last Friday the Giants announced that they had hired 42-year-old Joe Schoen as their new general manager, replacing 70-year-old Dave Getttleman, who retired after four seasons on the job. Schoen had previously served as the assistant general manager of the Buffalo Bills since 2017 and before that a longtime member of the Miami Dolphins front office staff, including holding the position assistant director of college scouting.

“We are pleased and proud to name Joe as our general manager,” said Giants president John Mara in a statement released by the organization. “Throughout our search, Joe impressed us with his ability to communicate a progressive and comprehensive vision for our team. His philosophy and collaborative approach to building a roster and coaching staff align with what we were looking for in a general manager.”

Schoen evidently stood out among all the prospects vetted and interviewed. “Joe is the kind of exceptional leader we sought to oversee our football operations,” conveyed Giants chairman Steve Tisch. “We will do whatever it takes to support Joe’s vision and strategic plan for success. We are excited to begin this next chapter with Joe as our general manager.”

Mara added, “Steve and I were both impressed with all nine candidates…We just felt like Joe was the right fit at the right time for us.” So next is hiring the team’s new head coach. Brooklyn native and former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores would be a prudent choice. He led the Dolphins for three seasons and went 19-14 the last two before shockingly being fired by the franchise’s principal owner Stephen Ross on Jan. 10.

The 40-year-old Flores has proven to possess the necessities—the aforementioned leadership skills, experience and intelligence—to help resurrect a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2016. He saw firsthand as a scout and assistant with the New England Patriots from 2008 to 2018 how a winning team should be constructed and sustained.

Yet the name that has surfaced in media reports prominently as perhaps the Giants’ top aspirant is 46-year-old Brian Dabol, the offensive coordinator for the Bills since 2018. Dabol was also a Patriots assistant from 2001 to 2006. Schoen and Dabol helped lift the Bills into a playoff team in no small measure resulting from the rise of quarterback Josh Allen. Ironically, there was a plurality of Giants fans that called for them to draft Allen with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Instead, the Giants selected Bronx-born running back Saquon Barkley and the Bills took Allen at No. 7. Barkley had a historically great first year, in which he was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year and rushed for 1,003 yards behind an unstable offensive line in 2019. But he has been plagued by injuries over the past two seasons, including missing 14 games in the 2020 campaign after tearing an ACL in Week 2.

Meanwhile, Allen has developed into a franchise altering quarterback, a superstar at the most important position in the sport. Whoever Mara, Tisch and Schoen entrust as the next man up on the sideline, he will be tasked with reviving Barkley into one of the league’s most dangerous weapons, rebuilding an alarmingly broken offensive line and determining if QB Daniel Jones is the long-term answer under center and if not, securing a Super Bowl caliber signal caller.

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