*As Dave Gettleman begins his tenure as general manager, here are five major questions he'll have to answer for the Giants this offseason: *
1. Selecting a coach and front office staff
There is no bigger decision a general manager makes than hiring a head coach. Since Gettleman was hired before the end of the regular season, he will not be at any disadvantage in picking out the cream of the crop as soon as Week 17 is over. He will have a ton of choices with
his connections in New York and Carolina, along with the other people he knows throughout the football world. He will have his pick of coordinators, assistants, former head coaches and college coaches since the Giants are such a stable franchise. It will be the first thing on his agenda.
The general manager is also in charge of putting together a front office staff that an organization needs to be successful. He is already familiar with many of the people at the Giants, but he will have to evaluate what has gone wrong in five years since he departed and what -- if any -- changes have to be made to fix those problems. It is an evaluation that might not conclude until after the draft, but one that every general manager does when he arrives at a new place.
2. The quarterback position
Eli Manning is under contract, and both he and John Mara have expressed a desire for him to quarterback the team in 2018. But the position is still a question. The future is always uncertain. The Giants will have a top-three pick in the draft, and there may be a franchise quarterback there to select. Davis Webb, a talented third-round pick, is already on the roster and has shown all the tools in practice and the classroom to have a chance at being a NFL quarterback. How and when the Giants transition the quarterback positon will be a focus over the next few years and Gettleman, along with his head coach, will be at the vanguard of the process.
3. The Draft
How the Giants use the second or third overall pick in the draft can be franchise-altering and you have to get it right. You need to evaluate the quarterbacks, as I mentioned in the previous bullet point. Then you have to look at the other players and decide whether or not it is best for the team to select a player in that spot or trade down and acquire more picks later in the draft or in future years. Ideally, teams do not select this high in the draft more than once every decade or so, and when you do it is essential to take full advantage of the opportunity.
4. Fix the O-Line
The offensive line has been a source of questions for some time for the Giants, and they begin this year with players already on the roster. Both Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg are free agents this offseason, and Gettleman will have to decide whether he wants to bring them back or look elsewhere. Is Brett Jones a keeper at center? He will also have to decide at what position Ereck Flowers can play his best football moving forward. Then he has to determine if the best way of adding talent to the group is via trade, free agency or the draft. Gettleman believes you win football games in the trenches and how he addresses the team's offensive line will go a long way towards doing just that.
5. Young players
The Giants have two young stars approaching free agency. Both Landon Collins and Odell Beckham Jr. have the opportunity to be unrestricted free agents in the spring of 2018. Gettleman has the option of the franchise tag in his pocket as a failsafe, but he will have to start thinking about the future of those two players and whether or not he wants to address it now or wait until next offseason. He will also have to figure out how to deal with Eli Apple's issues and whether the team can figure out a way for him to be a productive player for them going forward.