Today's edition of The Mailbag on Giants.com:
With all of the talk surrounding Mario Manningham's departure and the question of who will step up into the third receiver position, why is Ramses Barden's name not on the top of the list? Since he's been drafted, I've been eager to see what he can do at 6-6 and 225 pounds. It seems to me that having him line up on the outside with Nicks on the other side with Cruz in the slot would be just as daunting to a defense as Manningham. Is it realistic to think he'll find the field this season, or is he in the Sinorice Moss category of third round misses?
*The fact that you would ask the last question – comparing Barden to Sinorice Moss, who produced little after being selected in the second round of the draft – should provide the answer to your first query – why isn't Barden listed first among potential replacements for Manningham. Barden hasn't done enough in his first three seasons to merit that consideration. In three years he's played in 17 games and caught 15 passes. Yes, injuries have been a factor in lack of production. But so has Barden's inability to develop as rapidly as the Giants hoped. He has not done enough to convince the coaches to put him on the field more often. Having said that, no one is giving up on Barden. Manningham's departure has created an opportunity for several receivers. The burden is on Barden to take advantage of it.
- What is the status of Jon Goff? I thought he was doing a good job until he got hurt.*Dear Bill: He did do a good job. Goff started every game and had 84 tackles in 2010. As you know, he missed the 2011 season after tearing his ACL on Labor Day. Goff is currently a free agent who has yet to come to terms with the Giants – or any other team. That's not his fault or the team's fault – it's a fact of life in the NFL. It is still to be determined if Goff will be back in a Giants uniform in 2012.
*Now that Andre Brown has been suspended do you think the Giants will release him for violating NFL policy and look to the draft to replace Brandon Jacobs?
*I frankly don't know what the Giants' plans for Brown are, but I would be surprised if they react to the news of his suspension – for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances. The Giants haven't been in this position often, but they haven't reacted by cutting ties to the player. Last year, they signed defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy though they knew he could be suspended – and was in October for four games. If the Giants gave up on every player that that made a mistake, as Brown did, they'd play with a very small roster. Brown still has talent worth looking, particularly in a backfield that has an opening after Jacobs' departure. He is eligible to participate in the offseason program, training camp and preseason games. My guess is he will be here for all of them and the decision whether he stays with the team will be based on his ability and not his suspension.
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