I'm not sure what sort of impact linebackers have on the offense, but the team's o-line wasn't the greatest in 2011, either.
I think Randle progressed slower than the coaches had anticipated. Had he clicked earlier, Manningham's absence wouldn't have been as noticeable.
Yes. Because Coughlin always anticipates great things from his rookies and gives them every chance to succeed.
In all seriousness, I think you're right that the NYG needed a #3 WR all year, which was made even worse with Nicks' injuries. Couldn't resist taking a quick shot at Tom's distrust of rookies though...
“Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1
Many people may not know that Eli's cap hit in 2013, as it stands right now, is in the area of $20 mil. Thats just ONE guy. The ceiling for 2013 is projected to be in the area of $120 mil. 20+ free agents as it currently stands, and they're already over by close to $5 mil. Reese can not put all of his eggs in one basket by signing Cruz to a monster, cap busting deal with so many other major needs at other positions. WR's wont mean a thing if the Oline isn't addressed, since I doubt very highly that Eli will be throwing many passes from the ground, at least to his own players.
I'd hate to see him walk, but it IS a business, and I daresay that not one of us would turn down a few million dollars from somewhere else to stay at our current place of employment. Not one. Loyalty doesn't pay the bills.
I'd also like to add that if he left, it would most definitely have a huge impact on this offense. You are deluding yourself if you think otherwise. Barden and Jernigan, who are both UFA's now, have proven absolutely nothing in their time here. Hixon has made a handful of plays here and there, and was a decent return man now and then, but he can hardly be counted on to put up Cruz' type of numbers in a bigger role, regardless of who is throwing him the ball. Add to the fact that we have no clue what Nicks is going to look like next season after his injuries. All of a sudden, signing Cruz sounds like a no-brainer, right? Again, what about the other needs though? Its more complicated than the average Joe believes
Jerry Reese is most certainly in an unenviable position right about now.