Originally posted on Big Giants Boom  |  Last updated 3/3/12

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 22: Brandon Jacobs #27 of the New York Giants runs in a third quarter touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons on November 22, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants defeated the Falcons 34-31 in overtime. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Jim Mancari
BGB Assistant Editor

Though the Giants are the Super Bowl champions, next season’s team may look a little bit different than this year’s team.

The core should pretty much be intact, but based on the Giants’ salary cap situation, some key pieces from the last few years may call somewhere else home in 2012.

Hopefully, the Giants are able to work with a few players in restructuring their contracts in an attempt to keep as many pieces as possible. But unfortunately, the game has become a business, and if the Giants are unwilling to pay, another team will.

Both Brandon Jacobs and Osi Umenyiora have said that they would explore the possibility of taking a pay cut to remain with the Giants.

But let’s say the Giants can only work out a deal with one of these two. Who would you rather have?
When thinking of the team’s strengths (other than Eli Manning of course), the defensive line tops the list. Justin Tuck, Chris Canty, Mathias Kiwanuka and Linval Joseph all had strong seasons.

The emergence of Jason Pierre-Paul almost made Umenyiora seem like a forgotten entity. JPP made huge plays in huge spots and took over the starting role.

If he didn’t play on the team with the best defensive line in the game, Dave Tollefson would likely be a starting player on many teams.

As for the running game, what was normally a strength is now considered the team’s weakness. Ahmad Bradshaw can only be effective when healthy, and Jacobs showed last season that he is just a No. 2 back.

But teaming a healthy Bradshaw with the bruising Jacobs is still a scary thought. Manning needs some semblance of a running game to keep opposing defenses off balance. Though he carried the offensive load all season, that’s a tall order for one player.

Based on the team’s strength along the d-line, I’d rather them keep Jacobs over Umenyiora. The Giants have other options for the d-line, but they need Jacobs in the backfield. Tollefson would get more playing time, which would be just fine.

Hopefully, we see both players wearing the Big Blue next season. But if we can only have one, Jacobs is the man.

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