I'm not saying break the bank and cripple the franchise for Hardy, but hoping Alexander can duplicate his results is asking a bit much so far. I like Alexander, but he didn't look as good as Hardy or CJ in their rookie years in my opinion (I was big on both following their rookie years). Alexander looks like good rotational material, but I haven't seen a quality starter in him yet. Not saying it won't happen, but I sure as hell wouldn't wanna plan on letting Hardy go with Alexander as the replacement just yet. As has already been said, if Gettleman plays it smart he can extend Cam and Hardy both next year, before they're set to become FAs, and structure it so the cap hit is manageable at least at first. And signing them before the threat of FA should allow for a cheaper contract too. Neither seem like Chris Johnsons or Haynesworths who will start slacking once they get their money. They both seem to genuinely enjoy playing the game of football. As far as Hardy is concerned, last year was the floor of his potential development in my opinion and that's definitely something worth holding on to. I see no declines or slumps or any kind of regression from him until it's because of age/injuries.
Defense and consistent pressure on opposing QBs is something that helped the Giants win Super Bowls (as well as the Steelers). Call me crazy, but I think Gett has that same mind frame. I absolutely think that Hardy is a key element in a run to a championship, and Alexander has not yet shown us that his level of game is in the same league as the Kraken's. Consistent pressure, imo, is perhaps the most important way to deal with guys like Brees. It doesn't stop him completely, but it makes Breesus human. Pressure definitely turns Matty Ice into slush, and flat out makes Freeman look more like Vince Young than Vince Ferragamo (old schoolers). Moreover, his mere presence helps the entire defense including his teammate on the opposite side. Another good year by Hardy will undoubtedly put another type of pressure on CJ and the FO. One would have to think long and hard about who stays or goes (if it would come to that), and one would be faced with the real possibility of restructuring or getting capped (as the process of market correction will more than likely continue into next year's free agency, particularly with Gett at the helm). But, I still say we keep both at the end of the day.
Going off on a little tangent that may be a sign of things to come next year, look what Elway is saying about Dumervil's contract this year
. So all of you who don't think that CJ's contract won't become an issue, or that he would never be cut or traded in favor of a cheaper Hardy or up-and-coming Alexander (if he shows marked improvement), you might want to think again. Gett comes from a different ilk than Hurney...