The team has given up on 2020
The Pillar decision made clear what all of us essentially knew heading into the offseason: the Giants do not plan on contending in 2020.
With the aging and declining core and unproven talent surrounding them, we all figured that 2020 would be some sort of semi-rebuild.
So instead of Pillar, if Zaidi is true to his word, the team will trot out younger players like Steven Duggar and Jaylin Davis to see if there is any chance that they will be of value to the team. Oh yeah, and it does not hurt that they are cheap.
The players aren’t dumb. They knew it would be tough to contend in 2020. But getting rid of arguably your best player wipes out any doubt that the front office does not believe in your ability to win consistently.
Maybe it will hurt their confidence, or maybe it will make them want to prove that they really can win. It remains to be seen, but on the whole the decision to non-tender Pillar sends a terrible message to every player on the team.