2015 NFL Free Agency
The Giants have not made a splash in the free agent market as of yet (and probably won't) nor have they made any blockbuster trades to change the face and fate of their franchise. What they have done, however, is restructure contracts of some key veterans while giving some others their walking papers, keep DE Jason Pierre-Paul from becoming a free agent and re-sign a handful of their own UFAs.
Just because GM Jerry Reese has focused on upgrading the middle and back end of his roster, some critics are calling them "losers" this year in free agency. That remains to be seen. They spent quite a bit of money on free agents last March and were considered "winners". They finished with their worst record in a decade.
Q: What is your take on what the Giants have done so far in free agency? JF: I'm not doing cartwheels down 6th Avenue over these transactions, but they had some needs and JR went out and covered most of them. They needed depth and diversity at RB and I think they got that with Shane Vereen. He's a winning player that brings another dimension to the offense along with key intangibles. They needed to get deeper on special teams and LB and Jonathan Casillas and JT Thomas will help towards that. Of course the signing of KR/PR Dwayne Harris serves a duel purpose - giving the Giants a quality return man while taking a key player away from Dallas. OL Marshall Newhouse is an upgrade over the other backup lineman the Giants have had the past few seasons. So, overall, I believe these moves make the Giants a better team. Not sexy, but an efficient use of cap space. Five guys that will make the roster, as well as make it better and deeper.
Q: What is the plan at safety now that Antrel Rolle has moved on? JF: They chose not to continue on with Rolle, not because they didn't want him back, but because they didn't want to give him more than a two-year deal. He got three years from Chicago and the Giants chose not to match. They will miss him for sure, but as part of their new "young and cheap" philosophy, they didn't want to be paying Rolle past his prime. If you believe they will go into 2015 with Nat Berhe, Cooper Taylor and Thomas Gordon as their safeties, think again. I see them re-signing Stevie Brown and possibly another veteran. They also can spend an early round pick on a safety. For some reason, I have this crazy notion that they might draft Washington OLB Shaq Thompson and make him a box safety. The kid is a great prospect.?
Yesterday, they re-signed two of their own UFAs (FB Henry Hynoski, LB Mark Herzlich) and now have 77 players under contract. Their estimated Top 51 cap space is $9.142 million.
So, you may ask, are they done adding players until the draft??The answer is no, but don't expect any signings worthy of breaking news.
[sny-box]RB Shane Vereen (NE) signed a 3 year / $12,350,000 contract which includes a $3,500,000 signing bonus, $4,750,000 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $4,116,667.
LB Jonathan Casillas (NE) signed a 3 year / $10,500,000 contract at an annual average salary of $3,500,000.
It has been rumored that Big Blue is interested in Eagles' DE Brandon Graham to replace Mathias Kiwanuka. From Rotoworld:
Best suited to a 4-3 defense, Graham would be an excellent fit in New York, rushing off the edge opposite Jason Pierre-Paul. He'd be a significant upgrade on outgoing Mathias Kiwanuka. Graham's market has been quiet for most of the weekend, which perhaps suggests he's going to come at a bargain price.Graham was never really a fit in Philly and also did not make the most of his opportunities when they came, only recording 14 sacks over the past three seasons. He is a fit for the Giants' situational DE role and could be a real asset if used properly.
The free agent buzz surrounding the Giants has been a low one thus far, with only a few names leaking out. The Giants are rumored to have interest in Kansas City safety Ron Parker and DT Dan Williams of the Cardinals.
Both players are in the Giants' wheelhouse for need, age (27) and upside. And both appear to be affordable. From Rotoworld:
The Giants, currently estimated to be about $13 million under the salary cap, are also expected to rework the contracts of players coming off injuries such as linebacker Jon Beason, wide receiver Victor Cruz and offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz to give themselves more flexibility in the free agent market. It remains to be seen how much they are willing to spend to keep free agents on the team, starting with defensive back Antrel Rolle.
Ah, yes, they will spend more wisely this season. No one to a man was critical of last year's free agent signings, but rather the results of those signings, in which the Giants hope to reap dividends going forward.
For the majority of this offseason, bringing back S Antrel Rolle was viewed a given. Signing a new contract with the Giants was simply a foregone conclusion. Not so fast.
Jerry Reese has stated the Giants may not be as aggressive as they were last March in free agency, but also said he would explore every avenue to improve the roster. With yesterday's rumors regarding the Giants' sudden interest in ?Ndamakong Suh circulating throughout the internet, it's very possible that Reese is ready to let some more veterans go in order to do some serious bidding.
Last year, the Giants were mandated by management to upgrade the offense. They went headlong into free agency by signing veteran OL Geoff Schwartz and RB Rashad Jennings. Both players had their debut seasons with the Giants cut short and hampered by injuries. The club is still high on both players and expect them to produce as advertised this season.
Tags: 2015 New York Giants, 2015 NFL Free Agency, Eli Manning, giants, Jerry Reese, Ndamakong Suh, New York Giants, NFL Offseason, Rashad Jennings
The franchise tag for defensive ends will be $14.813 million (Vacchiano, March 2).
Other teams can make offers to Pierre-Paul between now and April 24.
The Lions' Reggie Bush, Green Bay's AJ Hawk and WR/KR Jacoby Jones of the Ravens are now all free agents who are free to sign with any team. So... are the Giants interested?
I say yes to Jones, maybe to Bush and no to Hawk. All three players are either over 30 or will be by the time the season starts. The Giants are focused on bringing in younger players with more upside going forward. But...