The Giants were huge spenders in free agency last March, doling out more than $200 million worth of contracts to defensive players alone. They have money to spend again this offseason, though not nearly as much.
How active will they be? That will be determined by what cuts they make (Victor Cruz, perhaps) and which of their own free agents they choose to re-sign (like Jason Pierre-Paul and/or Johnathan Hankins). They probably will have in the neighborhood of $35 million in cap room for both their own free agents and ones from other teams.
So yes, they have enough to help their struggling offense, at least a little. With that in mind, here is the first installment of SNY's weekly look at five free agents the Giants might -- and probably should -- consider if they have money to spend and if the price is right:
OT Andrew Whitworth (Bengals) - Ideally they wouldn't sign a 35-year-old tackle entering his 12th NFL season, but this makes sense for a lot of reasons. First, he's made the Pro Bowl in each of the last two seasons (three times overall). Second, he's missed just two games in the last seven years and none in the last three. And third, the 6-7, 330-pounder likely won't cost a ton due to his age. No, it's not a long-term solution, but the Giants are trying to win a Super Bowl in the final 3-4 years of the Eli Manning Era, so they don't need to think long-term. Whitworth's presence would allow the Giants to move the struggling Ereck Flowers to the right side. Also, he's said to be a tremendous locker room presence and leader and could be a great mentor for Flowers, who needs to both grow up and fix some of his technical flaws. One big problem, though: The Bengals want him back and reportedly have already opened talks.
TE Martellus Bennett (Patriots) - When Bennett left the Giants in 2013 to sign a four-year, $20.4 million deal with the Chicago Bears it sure looked like the Bears overspent. In hindsight, the Giants made a big mistake letting him go for a deal that turned out to be a bargain. Now they get a chance to fix that mistake. Yes, he's now about to turn 30, but he's only two years removed from a 90-catch season and he had 55-701-7 last season even though he spent half the year as the Patriots' No. 2 tight end. The Giants clearly don't have a tight end of this caliber, either as a blocker or a receiver, and his size (6-6, 275) would give Manning a necessary target when he's being pressured (as he often is). It's a bonus that Bennett loves New York and was a fan and media darling in his one season here (2012). His price shouldn't be astronomical, either, and the Giants could be an enticing landing spot now that they are contenders again.
TE Jared Cook (Packers) - He's been an underachieving, average tight end for much of his career but the Giants got an up close look at what his presence did for the Packers' offense. First, his return in late-November was a big reason the Packers exploded for six straight wins down the stretch -- because of the attention he commands from the defense and what that opens for everyone else. He only caught five passes for 48 yards in the wild-card game against the Giants, but he helped loosen up the defense so other receivers could get free. He's also capable of big games, as he showed with his six-catch, 103-yard, one touchdown performance the next week against the Cowboys. He'll be 30 in April and he's never caught more than 52 passes in a season so his price may be low. But considering how similar the Packers and Giants schemes are, Cook is an obvious fit.
RB Eddie Lacy (Packers) - It's OK to roll your eyes a bit at this one. He went from one of the NFL's most dangerous running backs in 2013-14 to an overweight mess in 2015 to an ankle injury that cost him most of 2016. But he's still only 26 and the Giants are going to need a veteran complement to Paul Perkins in the backfield. They love Perkins and intend to make him the starter, but he has just 112 carries on his NFL resume. Lacy was a rookie in 2013 when Ben McAdoo was still the Packers quarterbacks coach, so the Giants' coach was a witness to his breakout, 1,178-yard, 11-touchdown season (he also had 35 catches for 257 yards). If Lacy is healthy and can stay in shape -- granted, it may be a big "if" -- he can add a lot of thunder to Perkins' lightning and make the Giants' backfield dangerous again.
WR Terrelle Pryor (Browns) - The 27-year-old converted quarterback had 77 catches for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns in his first full season as a receiver, playing for the awful Browns and their inadequate quarterbacks. It was eye-opening for everyone, and now the 6-4, 223-pounder might be the best receiver on the market. The Browns want him back and are trying to re-sign him and might even keep him off the market with the franchise tag. If they don't, some think he could command a deal worth $9-10 million per year. That might not make a lot of sense for the Giants, who'll have Odell Beckham, Jr.'s contract to think about sometime in the next two years. But they do need a big receiver on the outside and Pryor and Alshon Jeffery (who'll also be expensive) are the best available -- assuming they're even available this year.