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.
Last year, the offense was the focus of the front office. This year, after 2014's poor showing, it's the defense. Schwartz listed a few low-risk, high-reward defensive players that will be UFAs come Tuesday that could help restock the defense without breaking the bank:
Rahim Moore, safety, Denver Broncos: "Coming off a four-interception season for the Broncos. Only 25 years old. Don’t judge him on that awful gaffe in the playoffs vs. the Ravens after the 2012 season."The Giants have genuine interest in Moore, 25, but he might be their second choice behind Devin McCourty, who has expressed a desire to play in New York. Per sources, Moore may command $5-8 million per while it will take around $10 million per to sign McCourty.
Pernell McPhee, defensive end, Baltimore Ravens: "Big, strong edge player had 7.5 sacks for the Ravens in 2014."
Jabaal Sheard, defensive end, Cleveland Browns: "Better fit in the Giants 4-3 front than he was this past season in the Browns 3-4. Had 21 sacks in first three NFL seasons."
McPhee, 26, is not likely to be signed by the Giants. It is widely rumored that McPhee is leaning towards Indianapolis and his old coach, Chuck Pagano. The Giants would have to overpay for McPhee to lure him from what sems to be a more natural fit.
Sheard is certainly attainable. He was out of position in Cleveland and his pass rush numbers took a hit because of it. He's a decent rusher with a good record vs the run. His price? Anyone's guess. Depends on the interest.