Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |
NFL free agency will kick off this week, and every team in the league will be checking in on the top players looking for a new home to see if they could be a fit for their club in 2019.
For the Giants, they have multiple holes that need filling, and they are sure to scoure the market to see who they can add at the right price. But Big Blue isn't sitting on a pile of money. Instead, they have around $25 million in cap space after their latest move -- the Olivier Vernon trade to the Browns for G Kevin Zeitler -- gave them an extra $1.5 million.
So, unlike their MetLife Stadium counterpart in the Jets, they will need to be cautious with how much they spend on free agency as they will have to save money for their draft picks, too. Still, there are some bargain players out there that could make an immediate impact next season. Here are some players the Giants could target this week…
RT Daryl Williams
With the Zeitler-Vernon swap, the Giants have shored up their right guard slot with one of the best in the game. That leaves just right tackle up for question, and Williams would be the man to fill the void.
In 2018 with the Panthers, Williams suffered a nasty MCL tear and dislocated his right patella during training camp. But, at 26 years old and a market value of $7.8 million according to Spotrac, Williams would be a great pickup to lock in the Giants' right tackle for the season.
And, of course, we all know how much GM Dave Gettleman loves his former Panthers players. He drafted Williams in the fourth round back in 2015, so it wouldn't be at all surprising to see him on the Giants' radar.
OLB Anthony Barr
The Giants need a better outside linebacker on their defense, and Barr can definitely be that. He isn't predominantly a pass rusher (he had only three sacks last season), but he is very good in coverage and against the run.
Last season with the Vikings, Barr tallied 55 combined tackles (eight for loss), two passes defended, and four quarterback hits to go along with the three sacks. His market value right now is set around $8.3 million, which the Giants can definitely afford.
A four-time Pro Bowler, Barr would bring seasons as a defensive captain over to New York with him as well. Having that type of leader stacked up with Alec Ogletree, one of the Giants' defensive captains last season, would be a good dynamic duo on paper.
DE/OLB Preston Smith
Vernon was the Giants' best pass rusher last season, tallying seven sacks in 11 games. With him in Cleveland now, the Giants' pass rush is hurting bad as Lorenzo Carter and Kareem Martin can't be expected to make consistent pressure on the quarterback.
The Giants would love to be able to go after players like Dante Fowler and Trey Flowers at the top of the pack, but they'll be forced to step down a tier. Smith, though, is no push-over and would be the perfect fit to the 3-4 scheme off the edge.
Smith wasn't anything special in Washington last season, totaling 53 tackles (five for loss), one interception, and four sacks over 16 games. However, he did have an eight-sack season back in 2017, and he can drop back in coverage pretty well -- a skillset a Giants linebacker hasn't had in a few seasons.
The 26-year-old is just coming off his rookie contract, so he shouldn't be worth too much money for the Giants, either.
CB Pierre Desir
As NJ.com's Ryan Dunleavy reported earlier this week, the Giants are expected to be looking for a veteran cornerback on the market due Janoris Jenkins being their only solid corner on the roster at the moment. But they are going to have to go down the totem pole as the top two free agents in Ronald Darby and Steven Nelson both have market values around $10 million.
Desir, on the other hand, would be cheaper and has the veteran experience they're looking for. The 28-year-old had a great season with the Colts last year, collecting 79 combined tackles, eight passes defended, two forced fumbles and one interception in 16 games. He could be the man to step up opposite Janoris Jenkins come September.
S Kareem Jackson
Gettleman doesn't covet the safety position, which is why he let Pro Bowler Landon Collins walk into free agency after deciding not to franchise tag him. Losing Collins is a big blow to the Giants, especially considering he has led the team in the tackles since entering the league in 2015.
Jackson could be his replacement, and at a much cheaper cost. He will be 31 years old when the season begins, but Jackson has not showed his age yet, especially after a stellar season with the Texans last year. He has 87 combined tackles (five for loss), two interceptions, one sack, two forced fumbles, and 17 passes defended. That last stat is huge considering Collins' big critique was his lack of coverage skills.
With players like Tyrann Mathieu, Adrian Amos, and other out in a wide safety market, Jackson could be the sleeper the Giants can grab.
RT Jermey Parnell
The Jaguars did some massive cutting on Friday to make some more cap room for themselves in order to likely sign Nick Foles as their franchise quarterback. Parnell was one of the casualties, and though he's 32, he could still be a solid option at right tackle for the Giants.
Parnell has eight years of experience on the outside of the line, playing in 13 games at right tackle for the Jags a season ago. He is also accustomed to the NFC East, having played for the Cowboys in his first four seasons in the NFL.
CB Captain Munnerlyn
Another Panthers product, Munnerlyn would be an option for the Giants as their slot corner if they didn't bring B.W. Webb back into the mix. The soon-to-be 31-year-old totaled 47 combined tackles, two sacks, one interception, and nine passes defended in 16 games (five starts) in 2018.
Munnerlyn would be cheap, having played on a $2.5 million deal last season.