Looking At The Giants New Defense
By Andrew Santoro
The Giants dove right into the free agency pool on March 9th, making headlines throughout the football world. Big Blue’s defense, seems to be in full rebuild mode, on the first day of the new NFL year, the Giants made 3 huge splash signings.
That being, defensive end Olivier Vernon, defensive tackle Damon Harrison and cornerback, Janoris Jenkins. Things became quieter over the weekend but, then on Monday, the Giants signed yet another defensive player. This time coming from a divisional foe, former Washington Redskins Linebacker, Keenan Robinson.
Meaning, the Giants have placed new players at every faze of their 4-3 Defense. The first three are likely to be day one starters. Keenan Robinson, may be a starter by the time September rolls around but, he will definitely have to earn the starting middle linebacker spot.
Remember, the Giants also made a move when they resigned Jason Pierre-Paul to a one year deal, worth 10.6 Million. JPP, has not really been the player that Giants fans were hoping for, after his breakout 2011 performance. Things only got worse after he sustained a severe hand injury, do to a fireworks accident.
Fans however, seem to be optimistic about JPP coming back. I think one thing that contributes to the fans approval of the new deal, is that JPP is said to have left a few million on the table in Arizona. Taking a lower salary, to stay with the team he won the Super Bowl with in 2011.
On top of that, the talent surrounding this once stud, has gone up considerably, with these new signings. At least that’s what GM Jerry Reese hopes. It is safe to say, if the Giants D does not start performing to expectations, he might be standing on the unemployment line come January.
I know fans are holding their breath on some of these new deals, do to the astronomical amount of money the new free agents are scheduled to make over the next three seasons. When the Giants defense becomes the league’s punch line, you need to make major changes.
The Giants were atrocious at stopping the run last year, so they went out and got a top tear run stopper, in Snacks Harrison. New York’s pass rush seemed almost non existent in 2015, so they’re going to kick the tires on JPP, at a fair rate. On the other side of JPP will be Olivier Vernon, the 85 million dollar man.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, was one of the Giants bright spots last year, even with the dropped INTs, late in the season. Prince however, could not manage to stay on the field, and when he was playing fans really rather that he didn’t. In walks ball hawk, Janoris Jenkins, who should definitely be an upgrade at the corner spot.
The Giants, still have one gaping hole across the defense, that being at the safety position. The team did trade up to the 1st pick of the second round in the 2015 NFL Draft, to grab Landon Collins out of Alabama. Collins is a fine player but, still needs a little time to develop. Also, being viewed as more of a strong safety best suited in the box. The Giants are in need of a true free safety, that can play that center fielder roll, that Antrel Rolle used to man.
With Eric Weddle being signed by the Baltimore Ravens on Monday and Gibson being taken off the market earlier in free agency, the Giants are running out of options. Unless they’re comfortable with drafting another safety in the upcoming draft.
A move most Giants fans would not be thrilled about, due to the fact of there being no real veteran on the roster, to help mentor the many young, unproven and injury plugged safeties on Big Blue’s roster. Most don’t believe the Giants can return to their previous form until the back end of the defense is solidified.