The New York Giants 2023 season has ended with a disappointed record of 6-11. After finished with a 9-7-1 record and a playoff win in 2022, high hopes awaited the Giants entering the 2023 season. Unfortunately, poor performances and injuries sidelined the team’s expectation and now GM Joe Schoen will need to pivot and try to turn this franchise around in a shorter timetable. Once the Giants revamp their coaching staff after many firings, then they will look towards free agency to get the ball rolling before the draft.
The Giants will have roughly $22M to 33M in cap space, which should increase with expected cuts/releases to approximately $45M or more. Here are my top 3 free agent positions/players the Giants should consider in 2024 if Schoen wants to make a big splash.
- Kevin Zeitler (Baltimore) 6’4/340: Zeitler was cut by the Giants a few years back and the team still regrets that decision. Zeitler will be 34 years old next season, but he still performs well as a run blocking & pass blocker (PFF 70.0). Bringing Zeitler back to New York on a 2 year deal at $6.5M-7M per year could seal the deal and help solidify a fragile unit.
- Robert Hunt (Miami) 6’6/335: Hunt finished the 2023 season with an overall PFF grade of 77.1 and will be 28 years next season. The price tag for Hunt will be more of a commitment for the Giants or any team that acquires his services starting in 2024. It’s projected that Hunt will demand a 4 year deal at roughly $8.5M per year, but it would worth the investment for a Giants team desperately looking to improve an offensive line that has been ranked near the bottom of the NFL for the past decade.
- Kevin Dotson (Tennessee) 6’4/320: Dotson finished the 2023 season with a PFF grade of 85.1 and will be a sort after commodity should he can make it to free agency. There is a possibility that the Titans might franchise tag him or make it a priority to re-sign him. If not, the Giants should be in on bringing Dotson to New York. Dotson should command a similar contract as Robert Hunt (4-year/$8.5 per), so let the bidding begin. A
- Josh Allen (Jacksonville) 6’5/255: The Giants passed over Allen in the 2019 draft in favor of QB Daniel Jones and now they have a chance to bring him to New York. However, he won’t come cheap as Allen finished the 2023 season with 19 sacks and a PFF ranking of 89.5. It’s highly doubtful that the Jacksonville Jaguars would allow Allen to test the free agent market as it’s expected they will do whatever it takes to re-sign him. If not, Allen will have lots of options as many NFL teams would acquire his services. If the Giants should be in on Allen, it would cost a pretty penny (4-year at $20M per).
- Danielle Hunter (Minnesota) 6’5/263: Hunter had 18 sacks in 2023 with a PFF grade of 78.0. Hunter was solid against the run and would give the Giants that dual threat off the edge along with Kayvon Thibeaux. Hunter will be 30 years old and arguably his final attempt to cash in as a free agent, so I expect he will seek at least a 3-year deal at $20M per.
- Chase Young (San Francisco) 6’5/264: Young finished with 10 sacks and a PFF grade of 74.4 by playing opposite of Nick Bosa who garnished most of the attention by opposing offensive linemen. Regardless, Young could look to move on and make a name for himself with another team in 2024. The Giants interest in him could be warranted if the numbers make sense. It’s expected that Young will be seeking a deal roughly 3-years at $13.5M per.
- Tee Higgins (Cincinnati) 6’4/219: Higgins missed some time in 2023 (Hamstring) so his overall stat line of 42/656/5 won’t jump out at you. However, when healthy Higgins can be a lethal weapon as a WR1 on many NFL teams. Higgins is still young at 25 years old and will have many suitors this off season as he is projected to get a contract roughly around 4-years/$17-18M per.
- Mike Evans (Tampa Bay) 6’5/231: Evans finished the 2023 season with a stat line of 79/1255/13 and with a PFF grade of 81.5. Evans will be 31 years old in 2024 and is seeking a deal roughly for 4 years at $22M-24M per.
- Michael Pittman (Indianapolis) 6’4/223: Pittman should be looking to cash in this off season as a free agent with a final stat line of 109/1152/4 and a PFF grade of 77.7. The price tag for his services will be around 4-years at $18-19M per.
Of course, Joe Schoen will address his own free agents as well (27 total) and it’s expected that a large portion of current Giant free agents will not return. Also, there many other free agents that will be available that will carry a much smaller price tag. I listed these players only if Schoen decides to go big in free agency at any of these positions, although most of these free agents will likely get re-signed and/or franchised tag.
I don’t expect the Giants to overspend on a backup QB in terms of years and money. I do expect Schoen to explore a QB in the draft only if it’s a prospect they are extremely high on. Keep an eye out for RUSH HOUR draft podcast which should be starting up in a couple of weeks.