By Michael J Basile, @MdoubleJB
The New York football Giants have their coaching staff in place so now the focus turns to the upcoming NFL draft and free agency. The last time the GMen spent big free agency dollars was in 2016 when they brought Olivier Vernon, Janoris Jenkins, and Snacks Harrison on board.
The immediate return was solid, going 11-5 that season and making the playoffs for the only time in what seems like forever. However, none of those players are still on the team and the overall impact on the franchise long term was minimal. In this free agency period, Dave Gettleman must provide new head coach Joe Judge with players than can help build and sustain success. Big Blue Nation deserves a consistent contender once again and Free Agency is a vital tool for building that contender.
Where should they allocate the cap space?
Jeff outlines the nicely here https://www.nygiantsrush.com/ny-giants/pilgrims-point-cap-casualties/. To that point, sign me up for Clowney, Fowler, or Ngakoue playing at MetLife Stadium 8 times a season. A veteran presence is needed on the defensive side of the ball. If not a leader, a playmaker. The Giants must sign Markus Golden before it’s too late. Another team will sign him, it should be the Giants. Hopefully, Judge and Gettleman don’t make that mistake. Then the Giants should go out of their way to spend their money on a linebacker and a Defensive End.
However, the Giants need to be smart, spending big money on a wideout is something to certainly avoid.
Ultimately, there are certain positions that you can eat up cap space on and others that you can save a bit by not overpaying in free agency. With the current roster, the Giants can afford to and should look to bring in free agents at the following positions:
- Pass rushers/Linebackers: This is the hallmark of every one of the Giants Super Bowl teams. A dynamic pass rush covers up other deficiencies. The most successful Giants teams have always built around rushing the passer: Finding a homegrown one is not easy and they struck out mightly with Vernon. But that doesn’t mean they should stop trying to find that player. Daniel Jones and Barkley on rookie deals, so now is the time to splurge on a player that you feel can be a core member for the next several years.
- Corners/secondary: I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of watching wideouts run free down the field against this Giant defense year after year. While pass rushers can help, this secondary has made bad QBs look like Joe Montana. The Giants have also drafted Beal, Baker, and Love. It might be time to just bring in an established, impact player that can lead the young guys and show them how to be pros. That player must be able to lead in the locker room and the field. Bethea was not that player.
If a player at another position comes at a bargain for whatever reason, bringing in talented players is never an issue. But these are the only spots I would overpay market value to bring in playmakers. Remember the draft strategy and free agency period go hand in hand so it’s important to always have backup plans in place. Let’s see how the new coach handles his first offseason together with Dave Gettleman, and how the two can work together to build this roster.