NY Giants Rush Update: The Draft vs. Free Agency
By: Andrew Santoro
NY Giants Rush Update: The Draft vs. Free Agency. With The Giants season coming to an end quicker than fans have hoped for, they are left to think of the future and hope for the best. With so much uncertainty about Big Blue’s direction moving forward, let’s look at some of the general schools of thought on how Jerry Reese can attempt to fix the roster.
Every team’s roster is mix of both free agency and the draft, but which road you lean towards will greatly impact the results. At the beginning of the NFL’s fiscal year the giants will have 29 UFAs (unrestricted free agents) literally more than half the active roster.
With 11 of the UFAs coming on the defensive side of the ball, the giants could even make as drastic of a change as switching from the 4-3 to a 3-4 base, if they felt so inclined. The New York Giants have an estimated $43,372,206 in cap room for this upcoming off-season, mind you that money will also be paid towards the 2016 rookie class.
One option the team would have would be to “buy” a new team in free agency for 2016, which rarely works, just ask Daniel Snyder and the Redskins. Most teams that chose that path are in the win now mentality, and that does not fit The Giants M.O. The Mara family understands that, teams who chose this road fail more times than not. Free agents should be brought in to fill holes and create competition, not build a team.
Most front office personnel believe you need to build through the draft, because that allows you to save a ton of money, with LESS of a risk of nagging injuries brought on by older players, similar to what the team has been dealing with in Jon Beason‘s case. Jerry Reese‘s draft model has always been to draft the best player on the board, a common principle with most NFL GM’s.
By drafting the best player available it minimizes risk down the road, filling your team with blue chip players and waiting for the team to fall into place. This also allows the depth on your team to mature at a cheaper price, especially if it is coming from late round picks and un-drafted free agents.
So when that unexpected freak injury occurs, the team has a better chance of being able to fill the vacancy with a more ready player. Also leaving the team with the option of using the saved money to bring in a UFA with a unguaranteed contract to fill the void.
So before your screaming about what overpaid, big named UFA the Giants pass on this off-season, remember a championship team takes time to build. The draft is the foundation while free agency is just something shiny dangling before your eyes more times than not.