NFL Free Agency has been in full swing for about 2 weeks now. At this point throughout the offseason, almost all of the big name players are just about off the market. But, there are still lots of solid players out there ether teams can add to bolster their rosters.
Although the Giants didn’t have as much cap space as they did last year, they were still able to make a lot of moves. Free Agency is still quite young, and lots of people are talking about the Giants and the moves they’re making. Many people are now considering them to be the team to beat in the NFC.
The biggest out-of-house splash the Giants made so far is signing wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Signing Marshall was a complete steal, as he really wanted to stay in New York and play for the Giants. He signed a 2-year, $11 million contract right before all the chaos of free agency begun. This signing adds a dynamic player who is familiar with being the #1 man on the field. Marshall’s biggest focus now is taking pressure and attention away from Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard. He is also a giant target, especially in the redzone, something the Giants desperately needed. Marshall chose the Giants because of their ability to win and he believes the Giants are going to win and win big very soon.
The biggest in-house splash the Giants made was by far agreeing to a long term deal with Jason Pierre-Paul. JPP proved he can still play at an elite level, despite the injuries and setbacks he has faced. The two sides finally agreed on a long term contract the other day. Not only is that good for the Giants, keeping their star defensive end for years to come, but also relieving a huge chunk of cap space. JPP’s deal is for 4 years and $62 million. Originally on the franchise tag, Pierre-Paul’s cap hit for this year would have been $17 million, but now is going to be about $9.4 million. This is a huge help for the Giants in their pursuit to bring back Jonathan Hankins as well.
Besides those 2 signings, the Giants have been fairly quiet, mainly because of their money situation. Also, this year’s free agent class is nothing to be excited about anyway. The Giants did address the formidable offensive line by adding D.J. Fluker, former first round pick out of Alabama. Fluker hasn’t shown consistency but the Giants expect competition to brew up come training camp. The Giants also signed FB/TE Rhett Ellison to boost in the blocking game. There is no denying the Giants want to continue to add blockers so Eli has more time in the pocket and so the running game is existent.
Other notable additions include the re-signing of RB Orleans Darkwa and QB Josh Johnson. Darkwa started a game last season and flashed at certain times, only to be sidelined by an injury for the rest of the season. He is still very young and provides depth in an already struggling position. The Giants are also expected to sign QB Geno Smith, pending a physical. I would imagine Smith and Johnson will compete for the backup spot and the Giants will add a young arm in the draft this year.
Looking from the outside in, it seems the the Giants aren’t addressing the positions that need to be addressed. Sure Brandon Marshall is a fun signing and brining back JPP is great and all, but at the end of the day their is still so much to do. The offensive line is still the same and big holes exist at the tight end and running back positions. All of these assumptions are correct, but looking from the inside out, the Giants have improved greatly. They were a good team last year, and with minimal changes already, they are a dominant one.
Rhett Ellison, Brandon Marshall, and D.J. Fluker were all brought in to make an impact in their own way. But one thing all of these players have in common is their ability to block and block well. The Giants, without adding any pricy offensive lineman, bolstered their blocking game and already improved this team.
Free Agency still has many hidden gems and I’m sure Jerry Reese still has some things on his mind. With the draft coming up soon, Reese has a lot of decisions on what he’s going to do. The draft is unpredictable and there is no guarantee you get any of the players you want, unless you have the #1 overall pick.
Many positions still need to be addressed and general manager Jerry Reese knows exactly what he’s going to do. The path he has already began paving for this season is a bright and smooth one. He hasn’t made the biggest splashes, but in fact, he has made the smartest ones. The next month is going to be a very exciting one for Giants fans. By the end of April, there will be a good chunk of players that will become part of the New York Football Giants.