The NFL free agent signing period begins Feb. 27. Here are a few notes about potential New York Giants' free agents.
- The Giants seem willing to let safety James Butler find a new team.
"They told me they're going to let me try out free agency but to keep them posted on what I find out there," Butler said. ...
Even Butler knows the Giants don't spend a lot of money on the safety position. They let Gibril Wilson walk away without much of a fight at all last year. And in this case, they're clearly not making a push to retain Butler, 26, before another team gets a crack at him. So the only way he's coming back is if the market proves to be very cool and he signs a short-term, low-budget offer to stay with the Giants - a la Derrick Ward last season.
So Butler is likely in his last days as a Giant.
Personally, I have no problem with letting Butler go. Kenny Phillips and Michael Johnson are clearly ready for full-time duty. R.W. McQuarters can play safety in a pinch, and I'm sure the Giants can find a veteran free agent or use a second-day pick for some depth.
- Patricia Triani has some interesting thoughts on the Giants' decision to tender cornerback Kevin Dockery, meaning they would get a second-round draft pick from any team that signs him as a free agent.
My gut feeling is that this is a repeat of the James Butler situation. You’ll recall last year the Giants tendered Butler a second round offer to ensure he remained with the team, but that they didn’t bother extending him. They did that to protect themselves in the event they weren’t able to replenish the safety position with some young talent (which they did with Kenny Phillips.)
One last thought on Dockery and the corner back spot. I’d be floored if the Giants didn’t draft at least one corner in this spring’s draft. Then I suppose that goes without saying, as if you go back to 2003, the Giants have taken at least one corner in each draft class, the exception being 2005.
- Derrick Ward has the Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans on the top of his list of potential landing spots. I have thought for a while that Arizona, where Edgerrin James clearly wants out, is the perfect spot for Ward. He can clearly contribute both running and catching the ball.
- Newsday says the Giants are not among teams being targeted by free-agent wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh. It's hardly breaking news, but my guess for the Giants as they target wide receiver help is that they will either swing an Anquan Boldin trade or use on of their first two picks on a receiver.