I have been spending most of my time lately feeding the New York Giants' 'draftnik' beast. I know, however, that free agency comes first -- March 5, in fact -- and could dramatically impact what GM Jerry Reese does during the April draft.
The likelihood of an uncapped year changes the free agency rules, and will mean more than 200 players who normally would be unrestricted free agents will instead be restricted.
One unrestricted player who is likely to be at the top of the Giants' list will be Arizona middle linebacker Karlos Dansby.
ESPN's Rumor Central, which I won't bother linking to since it's an 'Insider' feature, pointed out the other day that before being franchised a year ago Dansby had indicated he would like New York. Dansby made a career-high 101 solo tackles in 2009, and on the face of it taking a run at the 29-year-old seems like a no-brainer.
Two things to be leery of.
- As Ernie Palladino recently pointed out, the price tag is likely to be huge since Dansby is likely to be highly sought after.
- As ESPN also pointed out, Dansby has been a 3-4 linebacker in Arizona. There are questions about whether or not he can handle the pass coverage responsibilities as a 4-3 middle linebacker.
Questions or no questions, Dansby is a guy the Giants probably need to make a run at.
- One player I am not so sure I would make a run at is Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers. New York Post columnist Steve Serby Wednesday advocated Peppers as a replacement if the Giants decide to part ways with Osi Umenyiora.
Peppers is a tremendous player, but I'm not so sure that's a good idea. I think I side with Palladino on this one. He is a 3-4 defensive end, though he would likely be fine in a 4-3, the price tag would be huge, and Peppers has a history of being temperamental.
- Writing for The Sporting News, Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio points out that the uncapped year may actually put a damper on the annual free-agent frenzy.