The New York Giants have been connected on Monday to a pair of players we thought might be on the Giants' radar this offseason -- Green Bay Packers' tight end Andrew Quarless and New Orleans Saints center Brian De La Puente.
Conor Orr of the Star-Ledger broke the report Monday morning that the Giants are among several teams who have "reached out" to Quarless during the 'legal tampering' portion of NFL Free Agency 2014.
Quarless, who took over as the starter when Jermichael Finley went down with a season-ending neck injury, caught a career-high 32 passes in 2013. He started 10 games, doubling the total he had started in his first two seasons. Quarless missed the entire 2012 season after tearing the ACL and MCL in his right knee late in the 2011 season.
Green Bay tight ends coach Jerry Fontenot believes Quarless has "more in the tank" in terms of his ability to improve as both a receiver and a run blocker. Quarless, 6-foot-4, 252 pounds, graded out an an awful -9.3 as a run blocker, according to Pro Football Focus.
New Giants' offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo knows Quarless well. McAdoo was his position coach for two years in Green Bay before moving over to coach quarterbacks.
Ralph Vacchiano of the Daily News was the first to report the Giants' interest in De La Puente. The 28-year-old former undrafted free agent has been the Saints' starting center for three seasons. De La Puente received grades of +6.1 (2013, +23.0 (2012) and +6.1 (2011) from Pro Football Focus over those seasons.
Evan Dietrich-Smith of the Packers is another free-agent center who has been mentioned as possibility for the Giants. Reports indicate the Packers want to keep Dietrich-Smith, though, and a source indicated to me that it would take "crazy money" to get him out of Green Bay.
Vacchiano also reported that offensive guard Chad Rinehart will re-sign with the San Diego Chargers.
[UPDATE 2:48 PM EDT: Add Brandon Pettigrew of the Detroit Lions and Ed Dickson of the Baltimore Ravens to the list of tight ends the Giants are interested in, per Vacchiano.]
[UPDATE 3:34 PM EDT: Giants reportedly have 'serious' interest in Evan Dietrich-Smith.]