The Baltimore Ravens will not franchise standout linebacker Adalius Thomas, meaning the two-time Pro Bowler can be an unrestricted free agent.
That should get the attention of Giants GM Jerry Reese since Thomas might be the biggest playmaking defender on the free agent market, and I'm sure it will get the attention of plenty of other teams as well.
The Giants have plenty of cap space (roughly $20 million) and an obvious need for a playmaking linebacker -- especially since they recently released LaVar Arrington and Carlos Emmons.
So, making a run at Thomas, who had a career-high 11 sacks in 2006 to go along with 83 tackles, seems like a natural thing to do.
The Giants also have a need for a playmaking cornerback, and the biggest name out there when the signing period starts March 2 is likely to be Buffalo's Nate Clements.
Here's a question for you, Giants fans. If you could only have one, Thomas or Clements, which one would you choose?
You can go around on that one for a long time, and I did. At the end of the day, however, here is what I think. If you judge them to be equal in terms of potential impact, and think you have a shot at either of them, you have to go after the cornerback first.
Why? I think it is easier to draft a linebacker who can help immediately than it is to draft an impact corner. It seems to take a corner a couple of years to settle in, while an athletic, pass-rushing or run-stuffing linebacker can step right in.
So, if it was up to me I would make Clements my first target and Thomas No. 2. I won't complain, however, if either of them winds up in a Giants uniform this fall.
I'll take more of a look at the Giants needs, and potential targets, as free agency gets closer. For now, however, stew over the Thomas vs. Clements question.