The NFL free-agent signing period starts Friday, March 2. With that in mind, let's take a look at how free agency shapes up for the Giants.
I would like to do that in two posts. In this post, I will look at potential Giants free agents. Who should the Giants keep? Who should they let go?
I'll share my thoughts. Feel free to disagree.
First the list.
Unrestricted Free Agents (UFAs)
(A player who has completed four or more accrued seasons and whose contract has expired)
• Lewis Kelly (OG); Lance Legree (DT); Shaun O'Hara (C); Gray Ruegamer (OG); Visanthe Shiancoe (TE); Brandon Short (LB); Frank Walker (DB); Jay Feely (PK).
Restricted Free Agents (RFAs)
(A player who has completed three accrued seasons and whose contract has expired)
• Reggie Torbor (LB); Derrick Ward (RB); Gibril Wilson (S).
The key names on this list are O'Hara, Feely and Wilson.
O'Hara, the Giants starting center, appears headed out of New York unless he has a change of heart. The Giants reportedly made him a six-year $21.6 million offer with a $7 million signing bonus that wasn't enough. O'Hara is a good player, but if he can get more than that on the open market, more power to him. Rich Seubert can handle the center position.
Of course, since the Giants have already released Luke Petitgout and had Bob Whitfield retire they would be thin on the offensive line, so re-signing a veteran like Ruegamer would be a good idea.
Feely is a guy the Giants need to keep. He has had two good seasons for New York, and you don't let a quality placekicker walk away if you can help it. Feely hasn't closed the door on a return to the Giants, but recently told the New York Daily News he was "definitely headed to free agency." He would be tough to replace.
Gibril Wilson, who is inconsistent but has shown flashes of brilliance at safety, is another must keep.
As for everybody else on the list, who cares? Visanthe Shiancoe? Reggie Torbor? Derrick Ward? Frank Walker. All easily replaceable.
You might be able to make an argument that the Giants should keep Brandon Short for linebacker depth, but I'd like to see them get younger and healthier at that position.
Between now and Friday morning I will post the second part of my look at free agency. There, I will assess the Giants needs and share some thoughts on who the Big Blue should target.