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Which free agents will the Giants chase?

In my last post, I looked at the Giants who were potential free agents. Now, let's look at Big Blue's needs, and who they might go after in order to fill them.

Primary Needs:
Cornerback, Linebacker, Offensive Line, Running Back

Other Needs:
Wide Receiver, Safety, Kick Returner, Backup Quarterback, Placekicker

A look at that list, which is just my opinion, tells you that rookie GM Jerry Reese has plenty of holes to fill. He has about $20 million in cap space to work with. The free-agent signing period starts Friday.

The two biggest impact defensive players on the market will be linebacker Adelius Thomas from the Ravens and cornerback Nate Clements from Buffalo.

The Giants might make a big run at Clements, but I have my doubts. Giants President/CEO John Mara hinted recently that the team might not be looking to make a blockbuster move in free agency.

"You can't fix all your problems in free agency. A lot of teams have been successful with so-called 'second-tier' free agents, guys who didn't get all the attention right away. And you still have to draft well and develop your players. That's how you win."

With that in mind, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Giants pass on Clements and Thomas, and focus on a corner like Nick Harper or a linebacker like Cato June (both of the Colts).

Considering the losses of starting OT Luke Petitgout (released), reserve OT Bob Whitfield (retired) and starting center Shaun O'Hara (free agent), I would be stunned if the Giants don't target at least one top-flight offensive lineman.

Among the possibilities: Eric Steinbach (G, Bengals) and Kris Dielman (G, Chargers). The Giants will also be trying to re-sign veteran Gray Reugamer, a backup for them last season.

I am not as concerned about the running back situation as some. I believe Brandon Jacobs will do just fine carrying the bulk of the load, and don't see a need to bring in a big-name back like Ahman Green (Packers). I would be happy with a Kevin Barlow type, or with drafting a change-of-pace type back to compliment the powerful Jacobs.

One thing I would like to see the Giants do is make a push to re-sign placekicker Jay Feely, who has decided to test the market after two good seasons in New York. I would hate to see the Giants go into the season without an established kicker.

Here's one other intriguing thought. Are you happy with the hefty lefty, Jared Lorenzen, as the backup quarterback? Veterans Brad Johnson and Drew Bledsoe are both available, and Joey Harrington might soon join them on the unemployment line. One of those QBs might provide better insurance for Eli Manning.

More on Free Agency
List of Free Agents
Possible Sleepers
Buyer beware
Free agent scouting reports