That was an exhausting day, wasn't it? Tons of free agents signed with teams and money was flying everywhere. Let's take a quick look at who the Giants gained and lost, and what impact it has on the team as whole.
Free Agent Losses
Brandon Myers, signed contract with Tampa Bay
Safe to say not many tears will be shed on this one? Myers signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers early on in free agency and leaves the Giants after a lackluster season. This leaves a hole which the Giants have yet to fill. Here's to hoping Larry Donnell or Adrien Robinson step up this season, but a more realistic option is a reasonably priced free agent or draft pick.
Linval Joseph, signed contract with Minnesota
The run stuffing 1 technique signed a 5 year deal worth just over $31 million. He was certainly an ascending player but I don't believe he's someone that the Giants couldn't live without. Promising 2013 draft pick Jonathan Hankins is poised to step up and take over as the primary 1 technique in this defense, while Cullen Jenkins reprises his role as starting 3 technique.
The loss of Joseph does, however, leave a gap in the rotation. Will it be filled by Mike Patterson? Hopefully. Even then, a 3 technique defensive tackle is still a need for the Giants given that Jenkins is growing long in the tooth. Aaron Donald is obviously an option in the 1st round, but the team could look to less renowned options later in the draft as well, like Dominique Easley or Anthony Johnson. Either way, you have to think the Giants add someone else here.
Ryan Mundy, signed contract with Chicago
Mundy leaves after a solid, albeit nondescript, season with the Giants. He was a good, fundamentally sound, run defense-oriented safety that didn't make too many mistakes in pass coverage but was limited athletically. The Giants are crossing their fingers that the ACL-challenged Stevie Brown and the marijuana-challenged Will Hill both hold up and make Mundy expendable.
Free Agent Acquisitions
Trumaine McBride re-signs on a two-year, $3.1 million deal
We've discussed how important McBride is at length on this site. He shocked the world with his play. This was McBride's numbers last season:
73 targets, 32 receptions, 43.8 percent catch rate, 11.5 yards allowed per catch, 2 TDs allowed, 2 INTs, 8 passes defensed.
Nobody expects him to be a starter, but there are worse things that can happen and he's an excellent reserve.
Stevie Brown re-signs on a one-year deal worth $3 million, incentives to reach $4 million.
Signing Stevie Brown to this contract seemed pretty reasonable at the time, and looking further on it, a triumvirate of Will Hill, Antrel Rolle, and Stevie Brown is one of the elite safety corps in the NFL.
Hill's ability to play the back end and not get beat allows Rolle to maximize his time up at the line of scrimmage and allows Stevie Brown to act as the roving 3rd safety where he can pick off more poorly thrown balls. Brown's re-signing is also a sign that not only do the Giants trust that his ACL is healed but also possibly that they don't trust Will Hill completely to get his off-the-field issues corrected. A good signing and one that crosses safety off the list of offseason needs pretty completely.
Josh Brown signs to return to Giants
Josh Brown is a kicker. A kicker that completed 8-10 field goals from beyond 40 yards. A kicker that went 23-26 overall. Cross kicker off the list of off season needs.
Peyton Hillis signs a two-year, $1.8 million deal with the Giants
If you didn't want to do the math, its essentially two years at the veteran minimum and doesn't count towards the Giants' top 51 contracts. Hillis is likely here as a camp body with the upside to be a reserve during the season to take the load off the other horses in the stable.
Rashad Jennings signs a deal with the Giants
The contract details aren't out yet for Jennings, but CSN Bay Area states that Jennings was offered "considerably more" from the Giants than what he was getting with the Raiders. He was my top RB in free agency all along because he knows how to pass protect, he doesn't have an extensive injury history, he is a very strong pass catcher out of the backfield, and is an efficient in-between the tackles player.
He isn't particularly elusive and doesn't have speed to burn, but he does the little things well and if things go as planned, could definitely revitalized the ground attack in a committee with David Wilson. They complement each other well. I'd say the running back situation has been resolved.
O'Brien Schofield signs a two-year, $8 million deal with the Giants
Looks pretty expensive when you see it written out like that, but like everything in life, looks are often deceiving. We don't know the contract details just yet and its likely that quite a bit of this contract is incentive based. When I look at O'Brien Schofield, I see a very strong candidate for the starting SLB.
The Giants will likely use him in the same role that they used Mathias Kiwanuka prior to his disc injury. Schofield is an athletic player with good range and made his calling as a rising pass rusher. He was a backup on the Seahawks, but don't let that fool you. The guy in front of him was K.J Wright and he competed with snaps with Bruce Irvin.
What he'll add to this team is a speed rush, something that they were sorely lacking in 2013. Their best pass rushers are power and leverage rushers. Nobody, not Kiwanuka, JPP (in 2013), Moore, or Tuck, have the burst and bend that someone like Osi Umenyiora has. Schofield should provide that.
Remember, when it comes to signing players, you are paying for what you think they will do, not what they have already done. The Giants have their SAM likely for the next two years at a reasonable cost.
Geoff Schwartz signs a likely multi-year deal with the Giants
Contract details will be updated as soon as they are found out. This is the move that everybody wanted and needed to happen. The 6-foot-6, 340 monstrous OL from Kansas City had a ProFootballFocus grade of +18.3 and only had one negatively graded game last year, coincidentally against our New York Giants.
He is a power blocker and is versatile enough to play all along the line. Initially pegged as a guard, reports are coming out now with the speculation that Schwartz was signed to play right tackle. If that indeed is the case, Justin Pugh likely moves to left guard or even left tackle.
Schwartz will likely cost a pretty penny and when the numbers come out, fans may want to avert their eyes, but this had to happen. There was no chance the Giants went into the 2014-2015 season without revamping their offensive line. There is still more work to be done here.
What Is Next?
Looking at what the Giants accomplished, there is still work to be done but a job well done for the first day. They addressed running back, safety, guard, outside linebacker, and kicker.
However, the Giants could use:
1) Another cornerback
2) A tight end
3) A center
4) A wide receiver
5) Possibly another guard
6) A middle linebacker
7) A defensive end
-- There are rumors out there that defensive end Justin Tuck likely ends up with the Giants on a short term deal. His market has been stone cold and it makes sense why. He's on the wrong side of 30, isn't a premier pass rusher, and will now have to deal with competing with Demarcus Ware and Julius Peppers.
-- Jacoby Jones is also rumored to visit the Giants. That would provide an answer to their special teams woes, but I'm not sure if he's going to be good enough to crack the lineup at wide receiver. A Mike Evans would go a long way towards fixing that.
-- The Giants are also reportedly interested in most every tight end on the market, including Andrew Quarless and Brandon Pettigrew. Don't be surprised if they sign one to short term deal.
--With middle linebacker, there's nothing new to report on the Jon Beason front. He has reportedly priced himself out of their price range. I'm glad they actually have a price range and didn't acquiesce to his demands. He'll test the market. If he decides not to return to the team, a guy like Vincent Rey of the Cincinnati Bengals could intrigue the team. Spencer Paysinger and Mark Herzlich also are on the team but I don't know that any of you would be happy seeing that.
--At corner, the team has expressed interest in Corey Graham, free agent nickel corner from the Baltimore Ravens. He scored a +4.0 on the year from ProFootballFocus and seems like a rock solid player that can be had for cheap. He'd be a nice way to solidify the ranks at CB, although I'm not sure if he's a true starter opposite Prince Amukamara. He'd be the 2B to Trumaine McBride's 2A.
--The most pressing issue of them all in my mind is center. There is a report from Jordan Raanan of NJ.com here that suggests that (cover your eyes) the Giants view Kevin Boothe as their center going forward this year and that popular picks Evan Dietrich-Smith and Brian De La Puente appear "unlikely" to be in the team's plans.
Is that a smart move? I'm not sure. Somehow, someway, that position needs to be addressed. For right now, though, the team is shaping up nicely and each move seems sensible enough to me.
Now, onwards to tomorrow. Let's get some work done, Jerry.