For the first time in some time, the New York Giants have made some noise in their opening salvo of free agency. In the first two days of free agency the Giants have signed a number of players who look to contribute early and often in their 2014 campaign.
Returning to the team are; safety Stevie Brown, kicker Josh Brown, running back Peyton Hillis, corner back Trumaine McBride, and middle linebacker Jon Beason
The Giants are also welcoming new additions; running back Rashad Jennings, center, JD Walton, and guard/tackle Geoff Schwartz.
As information on the deals signed is still trickling in, it's unclear how much of the Giants' (roughly) $25 million in cap room is left. However, Jerry Reese and company have been remarkably judicious in the size of the contracts they have thus far been signing players to.
With the idea that the Giants still have money to spend, and still have holes to fill on their roster, let's take a look at some potential free agents still on the market.
Pat Sims (formerly of Oakland)
Sims fits the profile of the players Reese has been bringing in so far in free agency. For the first four seasons of his NFL career, The 28-year-old defensive tackle has been an average player, on average, for the Raiders.
In 2013, however, the light switch seemingly turned on for Sims, and he began playing at a consistently high level. He has shown the ability to both stop the run and shoot gaps and blow up plays in the backfield.
With the departure of Linval Joseph, the Giants find their defensive tackle rotation much lighter than it was in 2013, when it helped to silence the leagues best running backs.
It has been assumed that Mike Patterson would be re-signed to provide depth behind Johnathan Hankins and Cullen Jenkins. However, so far in free agency Reese has worked to make the team younger and more athletic across the board.
Pat Sims fits that model, while providing a potential upgrade if he plays to his 2013 level.
Stevenson Sylvester (formerly of Pittsburgh)
This year's crop of free agent linebackers is a pretty weak one, particularly on the outside. That does not work in favor of a team that needs to build it's linebacking corps, like say ... The Giants.
Last year the Giants looked to Pittsburgh free agent Ryan Mundy to help fill the void left by the loss of safety Kenny Phillips. This year they could look to outside linebacker Stevenson Sylvester.
Sylvester (25), has a reputation as a long, athletic, rangy linebacker, with a high motor and good football IQ, who is very capable in coverage, but less so going down-hill or as a pass rusher. Because of that and being a bit under-sized, he never really fit in Pittsburgh's 3-4 defense.
However, he could find a home at weak-side linebacker in Perry Fewell's 4-3 defense, moving Jacquian Williams or Spencer Paysinger to strong-side linebacker. That move would play to Sylvester's ability to play in space and cover receiving threats over the middle.
At the very least he could be a low-risk signing that could provide depth and competition in the linebacking corps, as well as a boost to special teams.
Ted Ginn Jr. (formerly of Carolina)
One of the themes of the Giants' offseason press conferences has been that the Giants are looking for a quality return man. They have already looked at Jacoby Jones (who has since re-signed with Baltimore). Like the other free agents, Ginn is under 30, and highly athletic.
While he would be listed as a receiver, Ginn would be a returner first and foremost, and rightfully so, as he is one of the most dangerous return men in the league.
If signed, Ginn would provide the Giants special teams with a spark it has largely lacked. He could also prove to be a dangerous weapon if offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo can scheme ways to get the ball in his hands in space.
Kenny Britt (formerly of Tennessee)
In the weeks leading up to the 2009 draft Rutgers' Kenny Britt was commonly mocked to the Giants. As it turned out, he was drafted one pick later when the Giants took Hakeem Nicks.
As it stands now, the Giants have three receivers on their roster, and are apparently lacking that go-to "X" receiver who can go up and beat whatever coverage the defense tries to throw at him. That position could, even will, likely be addressed in this incredibly deep wide receiver draft, however Reese has always kept Eli's armory well stocked, and a veteran receiver could be on tap.
Given his injury history, issues at Rutgers, and (very) disappointing 2013 season, Britt likely wouldn't be an expensive signing. However, despite all that, he is still young and has shown the ability to be one of the premier weapons in the passing game. If he checks out, Britt could be a very low risk, very high reward signing.
Regardless of which way the Giants ultimately go, there is still talent out there in free agency, and the Giants still have holes to fill going into the draft.