The most surprising thing about Day 1 of the 2014 NFL Free Agency "legal tampering" period from a New York Giants' perspective is that none of the reports regarding players the Giants had expressed interest in had anything to do with the offensive line, the area that has been the primary focus since the end of the 2013 season. Instead, Saturday was all about the defense.
The Giants are reportedly one of many teams to have inquired about Alterraun Verner, the talented 25-year-old Pro Bowl cornerback from the Tennessee Titans. Sam Shields of the Green Bay Packers got a four-year, $39 million deal on Saturday and Verner's price tag is likely to be well north of that.
Verner, a 2010 fourth-round selection, had five interceptions while making the Pro Bowl last season. Quarterbacks had a miniscule 55.8 passer rating against him. Per NFL.com, PFF has ranked Verner a top 25 corner during all four season he has played. Verner and Prince Amukamara would give the Giants an excellent, young pair of cornerbacks. Whether the Giants are actually willing to engage in a full-scale bidding war for Verner remains to be seen.
The Giants also expressed interest Saturday in Arthur Jones, who has been a defensive end in the Baltimore Ravens' 3-4 defense. Much like the Giants did when they signed Chris Canty several years back, the Giants could slide the 6-foot-3, 315-pound Jones inside to replace Linval Joseph. Jones had a +15.7 grade from PFF in 2013, including +12.9 vs. the run.
While the Giants' defense was not their primary problem in 2013, the defense was middle of the pack and not championship-caliber. Still, somewhat surprising that the Giants' first known forays into the market come on defense.
Your thoughts, Giants fans?