NFL free agency officially gets underway Tuesday when the signing period begins at 4 p.m. ET. In reality, free agency has been in full swing ever since the "legal tampering" window opened on Saturday. Much has already gotten done -- much more, in fact, than the NFL appears to be happy about. Let's update where things stand with the New York Giants as the official beginning of free agency dawns.
Two big swings and misses
"Aim small, miss small." That is the advice Benjamin Martin gives his young sons during the movie 'The Patriot,' as they prepared to attack a group of British soldiers. Well, the Giants did not really heed Martin's advice over the past few days.
They took a pair of huge swings, coming up empty both times.
First, they tried to lure Devin McCourty, the premier safety [sorry, Antrel Rolle] on the market, from the New England Patriots. They were a finalist there, but in the end McCourty went back to New England for five years and $47.5 million, $28.5 million of which was guaranteed.
Then, the Giants took a shot at Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham. At one point Monday reports seemed to indicate the Giants had a chance, but in the end Graham bypassed the Giants to stay in Philly. The sticking point, per some reports, is that the Eagles offered Graham one more year than the Giants were willing to, giving him a four-year, $26 million deal with $14 million guaranteed.
With most of the biggest free-agent names already spoken for, expect the Giants to heed Martin's advice and "aim small, miss small" during the rest of fee agency. Or, at least smaller than they have thus far.
Salary cap situation
After getting Jon Beason to accept a pay cut, the Giants have roughly $16 million in cap space. That puts them in the bottom half of the league in terms of available space. Thus, they are going to have to pick their spots as they look for players who can help them in 2015 and beyond.
Potential Giants' targets
Let's look at a few positions where the Giants might try to upgrade during free agency.
We know the Giants missed on McCourty. They haven't made an offer to Antrel Rolle, and both Stevie Brown and Quintin Demps are unrestricted free agents. The Giants have reportedly been in contact with Rahim Moore of the Denver Broncos and Ron Parker of the Kansas City Chiefs. Could Da'Norris Searcy of the Buffalo Bills be another target?
The Giants were expected to seek ways to bolster their pass rush this offseason. With Robert Ayers and Damontre Moore coming back from injuries and Mathias Kiwanuka no longer on the roster, there is a lack of depth here.
Over the weekend, Adrian Clayborn of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was connected to the Giants. Jabaal Sheard of the Cleveland Browns, Derrick Morgan of the Tennessee Titans and the recently-released Trent Cole are among the best defensive ends left.
The Giants have been kicking the tires on players who could fill a pass-catching change-of-pace type role for them, and reports indicate they might find their man in Shane Vereen of the New England Patriots.
The Giants have not been mentioned when it comes to the bidding for any of the top offensive linemen who are already off the market. That is surprising considering their need for one more quality starter -- until you look at the exorbitant contracts going to the guys who have already found homes.
-- Derek Newton got five years and $26.5 million from the Houston Texans, with $10 million guaranteed.
-- Orlando Franklin will sign a five-year, $36.5 million deal with the San Diego Chargers, $20 million of which is guaranteed.
That would leave right tackles Bryan Bulaga and Joe Barksdale at the top tier of the offensive line market. If the Giants want Bulaga, a move that would kick Justin Pugh inside to left guard, they could have to come up with a deal that matches or exceeds the one Franklin got from the Chargers.
Other positions of interest
The Giants could also look for help at defensive tackle and linebacker. Dan Williams of the Arizona Cardinals has been mentioned as a possibility at defensive tackle
The Giants own free agents
As we mentioned earlier, the Giants and Rolle appear to be having a long-distance stare down. As of this morning, word is the two sides have still not talked to each other since the end of the 2014 season. That would seem to indicate that the Giants will let others set the market for Rolle, and will seek other options of their own.
Linebacker Jacquian Williams has been hinting around on Twitter that he will soon make a decision on a new team. There have been some indications that there is a chance Stevie Brown will be back. Otherwise, to this point not a peep about Giants' free agents.
Giants Free Agents
S Antrel Rolle
CB Walter Thurmond III
S Stevie Brown
LB Jacquian Williams
LB Spencer Paysinger
FB Henry Hynoski
S Quintin Demps
WR Jerrel Jernigan
OL James Brewer
DT Mike Patterson
OL John Jerry
CB Zackary Bowman
OL Adam Snyder
TE Daniel Fells
CB Chykie Brown
-- Keep it here throughout the next few days as we keep you updated on all the Giants free agency rumors and news.