What is the New York Giants' plan in free agency? Fans who were hoping/waiting/praying for splashy signings of front-line players have been asking that question for more than a week now.
Well, if you hadn't already figured it out the Giants apparently never intended to make a big splash in free agency. They made a big run at safety Devin McCourty, because it made perfect sense. Rutgers guy, in his prime, best player available at an obvious position of need. They took at shot at defensive end Brandon Graham, too.
Other than that, the Giants have stuck to the way they traditionally approach free agency. They have dabbled around the periphery, looking for useful players who plug holes, add depth and largely help them try to get younger. Eyebrows were raised by the amount of money paid to kick returner/wide receiver Dwayne Harris and a couple of other players. but the type of players they are signing typify the way the Giants have usually approached free agency.
Last season was a major change of direction for the Giants when they went all-out in the market and made big moves like adding Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Geoff Schwartz, Rashad Jennings and many other players -- more than a dozen in all.
The Giants did not want to do that again, with GM Jerry Reese saying at the end of the 2014 season that "you can't turn your roster over every single year."
The signings of defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis and linebackers J.T. Thomas III and Jonathan Casillas should have a familiar feel to them. Those are positions the Giants seem to annually look to supplement in free agency, and those signings lessen the urgency of finding help at those spots in the draft.
Some have said the Giants have spent too much time -- and money -- signing players who have been backups. Perhaps that is true, but what are they to do in their current situation? They signed Marshall Newhouse to be a swing tackle. Maybe you hate to spend money to do that, but draft pick James Brewer was a flop, and two other draft picks -- Brandon Mosley and Eric Herman -- have yet to earn the trust of the coaches.
We still don't know what will happen at the safety spot, where a sources tells me there has been no movement in negotiations between Stevie Brown and the Giants. As of yet, there is still no veteran safety on the roster.
The plan, though, seems pretty apparent. And pretty consistent with the Giants' traditional style. Plug holes with under-the-radar guys. Don't compete for the big fish, unless there is a really good reason. Don't try to "win" free agency, just try to create a winning team. Hope that all of the injured starters who weren't available most of last season will be available this time.
For the most part, typical Giants. Boring. Staying out of the limelight. Will it work? Only time will tell. At least, however, we seem to know the plan.