The New York Giants have $4.673 million in 2015 NFL salary cap space, according to the NFLPA public salary cap report. Is there an available player the Giants should spend some of that money on before training camp starts next week?
The Giants recently added safety Jeromy Miles on an inexpensive one-year, $745K deal, and dropped both wide receiver Marcus Harris and safety Justin Currie from their roster. That means they have 89 players, one under the 90-man roster limit for training camp.
We know, of course, that the Giants could open up reems of cap space by rescinding the $14.8 million franchise tag offer to Jason Pierre-Paul. That's not the reality right now, however, so we won't talk about how to spend money the Giants don't currently have available.
NFL.com is out with a list of the best remaining offensive free agents. It is filled with running backs and wide receivers, and while there are lots of recognizable names on the list there is no one I can see the Giants being interested in right now.
Guard Evan Mathis and tackle Jake Long are, of course, the names that leap to mind if the Giants believe they need to shuffle their offensive line.
Mathis, of course, was released by the Philadelphia Eagles. He turns 34 this season and was reportedly looking for a big-money deal, but as the season draws near perhaps his price tag will come down. Mathis can still play.
Evan Mathis was our top graded OG from 2011-13, and was 2nd last year in just 9 games. Best OG in the game now available. #OnYourMarks— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) June 11, 2015
Walter Football says:
Evan Mathis is one of the top guards in the NFL, and he'd be a five-star free agent if he were a few years younger. The only concern with him is that he'll turn 34 in the middle of the 2015 campaign, but he still has a couple of dominant seasons left in the tank. Philadelphia's decision to release him is embarrassing.
If the Giants are seriously considering moving Justin Pugh back to right tackle, and despite hints from offensive line coach Pat Flaherty that it isn't out of the question it still seems unlikely, Mathis would make sense. Honestly, though, I would think there is little chance of Mathis becoming a Giant.
Should the Giants just want depth and perhaps a familiar face they are comfortable with, how about ex-Giant Kevin Boothe? He can play guard and center. Boothe, 32, played only 19 snaps for the Oakland Raiders last season. Should Boothe still want to play, and there is no indication I can find that he is ready to retire, the Giants might be a nice spot for him.
Should the Giants want a tackle. Long is the obvious candidate. A four-time Pro Bowler, Long has always been a left and signing him would likely mean first-round pick Ereck Flowers would go to right tackle. The problem is health. Long has had torn ACLs in back-to-back seasons. Perhaps Long is ready and able to play, and just looking for the perfect situation. There are, however, serious questions about whether he can play, how well he can play and how long he could hold up. Signing him seems like a risky move when it likely means you are messing with your first-round pick.
How about taking a flier on disappointing defensive end Da'Quan Bowers? In a recent round table discussion, Chris mentioned Bowers. He has been a bust, but he's only 25. No harm, no foul on a veteran minimum contract. You just move on if you bring him and then don't like what you see, similar to what the Giants did with Aaron Curry a couple of seasons ago.
The opinion here has often been that the Giants could use a veteran cornerback for depth behind Prince Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Tarell Brown, a 30-year-old eight-year veteran who has 56 starts over the past four seasons is still on the market.
Walter Football says:
Tarell Brown was an excellent cornerback for the 49ers over several seasons. He took a 1-year deal to play for the Raiders, and was just slightly sub par, as he didn't get much help from his pass rush. Brown is 30, and his best days are behind him, but he's still a good starter.
Which player is at the top of your wish list, Giants fans?