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2016 NFL free agency: New York Giants must decide on JPP, Amukamara, Ayers

A first look at the team's unrestricted free agents, and what might happen.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

When the dust settles from the NFL coaching carousel the New York Giants will have a new head coach and perhaps a revamped front office. The Giants will then have tons of decisions to make about the roster, including which unrestricted free agents they should try to keep. The biggest personnel decisions will revolve around defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, cornerback Prince Amukamara and defensive end Robert Ayers.

Let's examine the Giants' free agency situation.

The big three

Jason Pierre-Paul -- This is the most important -- and difficult -- decision the Giants will have to make. Before he mangled his hand last Fourth of July Pierre-Paul was a lock for a massive pay day that would put among the highest-paid defensive ends in football. Now? That's a great question.

You can bet that Pierre-Paul and his agent will look for a contract that will put him in the top 10 highest-paid players at the position. Jerry Hughes of the Buffalo Bills is the ninth-highest paid DE with a five-year, $45 million deal ($22 million guaranteed). Can the Giants really pay that, or more, to Pierre-Paul. Given what we saw this year with the limitations of his hand, the fact that he faces more surgery and no real idea how well he will ever be able to use that permanently damaged hand that seems impossible.

The Giants could use the franchise tag again, but at an expected cost of more than $15 million that seem unwise. Perhaps the best approach is to keep the lines of communication open, let the market play out and hope to keep him on an incentive-laden one- or two-year deal. If someone is willing to give him big money, the Giants probably have to let him go.

Prince Amukamara -- Everybody loves Prince. He's a goofball. He's a good guy. He's a great quote. Is he a good enough player to give a big long-term contract? Is he too good for the defensively-bankrupt Giants to let get away? His lengthy injury history complicates matters. Again, I believe the market may dictate whether he stays or goes. If someone is willing to overpay him he could leave.

Robert Ayers -- Had the best season of his career at the best possible time. The last time the Giants were in this situation they let Justin Tuck sign with the Oakland Raiders for two years and $10, and replaced him with Ayers for two years, $3.75 million. This time? I think paying Ayers two years and $10 million would be worthwhile. The Giants can't let all of whatever meager amount of talent they have walk away.

Others who should be back

There is no reason not to bring back placekicker Josh Brown or middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley. Even if the Giants want to upgrade from Brinkley as the starter, he's a solid veteran who could be an excellent backup.

Maybe, maybe not

Hakeem Nicks, Barry Cofield are two guys I'm split on. Maybe you bring both veterans back on minimum salaries and give them a chance to make the team. Maybe you move on. Not the end of the world either way. I'm also split on long-time long snapper Zak DeOssie. If he will take the veteran minimum maybe you bring him back. If not, move on.

Rueben Randle

The inconsistent wide receiver gets a category all his own. If I was making the decision, I would move on without question. Questionable effort and inconsistent production have been hallmarks of Randle's time with the Giants and the Giants need to part ways with him. I think, though, this is a guy GM Jerry Reese might go to bat for and try to bring back, even though he shouldn't.

The rest

Pretty much nothing to see there. Cullen Jenkins, 34, has probably played his last NFL game. Markus Kuhn and Jayron Hosley? Please. There really isn't even anyone else on the list worth talking about.

Jason Pierre-Paul DE 27 $7,350,000
Prince Amukamara CB 26 $6,898,000
Robert Ayers DE 30 $2,437,500
Cullen Jenkins DE 34 $2,091,668
Trumaine McBride CB 30 $1,550,000
Josh Brown K 36 $1,350,000
Zak DeOssie LS 31 $1,200,000
George Selvie DE 28 $1,200,000
Rueben Randle WR 24 $1,047,432
Jayron Hosley CB 25 $796,250
Brandon Mosley G 27 $735,146
Dallas Reynolds G 31 $700,000
Markus Kuhn DT 29 $671,474
Daniel Fells TE 32 $665,000
Craig Dahl SS 30 $585,000
Jasper Brinkley ILB 30 $585,000
Hakeem Nicks WR 27 $240,882
Danny Aiken LS 27 $137,647
Barry Cofield DT 31 $103,235
Brandon Meriweather SS 31 $102,352