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2016 NFL free agency: Tashaun Gipson the center fielder the Giants need at safety?

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Tashaun Gipson
Tashaun Gipson
Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

The New York Giants need a center fielder on defense, a free safety to pair with Landon Collins. Could Tashaun Gipson of the Cleveland Browns be that guy?

Pro Football Focus ranks Gipson No. 38 on its list of the top 75 free agents, calling him a player who has "fantastic highs, but dreadful lows." Per PFF, Gipson was a top 10 coverage safety in 2014, but a bottom 10 performer in 2015. In a more in-depth look at the safety class, PFF considers Gipson only the fifth-best safety available:

The big question here is which Gipson are you getting? The 2014 version that was one of the best free safeties in the NFL and had a top-10 coverage grade, or the 2015 version that was all too often out of position and had a bottom 10 coverage grade. The truth is, probably somewhere in between, as the entire Browns' defense was in shambles last season. At only 25 years of age, Gipson's asking price may not be worth that risk.

Walter Football ranks Gipson No. 18 on its list of the top 90 free agents and says an ankle injury was the biggest reason for his decline in performance last season.

CBS Sports ranks Gipson No. 41 on its list of the 50 best free agents. Pete Prisco of CBS acknowledges that Gipson had a poor 2014 season, but says he "still has range in the middle, which a lot of teams crave."

SB Nation's Browns website, Dawgs By Nature, would like to see the Browns use the $10.7 million franchise tag to keep Gipson in Cleveland.

Gipson, who turns 26 in August, made the Browns' roster as an undrafted free agent in 2012 and has been a starter since 2013. Who knows if, or how much, the mess that is the Browns impacted Gipson's play in 2015. He had six interceptions and a forced fumble while playing in only 11 games during a Pro Bowl 2014 season.

Would you like to see the Giants gamble that the real Gipson is the player who intercepted 11 passes combined in 2013 and 2014, or would you prefer to see the Giants look elsewhere after his less-than-spectacular play in 2015?