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Giants free agency 2016: What others are saying about massive spending spree

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Reaction to the Giants' free-spending ways in free agency seems to be mixed.

Olivier Vernon
Olivier Vernon
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Thus far in free agency, the New York Giants have thrown around cash like they have their own printing plant. I offered some of my thoughts on the work by GM JerryReese. We know Giants' players are excited. We know the moves electrified a disgruntled fan base. What, however, are others writing about the Giants' free-agent splurge? Let's check the Inter-Google for some of the early reaction.

$200 million well spent? New York Giants betting big on defensive firepower - NFL

Did the Giants overpay for defensive end Olivier Vernon (five year, $85 million, $52.5 million guaranteed), cornerback Janoris Jenkins (five years, $62.5 million, $28.8 million guaranteed) and defensive tackle Damon Harrison (five years, $46 million, $24 million guaranteed)? Probably. That's the drill with free agency for desperate teams. Spend big. And then spend some more to fill remaining holes.

While the money is gaudy, it's important to remember that all of the Giants' big additions fill immediate needs on the roster.

And following the blueprint of any successful defense -- including the two that led New York to Super Bowl victories this century -- the Giants went all-in on their defensive line.

The winners and losers of free agency Day 1 - NFL Nation- ESPN

New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese operated Wednesday like an executive on the hot seat. Reese guaranteed a combined $76.5 million to defensive end Olivier Vernon and defensive tackle Damon Harrison, on top of the $8.5 million he had already committed to defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. Building a dominant defensive line is a reliable, winning strategy. In this case, however, Reese could have done it more cheaply. Defensive line is the strength of the 2016 draft, but a mandate to improve the roster immediately meant Reese didn't have enough equity to draft and develop.

What we learned: Giants go bold in win-now strategy - NFL.com

In this market of unprecedented salary-cap space, players are worth whatever teams are willing to pay. And the first day of free agency has always been where good players get paid like superstars. This is Reese's version of Philadelphia's "Dream Team" and there's no doubt that the Giants' defense is far superior to what it was a week ago.

There's also no doubt that Reese will be squarely on the hot seat if New York doesn't get out to a fast start. McAdoo needs to win fast or he'll join him there. After being a model of a stable franchise for so many years, the Giants are starting to resemble any other desperate franchise that becomes compelled to win offseason championships.

Giants take first big steps toward restoring defensive glory | New York Post

Reese rushed at free agency the way Lawrence Taylor rushed the quarterback, and recorded the most important sack of his career at a time when he was put on notice by his bosses.

Yes, no doubt the Giants overpaid, certainly for Vernon, who had the benefit of lining up alongside Ndamukong Suh, and for Jenkins, who seems to have outgrown a checkered past. But such is life when the salary cap balloons to $155.27 million and you have $56 million to spend following four years of misery.

Shopping Spree Shores Up Defense, but Giants Have Plenty of Holes to Fill - The New York Times

In the end, the Giants appear to have substantially overpaid for their three new players, and perhaps even for Pierre-Paul, who could still be severely limited if his damaged right hand is not significantly improved by off-season surgery. But the Giants had ample salary-cap space, and they have been a mediocre team since at least 2013.

It was expected that the Giants would be assertive buyers in the free-agent market. Clearly, what they did was identify three players they valued more than any others, and they let no other team outspend them for those players.

It could be a wise strategy, or it could expose many other holes on the team that were left unaddressed.