It is bargain-hunting time when it comes to NFL free agency 2016. Despite their early $200 million free agent shopping spree the New York Giants still have much to do if they hope to build a roster capable of avoiding a fourth straight losing season. We looked at the current unofficial depth chart earlier, and when you do that it's easy to see where the Giants have holes.
Since we're here to help let's break down some of those positions and see if we can identify where GM Jerry Reese might find some of those bargains.
The Giants had former Seattle Seahawks tackle Russell Okung in for a visit last week, but Okung did not sign and has continued to make visits. He tweeted this from Pittsburgh, where the Steelers have reportedly offered him a contract:
No decisions yet but this is beautiful. pic.twitter.com/cP1b82aK8L— Russell Okung (@RussellOkung) March 13, 2016
Available tackles -- Former Cincinnati Bengals right tackle Andre Smith is visiting the Minnesota Vikings and may soon be off the market. Veteran left tackle Donald Penn might not have a place with the Oakland Raiders after the signing of Kelechi Osemele. He will be 33 next season, but might be a short-term help at right tackle
Available guards -- Unless you want to beat the drum for 34-year-old Evan Mathis, there isn't a lot left here. There is 33-year-old former New Orleans Saints guard Jahri Evans, there is 32-year-old Ben Grubbs, whose career might be over due to a neck injury. Former Carolina Panthers guard Amini Silatolu is 27 but has had an injury-plagued career in Carolina. He has played in only 33 of 64 regular-season games due to injuries. Plus, it scares me when Panthers GM Dave Gettleman, known for his acumen with linemen, lets one go.
We have already used considerable virtual ink discussing this position. The best receiver remaining on the market would be Anquan Boldin. Personally, I have long believed Boldin is a perfect fit for Eli Manning, a big, strong, dependable possession receiver who will make contested catches. Question is, does a 35-year-old guy want to come to a team that hasn't made the playoffs in four years and has a rookie coach? James Jones? Mike Wallace? Nate Washington? There aren't a lot of palatable options.
The Giants threw a pile of cash at Janoris Jenkins, and on paper he pairs well with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to give the Giants an excellent pair of man-to-man corners. The Giants still don't have a reliable slot corner. Nor do they have any depth to speak of beyond Trevin Wade. Names to consider include Patrick Robinson, Brandon Boykin, and Jerraud Powers.
Robinson, 28, was a first-round pick by New Orleans in 2010. Indications are that he played well for the San Diego Chargers last season. Boykin, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles, is a quality slot corner coming off a strange season with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Powers, 29 next season, is a seven-year vet who spent the last three years starting for the Arizona Cardinals. Powers also spent four years with the Indianapolis Colts.
Eric Weddle, top prize among free-agent safeties, is not coming to the Giants. Let's move on and discuss other options.
Reggie Nelson -- Everyone seems to want to know why the Giants haven't brought in the 32-year-old former Cincinnati Bengals safety already. I don't have the answer to that, but Nelson to the Giants a short-term solution to play center field and mentor the young safeties would make sense.
Rashad Johnson -- A 30-year-old seven-year veteran, Johnson's reputation is that he is better in coverage than against the run. He has been in Arizona his entire career and spent the last two seasons as a full-time starter. Johnson is visiting the Tennessee Titans Monday.
David Bruton -- The 29-year-old former member of the Denver Broncos has never been a full-time starter, but played well for Denver last season. Could a team like the Giants be a place where Bruton could prove he serves to play full time? From ESPN:
Bruton is poised for free agency coming off a season when he was not only the team's special teams captain, but played 482 snaps (43.8 percent of the total) for the league's No. 1 defense. It the most playing time of his Broncos' tenure in the team's defense and he enters free agency looking to be a starter, either in Denver or with someone else.