With one month to go before the 2016 NFL Draft, most attention in NFL circles is focused on what teams will do when the draft begins on April 28. There are still, however, solid free-agent bargains to be had. ESPN's John Clayton has listed his 15 best remaining free agents. We have discussed several players on Clayton's list in terms of how they would fit with the New York Giants, so let's look at Clayton's list and update what we think we know at this point.
The Top Two
Reggie Nelson -- Clayton places Nelson No. 4 on his list and says "The entire league is surprised no one has signed him yet." We know there are many fans who wish the Giants had been the team that signed him, or will soon be that team. A nine-year veteran, Nelson can still play. He had career highs in interceptions (eight) and passes defensed (14) last season, and made his first Pro Bowl.
With Rashad Johnson having joined the Tennessee Titans, Nelson is now clearly the top safety option remaining on the market. The problem is simple -- age and money. Nelson turns 33 in September and apparently doesn't want the standard short-term 33-year-old safety contract. He has already turned down a two-year offer from the Cincinnati Bengals, where he spent the last six seasons, and Josh Kirkendall of SB Nation's Cincy Jungle tells me the belief is Nelson is looking a three- to four-year deal.
Cincy Jungle calls Nelson "A veteran player who hasn't slowed down." Don't rule out Nelson to the Giants, but the plan still seems to be for the Giants to give young safeties Nat Berhe, Mykkele Thompson, and Bennett Jackson an opportunity to compete for a starting job.
Anquan Boldin -- If I were to stump for the Giants to sign anyone left on the market, the 35-year-old Boldin would be the guy. I have said before that I believe Boldin, a big, strong, reliable possession receiver, would be an excellent complement to Odell Beckham Jr. and is the kind of receiver Eli Manning would thrive with. Plus, the guy can still get it done. He had 69 catches in 14 games last season.
Boldin is a quarterback's best friend, a possession receiver who will fight for positioning and fight to secure the football on every single snap he plays.
The 49ers have been saying they are interested in Boldin, but want to wait until after the draft to make that decision. Thus, if the Giants or other NFL teams want Boldin there is a window of opportunity.
Others to consider
We have talked before about cornerback Brandon Boykin, who seemingly would be an upgrade over Trevin Wade in the slot. Boykin is visiting the Carolina Panthers today and reportedly has interest from three other teams. No word as of now if the Giants are one of those teams.
Defensive back Walter Thurmond could help at free safety, slot corner, or both. The problem is no one really knows if Thurmond, a Giant in 2014, still wants to play. There have been many reports that he is considering retiring, and you can't sign a guy who doesn't want to play.
Amini Silatolu is a guard we have also discussed. With John Jerry and Bobby Hart, however, the Giants don't appear to be in the guard market.