As we meander through the NFL offseason there are still several intriguing veteran players without homes. The New York Giants are currently in the midst of OTAs, sorting out which young, untested players they think can help in 2016 and where their needs truly are.
The Giants, obviously, are in no rush to jump into the free-agent market for any of the available veterans. If they were, they would have done so already. Still, let's talk about a few players who might fit at positions that right now look like ones where the Giants could use some help.
WR Anquan Boldin
We have talked a number of times this offseason about the 35-year-old Boldin. The view here remains that his skill set fits the Giants beautifully. He is a big (6-foot-1, 218 pounds) possession receiver who can make catches in traffic, is dependable and is still productive, with 69 catches in 14 games last season.
The Giants' Big Four of wide receivers (Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Victor Cruz, Dwayne Harris) are all smaller, quicker guys. The Giants have several young players competing for the final couple of roster spots and may fully intend to go with whoever they believe is best out of that group. Boldin, though, is still intriguing.
CB Leon Hall
The Giants had Hall in for a visit earlier this month, and the 31-year-old nine-year veteran is still looking for a home. The Giants have Janoris Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Eli Apple as their top three corners. None, though, is experienced in the slot, where Hall has been in recent years. The Giants' depth at corner behind those three is murky, so Hall still seems like a possibility.
WR Brian Hartline
If the Giants want to add a veteran receiver but are turned off by Boldin being 36 in October, how about the 29-year-old Hartline as Plan B? Hartline caught 46 passes for the Cleveland Browns last year, but was recently swept out the door as the Browns continued to clean house in an effort to start over. Hartline is 6-2, 180 and has never been a star, but he has always been capable, never having caught fewer than 31 passes in a season during his seven-year career.
CB Brandon Boykin
Boykin's weird journey continues. Not that long ago he was referring to himself as the best slot corner in the league, and he was -- at least -- in that conversation. Now, traded by the Philadelphia Eagles, seemingly unwanted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, signed and quickly cut by the Carolina Panthers and currently without an NFL home. What the heck has happened to Boykin, and why has his star fallen so suddenly? He doesn't turn 26 until July and someone will give him another shot.
DE Dwight Freeney
We talked about Freeney just a few days ago. Behind Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon the Giants have only untested Owa Odighizuwa and the dependable but not dynamic Kerry Wynn. They could use an additional pass rusher. Does Freeney make sense? Would he take snaps from Odighizuwa and slow his development? Would he even want to play for the Giants, who haven't had a winning record since 2012?
None of the guys mentioned above is an offensive lineman, the position Giants fans seem to be most concerned about entering the 2016 season. Right now it appears the Giants are intent on going into the season with John Jerry at right guard and Marshall Newhouse at right tackle. Bobby Hart might change that, but during the veteran minicamp and the OTA media had access to early this week Hart did not take a single first-team snap. It's hard to believe he is competing for a starting job until he actually sees some reps with the starters, especially considering Ben McAdoo's recent comments about quickly testing young players.
Depth is also a concern with Hart (one start) and Byron Stingily (nine starts) being the only reserves who have started NFL games. Perhaps Brett Jones, the former CFL lineman who spent last year on IR, or under-the-radar free agents Ryan Seymour or Dillon Farrell can help, but we don't know that yet.
Experienced linemen on the market, aside from a former Giants tackle whose name will come up whether it's mentioned here or not, include guards Louis Vazquez, Jahri Evans and Amini Silatolu. There are reports that Ronald Leary may want a trade from the Dallas Cowboys. Right tackle Anthony Davis of the San Francisco 49ers remains retired. Jake Long is still out there, but it's been a long time since he has been a healthy, dependable player.
Best guess here is that the Giants will continue to sift through what they have, continued to monitor the Davis situation and probably continue to watch the waiver wire right up to Week 1 for experienced players who could provide some depth.