The New York Giants watched on Monday, the first day of the NFL free agency negotiating window, as prices around the league skyrocketed. Their only move of the day was to re-sign center/guard Spencer Pulley to a three-year, $9.6 million deal that turns out to look like the Giants went bargain-hunting at the dollar store.
Will the Giants get on the scoreboard today?
It’s going to cost if they do
As the salary cap continues to climb so, too, does what players are commanding on the free agent market.
The safety market, a year after it was virtually non-existent, has exploded.
Ex-Giant (at least when he can officially put pen to paper with the Washington Redskins) Landon Collins got the biggest safety contract ever at six years, $84 million with $45 million guaranteed. That set new safety marks for total value, annual value ($14 million) and guaranteed money.
Tyrann Mathieu matched that annual value, getting three years, $42 million from the Kansas City Chiefs.
Kareem Jackson got three years, $33 million with $23 million guaranteed.
Eric Weddle looks like an absolute bargain for the Los Angeles Rams at two years, $10.5 million ($5.25 million per year).
The offensive line market has also gone through the roof. If you can block, or at least stand in front of someone and try, you get big money. How else do you explain Bobby Hart getting three years, $21 million from the Cincinnati Bengals?
Mitch Morse got four years, $44.5 million from the Buffalo Bills, making him the league’s highest-paid center in terms of annual value.
Perhaps more of interest to the Giants, right tackle Ju’Wuan James is receiving a four-year, $52 million deal from the Denver Broncos. At $13 million per year, that is the richest right tackle contract ever in terms of annual value.
The market went nuts in other areas, too. Edge rusher Trey Flowers is reportedly getting a deal worth $16-17 million annually from the Detroit Lions. Linebacker Kwon Alexander is getting four years and $54 million, $13.5 million annually, from the San Francisco 49ers. Even pedestrian wide receiver Devin Funchess is getting a one-year, $13 million deal from the Indianapolis Colts.
How are the Giants, with limited salary cap space and a desire to get better at right tackle and across the board on defense, going to reel in any fish in this market?
The primary targets remain the same
Despite all the deals there were apparently agreed to on Monday none of the players believed to be the Giants’ primary free agent targets came off the board, with the possible exception of Anthony Barr landing with the free-spending New York Jets.
We told you Monday that right tackle Daryl Williams, edge Markus Golden, safety Adrian Amos and cornerback Bryce Callahan appeared to the Giants’ top targets at those positions.
As we begin Day 2 of “legal tampering,” all of those free agents remain in play.
Williams, drafted by Gettleman for the Carolina Panthers, remains an object of desire despite what will be an exorbitant cost.
Golden was converted from defensive end to edge in Arizona by James Bettcher, and had a 12.5-sack season in 2016 before a knee injury derailed him.
Amos is reportedly closing in on a deal with someone. Could that be the Giants? If it’s not, the safety market remains flush with less expensive options.
Callahan is apparently seeking a deal worth $7-8 million annually. Can the Giants play in that ballpark for a cornerback?
Day 2 of the NFL shopping season is here. Will the Giants be able to strike a deal, or two? Keep it here as we find out.