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8 winners, 4 losers for New York Giants in free agency

Let’s recap

San Francisco 49ers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Levine Toilolo
Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

With the bulk of the work done in NFL free agency, let’s assess the winners and losers thus far for the New York Giants.


Levine Toilolo — Including his $2 million roster bonus, Toilolo will make $3.225 million in 2020. Not bad for a blocking tight end who caught two passes in 2019, played just 191 offensive snaps with the San Fransisco 49ers, and made $805,000. In truth, the Giants looked past his lack of 2019 playing time. In his first six seasons, he averaged 15.8 catches per season and 528.6 snaps.

Cameron Fleming — A swing tackle with the New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys over his six-year career, Fleming landed in a place where has a chance to compete for the right tackle job and will play for coaches (Joe Judge, Jason Garrett, Marc Colombo) who are familiar with him.

Salary cap flexibility — The Giants have been busy since free agency, and they have burned through a large chunk of the more than $70 million they had available. What they have not done is tied themselves to expensive, long-term deals that will hamstring them a couple of years from now. They have not handed out a contract longer than three years, and have front-loaded all of the contracts so they are really one- or two-year deals. Smart cap management.

Patrick Graham — The new defensive coordinator took over a unit that really needed an infusion of talent. The Giants spent the majority of their cap space trying to give him that, bringing back Leonard Williams and David Mayo while adding linebacker Blake Martinez, cornerback James Bradberry and edge rusher Kyler Fackrell.

DeAndre Baker — Because the presence of Bradberry means Baker can develop without the responsibility of tracking No. 1 wide receivers.

Spencer Pulley — Because unless the Giants are planning to use Nick Gates at center they still haven’t found a better option.

Mike Remmers and Antonio Hamilton — They went from the Giants to the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.


Michael ThomasThomas is one of the game’s best special teams performers. He’s a useful reserve defensive back who can play a number of roles. He’s a terrific locker room presence. He also told me at the end of the 2019 that he desperately wants to return to the Giants. Thus far, he is unsigned.

Markus Golden — Coming off a 10-sack season and being one of the few established pass rushers to hit the open market, Golden likely expected a robust market. He is still looking for a home and at this point probably won’t get the money or length of contract he was hoping for.

Pass rush — It’s an obvious need and the Giants have been unable to upgrade it in any obvious way. Williams and Fackrell might help. Bradberry should aid the coverage, which in turn aids the pass rush. Effectively, though, the Giants swapped Golden’s 10 sacks in 2019 for Fackrell’s one.

Offensive line — For now. Fleming was a terrific addition for the Giants, especially if he ends up filling the same swing tackle role he has held throughout his six-year career. If he ends up as a full-time starter then it’s probably a wash between Fleming and former Giant right tackle Mike Remmers. I fully expect the Giants to be aggressive about upgrading the line in the draft. Do they really have another choice?