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Haason Reddick, Giants don’t seem like a free agent fit

PFF has Giants as landing spot for pass-rushing edge defender

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Carolina Panthers v Arizona Cardinals
Haason Reddick sacks Colt McCoy.
Photo by Kelsey Grant/Getty Images

Pro Football Focus has the New York Giants as the best landing spot for edge defender Haason Reddick, PFF’s 31st-ranked free agent heading into the offseason.

Here is the explanation from PFF’s Arjun Meron for the Giants handing Reddick a three-year, $35 million contract with $18 million guaranteed.

Reddick’s pass-rushing production predictably took a minor step back in 2021 after his huge breakout year in 2020. Nonetheless, 11.0 sacks and 44 total pressures still rank pretty well compared to the rest of the league. This means Reddick should have a decently sized market this offseason. He is a good fit for Wink Martindale in New York, given his aggressive blitz-heavy scheme that needs athletic edge-rushers that can get after the quarterback when schemed free.

I do not understand.

I think Reddick is a terrific player. Since the Arizona Cardinals finally allowed Reddick, the 13th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, to play full time on the edge he has flourished. Reddick has back-to-back double-digit sack seasons (12.5 with 56 overall hurries in 2021 with Arizona, and 11.0 with 44 overall pressures for Carolina in 2021).

Reddick to the Giants — especially at that price point — ignores several realities.

First, the Giants are unlikely to have the cap space to give a player like Reddick an upper-tier contract like $12 million per year — a deal that would put him right at the edge of the top 25 highest-paid edge defenders. That is money he has probably earned, but I don’t see how the Giants would find it.

New GM Joe Schoen is probably looking at sitting out the first wave of free agency — the big-money part — and looking to sign some mid-level to low-cost veterans who could help plug holes in the short term.

If the Giants do find the kind of money PFF would have them allocate to Reddick, it can’t go to an edge defender. That money would almost certainly have to go toward finding offensive line help.

On the edge, the Giants have young players Azeez Ojulari, Quincy Roche and Elerson Smith. They also have the possibility of re-signing Lorenzo Carter, an athletic player they could see as one who might thrive with Martindale, and would come as a fraction of the cost of Reddick.

There is also the draft, which is loaded with highly-regarded edge defenders. It would surprise no one of the Giants used one of their five top 100 picks, maybe one of their two top 10 picks, to supplement their edge group.

It would, though, surprise me greatly if the Giants came to the conclusion that using a big chunk of their limited financial resources on Reddick is a good idea.