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New York Giants sign linebacker Bobby Okereke, DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches
The New York Giants made their first real splash of 2023 NFL free agency on Monday evening, signing former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Bobby Okereke. Various media outlets are reporting the contract is a four-year, $40 million deal, with $22 million guaranteed.
Okereke, who will be 27 next season, was a third-round pick by the Colts in 2019. In 17 games and 16 starts in 2022, Okereke had a career-high 151 tackles, including 99 solo and six for loss. He had five passes defensed and two forced fumbles. Okereke had an overall 73.3 Pro Football Focus grade in 2022, including 79.3 as a run defender.
Okereke was the second major free agent to sign with the Giants on Monday, after the team had agreed to a three year deal with veteran defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches. Nunez-Roches is a 6-foot-2, 307-pound defensive tackle who will be 30 years old during the 2023 season. He had a career-high 2.0 sacks, 33 tackles (19 solo), five tackles for loss and three quarterback hits in 17 games with 10 starts for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2022.
The signing of Nunez-Roches comes on a day the team concentrated on signing their own players while losing a fan as NIck Gates signed a three contract with rivals Washington Commanders worth up to $18 million ($8 million guaranteed). The contract for Gates caps off a remarkable comeback for the former undrafted free agent out of the University of Nebraska who broke his left tibia and fibula in a contest against Washington in 2021. After enduring seven surgeries on the leg, Gates played in 10 games with eight starts, spending much of his time splitting reps at left guard with Ben Bredeson.
The Giants did sign four of their own players on Monday: RB Matt Breida agreed to terms on a one-year contract that will pay him up to $2.3 million total in incentives, punter Jamie Gillan to a two-year deal that could be worth as much as $5 million, followed the re-signing of long snapper Casey Kreiter to a one-year deal, and reaching agreement with exclusive right free agent guard Wyatt Davis.
Since the end of the season, the team has reached deals with quarterback Daniel Jones, wide receiver Sterling Shepard, and linebacker Jerrod Davis as well as tagging running back Saquon Barkley. Early in the offseason, the team re-signed ERFA’s Isaiah Hodgins, Jack Anderson and Lawrence Cager.
- Giants 2023 NFL free agency tracker: Rumors, news, trades, signings, more
- 2023 NFL Draft prospect profile - Max Duggan, QB, TCU | Daiyan Henley, LB, Washington State
- 7-round New York Giants mock draft addresses some needs, not all
Other Giant observations
In light of offensive lineman Nick Gates signing with Washington, here is GM Joe Schoen on last year's starting center Jon Feliciano.
“We had Feliciano in Buffalo with us, and it’s not just on the field with some of these guys...Leadership in the locker room and within their position group that you really gotta make sure you don’t let a lot of leadership walk out of the building, and that’s gonna be a concerted effort for some of these guys — backups, starters, whatever it may be, we want to retain some of our leadership.’’
Javon Hargrave and the 49ers just drove up the price tag even further for Quinnen Williams and Dexter Lawrence.
Hargrave agreed to terms Monday to leave the Eagles for the 49ers on a four-year, $84 million contract that includes $40 million guaranteed. It’s the second huge contract in as many days for an elite NFL defensive tackle, following Daron Payne’s four-year, $90 million extension that included $60 million guaranteed to remain with the Commanders.
Film breakdown of safety Xavier McKinney’s season
Josina Anderson reports that they’re eyeing former Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Tre Herndon. The 27-year-old Herndon joined the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent out of Vanderbilt in 2018 and has spent his entire early career with the team.
The Giants have a lot of areas of need that they can target in free agency. Here’s an unrestricted free-agent candidate for five of their most pressing positional needs: Linebacker: Tremaine Edmunds, Bills; Wide receiver: Allen Lazard, Packers; Cornerback: Isaiah Oliver, Falcons; Defensive line: Matt Ioannidis, Panthers; and Offensive line: Bradley Bozeman, Panthers.
An inside look at three weeks of contract talks that locked in a quarterback long term and also kept Saquon Barkley in New York.
Around the league
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