NFL free agency, for all intents and purposes, is over. There will still be signings, but the biggest names signed long ago and the most impactful moves have all been made. So, how did the New York Giants do? If you go by ESPN's free-agency grades (Insider only) the answer would be 'not well at all.'
ESPN gave the Giants a 'C' for their work in free agency, worst of any team in the NFC East. The Washington Redskins got an A-, tand the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles both received 'B' grades for their work.
Here is what ESPN analysts Louis Riddick and Matt Williamson had to say about the players GM Jerry Reese added to the roster:
"I like Vereen a lot," Riddick said. "With the other signings, you see the Giants again adding depth players in free agency, guys who fit into the 35th through 53rd roster spots. If you cannot replace those guys with draft choices, then you are not drafting well, and the Giants really have not drafted well enough in recent years. That is an issue."
Williamson said he was "not a fan" of the Giants in free agency overall, despite Vereen's addition.
"Jason Pierre-Paul was a coin flip as a franchise player and then they signed all these guys who look like special-teams depth," Williamson said. "Dwayne Harris was a mind-boggling signing even though he does provide value on special teams. I do like Kenrick Ellis for the defense on a one-year deal that could pay off, but overall, I am not a fan."
Riddick makes a valid point. The Giants wouldn't have to sign a player like Casillas if they had drafted well, or at all, at linebacker. They wouldn't have to sign Marshall Newhouse if James Brewer or Brandon Mosley had shown they could play, or sign Dwayne Harris to a mammoth contract few people believe he earned if Jerrel Jernigan could catch a punt or get open once in a while.
Such, however, is the situation the Giants are in. I actually like the work the Giants did, signing several useful players. If you want to argue that the Giants should not have had to do some of that work had they brought in better players to begin with I won't argue with that.
The flip side of the argument, though, is that perhaps the Giants held on to some of their mistakes for too long, hoping they would eventually justify having been selected. Moving on from players like Brewer and other failed draft choices is probably long overdue.
Vote in the poll below and let us know what grade you would give the Giants in free agency.
Key re-signings/additions: DE Jason Pierre-Paul, OT Marshall Newhouse, WR Dwayne Harris, DE George Selvie, OLB J.T. Thomas, OLB Jonathan Casillas, RB Shane Vereen, DT Kenrick Ellis
Key subtractions: OG Adam Snyder, S Antrel Rolle, C J.D. Walton, OLB Jacquian Williams, OT James Brewer, WR Jerrel Jernigan, WR Kevin Ogletree, DE Mathias Kiwanuka, DT Mike Patterson, RB Peyton Hillis, S Quintin Demps, OLB Spencer Paysinger, S Stevie Brown, CB Walter Thurmond, CB Zack Bowman