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NFL Free Agency: Which players should New York Giants re-sign?

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Time to put on your GM hat — who would you keep or let go?

Chicago Bears v New York Giants
Johnathan Hankins
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The first step in NFL free agency is always to figure out which of your own free agents you want, or will be able, to keep. The New York Giants have critical decisions to make on players like Jason Pierre-Paul, Johnathan Hankins, John Jerry and others.

Let’s look at all of the unrestricted free agents, with my verdict on which players should be kept or let go. Here is the full list of Giants free agents, include the restricted and exclusive rights free agents.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul — We know it is going to be expensive. We know there will be a long line of suitors if Pierre-Paul does hit the open market. Problem is, what he brings to the table would be incredibly difficult for the Giants to replace.

Verdict: Keep

LB Keenan Robinson — The former Washington Redskins linebacker was a valuable member of the Giants’ nickel and dime defensive packages. The Giants searched for years to find a linebacker with his ability in pass coverage.

Verdict: Keep

OG John Jerry — We know what the 30-year-old Jerry is. It is what he has always been. Jerry is an above average pass protector (23rd among 71 qualifying guards graded by Pro Football Focus) and a below average run blocker (48th). This is a tough call because Jerry is a starting-caliber player and that is nothing to be tossed away lightly. Keeping him as the starting right guard for another season or two is perfectly acceptable. The Giants, though, really like Brett Jones and they had always intended for Bobby Hart to play guard. At this point, it’s even possible Ereck Flowers ends up there. The decision here isn’t about lack of respect for Jerry, but about the options the Giants already have.

Verdict: Let go

TE Larry Donnell — He’s been bypassed by both Will Tye and Jerell Adams, and the Giants still need to get better at this spot. Do we really need to discuss this?

Verdict: Let go

Marshall Newhouse — He is not a starting-caliber player. He is, however, a valuable veteran reserve. He showed that by playing capably at guard and then holding up decently for a couple of games at right tackle at the end of the year.

Verdict: Keep ... as depth, not as a starter

DB Leon Hall — Gave the Giants what they hoped for, veteran depth and flexibility. He is replaceable, though, and with Darian Thompson, Andrew Adams and possibly Nat Berhe back next season I’m not sure keeping him is a priority.

Verdict: Let go

LB Mark Herzlich — This guy is like the Energizer bunny. Every year you think someone will replace Herzlich, and every year he manages to stick around. Sooner or later, though, the clock has to strike midnight on a guy who really has no value beyond special teams.

Verdict: Let go

OT Will Beatty — When the Giants signed him it seemed like only a matter of time before he was the starting right tackle. That, of course, never happened. The Giants refused to play the guy, which should tell you everything about his future.

Verdict: Let go

LS Zak DeOssie — DeOssie is a reliable snapper and even after 10 seasons he can still get down the field in punt coverage. He isn’t expensive, either.

Verdict: Keep

DT Johnathan Hankins — Was part of a formidable Giants’ defensive line. He is a really good player, but the Giants are paying Damon Harrison and Olivier Vernon a lot of money, and they will have to break the bank to keep Jason Pierre-Paul. It would be nice to keep Hankins, but I don’t know if the Giants can. I would want to if I was GM Jerry Reese, but ...

Verdict: Let go, reluctantly ... only because I don’t see the Giants paying both JPP and Hankins.

PK Robbie Gould — Have you been watching the playoffs? Good placekickers are important, and they also aren’t easy to find. Gould is one.

Verdict: Keep

QB Josh Johnson — Even if the Giants draft a developmental quarterback they will almost certainly want to have an experienced one on the roster as Eli Manning insurance. Johnson has a year in the system, and it probably isn’t wrong to suspect that the Giants signed him early in 2016 with an eye toward the 2017 season.

Verdict: Keep

RB Bobby Rainey — He isn’t as good as Shane Vereen or Paul Perkins as a running back or pass-catcher. He is a pretty good return man, but he isn’t exactly reliable when it comes to ball security.

Verdict: Let go

LB Kelvin Sheppard — He was signed as a stop-gap, and he served his purpose. Sheppard is, at best, a decent player. Robinson, his “backup,” played far more snaps (780-452). The Giants drafted B.J. Goodson believing he had a chance to be their middle linebacker of the future, at least in the run packages Sheppard played in.

Verdict: Let go

CB Coty Sensabaugh — Did an adequate job after coming to the Giants during the season. Cornerback depth isn’t easy to find. There is no reason not to bring him back and let him compete for a roster spot.

Verdict: Keep

QB Ryan Nassib — After four years the only thing we really know about Nassib is that he somehow hurt his elbow and landed on IR without ever playing. What kind of quarterback is he? Not a clue.

Verdict: Let go

CB Trevin Wade — Like Sensabaugh, Wade is serviceable depth and can play both in the slot and outside.

Verdict: Keep