The New York Giants are going to have several decisions to make when it comes to their impending free agents. The Giants have several key free agents including Chase Blackburn, Will Beatty, Osi Umenyiora, Andre Brown, and Victor Cruz. However, the most important free agents might be at the safety position where Kenny Phillips and Stevie Brown are both free agents.
The Giants won’t have a lot of cap room, especially if they give Cruz a nice raise and will have to make some tough decisions. There is no way the Giants will be able to afford both Brown and Phillips which could mean the Giants will have to choose.
Brown is a restricted free agent and has a relatively short track record of success. Outside of this year, Brown has bounced around the league and was considered nothing more than a backup safety heading into this season. Injuries forced the Giants to give Brown more and more playing time and he has responded, forcing nine turnovers including seven interceptions.
Phillips is a former first-round pick, taken 31st overall in 2008. However, he has bad knees and has missed a large chunk of this season because of knee issues. Phillips had immense talent coming out of college but injuries have sapped him of reaching that potential. Still, the Giants are a better defense with Phillips on the field.
The Giants might decide that the injury history on Phillips is just too risky for big dollars and might opt for Stevie Brown instead, allowing Phillips to look elsewhere for work. Of course, there is always the chance that the Giants sign both given how many issues they have had at the safety position, although that is unlikely.
Even the emergence of Will Hill has made a potential Phillips departure a little easier for the Giants to handle. Both Hill and Brown have done an excellent job in Phillips’ absence and could both be potential starters in the NFL.
Right now, I think the Giants will allow Phillips to walk unless Brown is asking for a dramatic raise that prices him out of the Giants’ range.