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NFL New York Giants

New York Giants Free Agent Target: Nick Barnett

Barnett, Nick 1

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants defense has undergone a bit of an overhaul in recent days with the releasing of Michael Boley and Chris Canty. The Giants certainly have some holes to fill and one of those spots is basically the entire linebacker corps.

Back in 2007, the only free agent the team signed was linebacker Kavika Mitchell. He got a one year, $1 million deal. He became an integral part of the defense this season and made a huge play in their Super Bowl upset that year. I’m going to suggest another veteran linebacker, who was recently released, that could potentially come to them cheap as a free agent; Nick Barnett.

If you believe in advanced metrics, (and at this point you’re missing the boat if you’re not), Pro Football Focus ranked Barnett as their third ranked 4-3 outside linebacker. At 31, the Giants may get a discount on him in free agency. More and more players are being released every day, and it’s possible a guy like Barnett may fall in the cracks and he could be someone that Reese can scoop up on the cheap.

The Giants could use his veteran presence as well. The Giants don’t value linebacker when they build a defense. They make no secret about this. If they choose to go with Jacquain Williams at the other outside linebacker and then draft a Manti Te’o or Kevin Minter to play at the MIKE, they could use a veteran along the outside to help the development of the other guys.