With the New York Giants looking to improve their roster at linebacker this off-season, it’s only natural that reports have surfaced linking the team to Daryl Smith. The free agent linebacker is set to hit the open market as of March 12th, and it’s currently unclear whether he will stay with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Smith is coming off the only injury-ridden season of his career in 2012. He played in two games and recorded only six tackles. He’ll be 31 heading into next season, but still has good days ahead of him. Smith is considered the top free agent available at linebacker, so if you’re the Giants – why not take a run at him?
Many analysts have New York going after a linebacker in the first round of the NFL Draft this year, but as Rantsports.com’s Chris Gamble pointed out, the team hasn’t taken a LB in round one since 1984. Clearly, the team should pursue a LB in the draft, but not necessarily in the first round.
This is why acquiring Smith would be a great move. In theory, the Giants would gain a top-tier middle linebacker capable of leading the team for several years, in Smith. Plus, via the draft, they can add a solid piece of foundation to compete for immediate playing time.
History says that the Giants will not take a linebacker in the first round, so it will be interesting to see the route they choose in free agency. I’d be surprised if an offer isn’t made to Smith, but at the same time, that offer will have be in the range of the game’s best linebackers.
Coming off an injury the Giants figure to have some leverage if they negotiate with Smith, but he could still easily command $8 million dollars per year.