5 Overrated Free Agents The New York Giants Should Avoid At All Costs
5 Free Agents The New York Giants Should Not Sign
The tenure of Jerry Reese as general manger of the New York Giants has seen very mixed results when it comes to free agency. The 2005 free agency class featured Plaxico Burress, Antonio Pierce and Kareem Mackenzie, and all three players played major roles on the 2007 Super Bowl championship team. For every bargain signing, like Kawika Mitchell in 2007 or Martellus Bennett in 2012, Reese has had several more misses. The Giants have used free agency to overpay for Chris Canty, Mathias Kiwanuka, David Baas and Brandon Myers — all of whom have not lived up to their lofty contracts. With an estimated 15-18 percent of their salary cap allocated to Eli Manning, the Giants will need to use the 2014 free agency period to find the right values at the positions that desperately need an upgrade.
Speaking of a position in need of an immediate upgrade, we are directed to the offensive line. Thought you could go through one Giants article without a reference to the offensive line? Well, until James Brewer, Kevin Boothe and David Baas are no longer still starters by default, you will continue to hear about it. Looking at the free agent market at offensive line, there are plenty of traps that the Giants need to avoid. Offensive linemen who hit the free agent market expect to be paid like all-pro Joe Thomas, even if they play more like a league-average starter.
Sinking a big contract into any one player at any position is a bad idea for this roster. According to Over The Cap, the Giants should have somewhere between the 10-15th most salary cap space. If they release Chris Snee, they can save $6.8 million in cap space for the 2014 season. Depending on who else they cut, they can probably free up more than $20 million in cap space under the new 2014 salary cap.
The best option for the Giants is to use that breathing room to sign multiple offensive linemen and allocate no more than $5 million per year in any one free agent. They can use the leftover salary cap space to other positions of need such as cornerback, running back, tight end and linebacker.
Here are five free agents that are overrated by the majority of people. The Giants should avoid signing these players, and one bad contract could set the franchise back.
5. James Jones
As I mentioned earlier today, James Jones is a bad investment for the Giants for multiple reasons.
Signing James would stunt the development of the wide receiver talent already on the roster. Rueben Randle and Jerrel Jernigan are talented receivers, but they need playing time and repetitions to realize their potential. Jones is also quite frankly a poor investment — he’s turning 30 in just over a month and has had trouble with drops and production in the past. The Giants need to allocate their salary cap space elsewhere, and this means avoiding the entire wide receiver market, aside from the cheapest options available.
4. Knowshon Moreno
There has been some blind speculation that the Giants would provide a perfect landing spot for unrestricted free agent Knowshon Moreno. Moreno is originally from New Jersey and played his high school football there.
The Giants need to proceed with great caution when it comes to Moreno. He has a checkered injury history and had four unproductive regular seasons before finally “breaking out” with Peyton Manning as his quarterback. If you really watched the Broncos closely, Moreno managed mostly to pick up just the yardage that what was given to him — six defenders in the box with six linemen to block them provides any running back with a great opportunity to succeed. Moreno is probably looking for something similar to the four-year, $16 million contract that Reggie Bush signed last offseason.
Hopefully, if he does get what he wants, it won’t be from the Giants.
3. Zane Beadles
Known as a guard who excelled in pass protection, Zane Beadles enters the free agent market as one of the better-known guards. His name brand will more than likely lead to him receiving a much bigger contract than he really deserves.
According to Pro Football Focus (subscription based), a website dedicated to individually charting each player in every game, Beadles did not even grade out in the top 50 guards in 2013. Still, at just 27, the Denver Post believes that some team will offer him a contract in the range of five-years, $25 million. That type of contract for that type of player is eerily reminiscent of the contract that continues to haunt the Giants — David Baas’ five-year, $27.5 million contract from 2011.
2. Jermichael FInley
As I previously mentioned in detail,Jermichael Finley is probably the worst investment that the Giants can make this offseason, strictly from a value standpoint.
Finley lives in a world where he should be paid like a unique talent at the tight end position. Meanwhile, back in reality, Finley is coming off a major neck surgery and has never really lived up to his athletic ability. If some team is willing to dump guaranteed money and years into Finley, it is more likely that team will be the Miami Dolphins or Oakland Raiders. The Giants have no need to join forces with either of those teams’ strategies for approaching free agency.
1. Brandon Albert
The biggest mistake that the Giants can make in free agency is signing one player to a multi-year contract with a ton of guaranteed money included in it, and that mistake would be amplified if they decided that one player should be Brandon Albert.
Albert likes to think that he is an elite left tackle in the NFL, and he certainly expects to be paid like one. That’s fine for him, because one team will bite and offer him that kind of money based on his name and how loud he has spoken of it. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription based), a website dedicated to individually charting each player in every game, Albert graded out as just the 25th-best tackle in the NFL in 2013. Considering what his asking price is likely to be, he is almost guaranteed to be one of the most overpaid free agents in 2014.