5 Biggest Free Agency Rumors Surrounding the New York Giants
New York Giants' 5 Biggest Free Agency Rumors
For the most part, New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese and owner John Mara run a tight ship. Unlike the team that they share their stadium with, name brand free agent signings and trades to generate fan interest and sell tickets are not a part of their approach to managing the team. Because of this, rumors about the team’s offseason ambitions via free agency or the draft tend to be exaggerated or misinformation altogether. Occasionally, these rumors surface from those plugged into the situation that are connecting the dots—these speculations do sometimes come to fruition.
The best way to determine if these rumors are true is by connecting the dots yourself when it comes to major areas of need on the current roster. At the same time, it’s important to keep in mind not only needs but also what positions already have salary cap allocated to them and talent waiting in the wings. For example, predicting that the Giants will sign safety Jairus Byrd at his asking price of $8-10 million annually doesn’t make sense when you consider that the team already allocated $9.25 million in salary cap spending to Antrel Rolle.
What we do know is that the Giants currently have the 15th-most salary cap space and they are an estimated $19.288 million under the cap, according to Overthecap.com. This number could increase before free agency if they decide to restructure any contracts -- like Eli Manning's for example -- or if they force players like Chris Snee or David Baas to take a pay cut. Reese told the media at the NFL Combine that the 2014 roster will look very different, but the hard part is predicting where the biggest changes will be.
I will go over the five most talked about rumors pertaining to the Giants and free agency. Using the context clues, I will take my best guess at how these rumors will play out.
5. The Giants Will Sign Jon Beason Before He Hits Open Free Agency
Reese has already told us that he will let the Giants’ impending free agents hit the open market—all with the exception of Jon Beason. The rumor is that the Giants have placed Beason as their top in-house priority over the 20 other internal free agents. The Giants' defense flourished after trading for Beason, but it was also around the same time Will Hill was promoted to the starting lineup. After Beason went on record multiple times expressing his interest in remaining a Giant long-term, I believe the best option is to let Beason test the market—his injury history will drop his price tag. However, I predict the Giants will lock him up somewhere in the four-year, $15 million range.
4. Chris Snee Will Agree To A New Contract To Remain With The Team
This rumor is the most likely to come true prior to free agency. Snee is currently set to count $11.3 million against the salary cap, and if the team cut him outright they would save $6.8 million in cap space. Snee has already spoken to Reese, and he has also acknowledged that his cap number is high. Everything he said makes it seem that he is willing to take a pay cut to stay with the team. I expect him to accept a pay cut that reduces this final year of his contract to around $2-3 million.
3. The Giants are Interested in Knowshon Moreno and Rashad Jennings
Earlier this offseason, the Latin Times reported that “multiple sources” have told them the Giants are interested in Moreno. The Latin Times itself holds very little credibility when it comes to football rumors, and they failed to give any hints to identify their sources. I am calling fiction on this rumor.
Recently, the Bergen Record reported that the Giants are interested in Jennings. This rumor makes more sense because it comes from a reputable source and because Jennings seems like a signing that aligns with Reese’s past—slightly under the radar with talent to emerge as a great player.
2. The Giants Will Sign the Packers’ Unrestricted Free Agents
When the Giants hired former Packers quarterback coach Ben McAdoo as offensive coordinator, everyone automatically wanted to link every free agent on the Packers to the Giants. So let’s take it one by one.
I wrote here why signing James Jones would be detrimental, and I predict that they won’t because they have other positions they need to allocate cap space to.
Although Antrel Rolle wants him, there are many reasons why signing Jermichael Finley is a terrible investment. I doubt the Giants use valuable cap space here.
Guard/center Evan Dietrich-Smith makes a lot of sense. He’s just 27, he’s versatile along the line and he comes in with knowledge of McAdoo’s scheme.
I expect the Giants to show interest in James Starks only after other backs fall out of their price range and if his asking price is low.
1. The Giants Will Spend On The Top Young Guards
Recent reports surfaced that the Giants will be looking to spend on some of the top young guards on the market. Interior line is the Giants’ biggest need and they will use free agency to rebuild it. However, I think their best option and the one they will eventually take is to sign two mid-priced interior linemen. That’s not to say that these players can’t also be young—take a look at some of the options. Jon Asamoah (25), Chad Rinehart (28), Brian De La Puente (28), Evan Dietrich-Smith (27).