A losing 2013 season removed any uncertainty about the New York Giants and exposed the team for exactly what they were: an organization with serious deficiencies at a multitude of different positions. Last year the play-calling was stale and outdated, and the Giants often looked too lost, too old and out of touch with the modern, fast-paced style of the NFL.
It’s safe to say that entering the 2014 offseason New York’s future looked bleak. The results-based New York media didn’t have to look hard for scapegoats; there was plenty of justified blame to go around, from the players and positional coaches all the way up the chain to general manager Jerry Reese.
In years past, Reese, a usually subdued strategist, has preferred to remain low profile in free agency, choosing instead to build the Giants’ roster through the draft. A combination of injuries and poor drafts forced Reese to employ a different strategy this free agency. With limited cap room and the most free agents of any NFL team, Reese’s job of repairing a fundamentally broken team quickly looked particularly daunting. Up to this point Reese has risen to the challenge.
The signings of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Walter Thurmond elevate the Giants’ secondary to talent levels rarely witnessed in the team’s storied past. The free agent addition of Jameel McClain and the re-signing of Jon Beason give the Giants a productive veteran presence in the middle of the field. The signing of Geoff Schwartz infuses the interior part of offensive line with needed youth, and Rashad Jennings will likely ignite the Giants’ nonexistent screen game.
Although the team still has needs to fill on the defensive line, at tight end and wide receiver, the Giants have taken a seismic step forward in the first two weeks of free agency and given their fanbase reason for hope in 2014.