5 Players New York Giants Must Target In 2016 NFL Free Agency

By Christopher Gamble

The New York Giants‘ 2015 season might be one of the most disappointing in the team’s history. The last-minute losses seemed to come on a weekly basis and injuries once again piled up as the team led the NFL their conference in players on injured reserve for a third straight season. Tom Coughlin is gone and the future is uncertain. However, with about $50 million in cap space, the Giants can make a real impact on their team for 2016. Here are five players they should target in free agency.

5 Players New York Giants Must Target In 2016 NFL Free Agency
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5. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE

Jason Pierre-Paul, DE Credit: Getty Images
Yes, he is one of their own. Yes, he has an injured hand that will require more offseason surgery. Yes, he changed the dynamic of the Giants’ pass rush once he stepped on the field. Even with one hand he was able to do something nobody else on the team could do on a consistent basis, make the quarterback feel uncomfortable. The sack numbers weren’t there, but JPP showed he is still very capable of getting to the quarterback. The more comfortable he is with his hand, the better he will become. Perhaps more importantly, he came back from his fireworks accident with a renewed drive and new found maturity.

5. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE

Yes, he is one of their own. Yes, he has an injured hand that will require more offseason surgery. Yes, he changed the dynamic of the Giants’ pass rush once he stepped on the field. Even with one hand he was able to do something nobody else on the team could do on a consistent basis, make the quarterback feel uncomfortable. The sack numbers weren’t there, but JPP showed he is still very capable of getting to the quarterback. The more comfortable he is with his hand, the better he will become. Perhaps more importantly, he came back from his fireworks accident with a renewed drive and new found maturity.

4. Muhammad Wilkerson, DE

Muhammad Wilkerson, DE Credit: Getty Images
Even though the coaching staff is very much up in the air at the time of this writing, Wilkerson seems like a logical candidate if the Giants stick with a 4-3 or convert to a 3-4. Wilkerson is a big body that can terrorize a quarterback, and the anemic Giants’ pass rush could use someone like him. Johnathan Hankins has shown promise but ended the year on injured reserve, Jay Bromley looks like a viable rotation player and Cullen Jenkins has lost a step. The Giants can use help on the inside and outside of the line, and Wilkerson can play both DT and DE kind of like Jenkins has done for them.

4. Muhammad Wilkerson, DE

Even though the coaching staff is very much up in the air at the time of this writing, Wilkerson seems like a logical candidate if the Giants stick with a 4-3 or convert to a 3-4. Wilkerson is a big body that can terrorize a quarterback, and the anemic Giants’ pass rush could use someone like him. Johnathan Hankins has shown promise but ended the year on injured reserve, Jay Bromley looks like a viable rotation player and Cullen Jenkins has lost a step. The Giants can use help on the inside and outside of the line, and Wilkerson can play both DT and DE kind of like Jenkins has done for them.

3. Eric Weddle, FS

Eric Weddle, FS Credit: Jim Steve - USA TODAY Sports
Weddle’s relationship with the San Diego Chargers is strained and the Giants need help at safety. Landon Collins looked promising, and there are some in the organization who feel Nat Berhe could be a very good player. But Berhe missed the season with an injury, and the Giants need someone who can step in right away and change the dynamic of the defensive backfield. Weddle can do exactly that even if he is 31.

3. Eric Weddle, FS

Weddle’s relationship with the San Diego Chargers is strained and the Giants need help at safety. Landon Collins looked promising, and there are some in the organization who feel Nat Berhe could be a very good player. But Berhe missed the season with an injury, and the Giants need someone who can step in right away and change the dynamic of the defensive backfield. Weddle can do exactly that even if he is 31.

2. Travis Benjamin, WR

Travis Benjamin, WR Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Rueben Randle is a free agent and probably won’t be back. Victor Cruz hasn’t played a game since 2014. The receiving corps consists of Odell Beckham Jr., Dwayne Harris and some unknowns. That is unacceptable. Benjamin was brilliant in flashes last season for the Cleveland Browns with 68 catches, 966 yards and five touchdowns despite having quarterbacks that are only slightly better than you and me. Adding Benjamin opposite Beckham with either Cruz or Harris in the slot would give the Giants one of the most potent wide receiver groups in the entire league.

2. Travis Benjamin, WR

Rueben Randle is a free agent and probably won’t be back. Victor Cruz hasn’t played a game since 2014. The receiving corps consists of Odell Beckham Jr., Dwayne Harris and some unknowns. That is unacceptable. Benjamin was brilliant in flashes last season for the Cleveland Browns with 68 catches, 966 yards and five touchdowns despite having quarterbacks that are only slightly better than you and me. Adding Benjamin opposite Beckham with either Cruz or Harris in the slot would give the Giants one of the most potent wide receiver groups in the entire league.

1. Von Miller, LB

Von Miller, LB Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
The Giants have struck out on linebackers in recent years in both the draft and free agency. Miller is one of the best in the game at getting to the quarterback, and no matter what system the Giants decide to employ, he can be a force for them rushing the passer. The defense finished last in the league because they couldn’t get to the quarterback. Adding Miller would beef up the linebacker corps and instantly give the Giants a fearsome pass rusher who can move all over the field and create havoc.

1. Von Miller, LB

The Giants have struck out on linebackers in recent years in both the draft and free agency. Miller is one of the best in the game at getting to the quarterback, and no matter what system the Giants decide to employ, he can be a force for them rushing the passer. The defense finished last in the league because they couldn’t get to the quarterback. Adding Miller would beef up the linebacker corps and instantly give the Giants a fearsome pass rusher who can move all over the field and create havoc.

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