On Wednesday, the Giants tendered two of their restricted free agents, Dave Tollefson (2nd Round Tender) and Gerris Wilkinson (3rd Round Tender). Still no word on defensive tackle, Barry Cofield, arguably the most important of the Giants’ restricted free agents this offseason.
I have to think that Cofield will be also be tendered at at a 2nd Round pick, but no movement yet on that front. Tollefson is a good special teams player and is valuable given the Giant struggles at the defensive end position in 2009 (both Justin Tuck, who played injured most of the year, and Osi Umeniyora, coming off of knee surgery) did not produce expected numbers, i.e., sacks. Tollefson is not going to wow anyone with his speed off the edge, but he has a non-stop motor and is worth bringing back.
Wilkinson, a former 3rd round pick, has never been able to stay healthy and put it all together. He has shown flashes of starter ability (last week of the season in 2007 against the then undefeated Patriots led by Tom Fabulous), but he has not been able to secure a spot in the starting lineup. My guess is Wilkinson will face an uphill battle to make the roster as Jerry Reese will have to bring in some fresh blood at linebacker.
As far as Cofield, I would be shocked if the G-men let him go as big Fred Robbins will not be returning and promising Jay Alford is coming off of major knee surgery. Cofield is a key cog in the run game and has been a steady performer since being drafted in the 4th Round. I can live with Canty, Cofield, and Alford guarding the trenchses, but don’t be surprised to see the G-men grab a defensive tackle in the first four rounds of this year’s draft, the defensive tackle position is very deep and the Giants run defense was not good last year. And, the jury is very much still out on Canty.
Stay tuned Blue, the off-season has just started!