Yes, the New York Giants are your Super Bowl XLVI champions and they will be enjoying the next little while to celebrate that accomplishment but that doesn’t mean that business takes a rest.
The end of one NFL season leads to the beginning of another and with no lockout to worry about this off-season that means NFL business will be taking place without any hitches or holdups.
What does that mean for the Giants? Well, ProFootballTalk got an early jump and listed the free agents for both the Giants and the Patriots last night. For those of you wondering who the Giants might take care of during the off-season here’s a list of upcoming free agents for the New York Giants:
- WR Mario Manningham
- OT Kareem McKenzie
- CB Terrell Thomas
- CB Aaron Ross
- DE Dave Tollefson
- Punter Steve Weatherford
- DT Rocky Bernard
- Safety Deon Grant
- LB Jonathan Goff
- LB Chase Blackburn
- OG Stacy Andrews
- QB David Carr
- DT Jimmy Kennedy
- OT Tony Ugoh
- DB Derrick Martin
- DB Justin Tryon
- KR Devin Thomas
- PR Will Blackmon
GM Jerry Reese was questioned about some of his roster transactions before the season began and now we can finally say that his moves, or lack thereof, paid off. It’ll be interesting to see which of these players are kept and for how much and which are chased after other teams with big money contracts the Giants decide are too expensive, ala Steve Smith and Kevin Boss.
Manningham is the biggest name on that list after his performance in the Super Bowl and the skills he’s showed off as receiver during his Giants career. While it would be nice to see him stay with the Giants I wouldn’t be surprised if he was offered a way-above-his-value contract and the Giants passed. Victor Cruz has passed him on the depth chart and the Giants also have Ramses Barden and Jerrel Jernigan ready to step up.
I think the one player the Giants must sign out of the above group of pending free agents is CB Terrell Thomas. When healthy he’s one of the Giants’ best defensive backs and having him in the back 7 will make the Giants’ secondary that much stronger. His season ending injury might scare some teams off and give the Giants an opportunity to sign him at a respectable rate.
Other than Thomas I would think the Giants will do their best to keep Weatherford, Tollefson, Goff, Blackburn, Grant and Thomas, as long as the prices are right. Tollefson might be another player teams target and offer more than the Giants are willing to pay and I would be sad to see that happen because he’s been a key role player for the Giants’ defensive line and pass rush. Weatherford made us all forget about the inconsistency Matt Dodge brought and I believe he will be a top priority for the Giants.
Thomas showed some skills as a returner and special teams player and should be affordable to retain. Blackburn and Grant have played well in their roles and keeping them around would benefit the defense as a whole. Goff is a bit of a wildcard because we don’t really know who he is as a player yet and if he wasn’t injured he was expected to be a starter. Keeping him will depend on what he believes his value is after his season ending injury.
I would have no problem with Aaron Ross leaving because a team will offer him a big money deal that will be overvalued and hopefully rookie Prince Amukamara will be able to step up in his second season. Everybody else on the list is expendable and the Giants can look for younger or cheaper alternatives. The only other player I can see the Giants brining back is David Carr but he’s left the team once before so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the team bring in a different veteran back-up QB.
Then there are the contract situations that need to be taken care of with Brandon Jacobs and Osi Umenyiora. One thing for certain is that the New York Giants’ Super Bowl title defense is going to be starting pretty soon, as Jerry Reese will have to start shaping the look of his roster for next season.