While NFL Free Agency begins at 4:00 March 12th, the Giants will probably be looking inside their organization on that afternoon, instead of looking outside the organization…and here’s why:
Key Pending Free Agents:Ramses Barden, WR; William Beatty, OT; Martellus Bennett, TE; Rocky Bernard, DT; Chase Blackburn, LB; Kevin Boothe, G; Domenik Hixon, WR; Sean Locklear, OT; Kenny Phillips, S; Keith Rivers, LB; Lawrence Tynes, K; Osi Umenyiora, DE; Andre Brown, RB (RFA); Stevie Brown, S (RFA); Victor Cruz, WR (RFA)
The Giants have a lot of decisions to make. You could probably check off the names of the guys who are looking to cash in on a few good years with the Giants, which includes two Super Bowl rings. Once you have reached that height, why not go out and get the money if it’s available. Guys like Kicker Lawrence Tynes who while most Giants fans will tell you probably could or should have been cut after 2007, except for the fact that he “Kicked the Giants into the Super Bowl” on that frigid day in Green Bay…he wasn’t stellar in 2011 either….but those immortal words were spoken again as he beat the 49ers in San Francisco. Lawrence was stellar last year making 85% of his filed goals and 8 from 40-50+. He was also 100% on extra points. So, let him go get paid somewhere else..he’s always got his rings and will be a Giant for life. Add to that list Osi Umenyiora, and maybe even Kenny Phillips.
The next list is guys that could stay if they agree to NOT get their big payday. Names like Ramses Barden, Rocky Bernard, Keith Rivers, Domenik Hixon, and Chase Blackburn. Some teams may want to overpay for them, and they will go, but their best chance is to stay with the Giants if offered a contract and be good depth players.
Then there are the must haves: Victor Cruz, Will Beatty, Kevin Boothe, Stevie Brown, Andre Brown, and maybe Martellus Bennett. This is where the Giants look to who could replace them from outside, and make the determination of what they are worth to the team. Most of these guys will get paid and stay with the team.
The Casualties? David Diehl might stay for depth, hard to release a guy who can play three positions, but will take a pay cut. Corey Webster needs to re-do his contract or risk being released. Ahmad Bradshaw has been released, but might make a return if the market doesn’t pan out for him. It has been hinted in the past few days that more players will be released, but I’m guessing not until their potential replacement has arrived in some fashion.
So, While other teams in the league are planning their trips to players homes on March 12th, the Giants will probably stay local, and try and keep the guys they have.