After missing the playoffs for the third season in a row, the New York Giants are aware that the scenery must change or face potential house cleaning by ownership. A few of those changes must come on the defensive side of the ball. The Giants defense was mediocre again last season after being decimated by injuries and may lose some important players in the upcoming free agency frenzy.
One position at need for Big Blue is at linebacker. Injuries sidelined middle linebacker Jon Beason for the entire season which forced Jameel McClain into the middle, with Devon Kennard playing the strong side outside linebacker position and Spencer Paysinger at the weak side linebacker spot. Kennard played well, but the overall depth of the linebacking corps became an issue and played a part in Big Blue’s defensive recession.
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There are several potential solutions in this upcoming 2015 NFL Draft, but there are also potential solutions in free agency if the Giants choose to take that route. One of the free agent outside linebackers that would be a good fit in Giants blue is Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds. Worilds is entering his sixth season at the age of 26 and has progressed well over the years. Worilds has over 50 tackles in each of his last two seasons and has 25.5 sacks in his career.
Worilds would be a great fit on the Giants defense and would give them another versatile linebacker opposite Kennard who can make any tackle and put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, something Big Blue desperately needs. The only potential issue is whether or not the Steelers choose to use the transition tag on Worilds for the second season in a row. A transition tag would mean that the Steelers would get the right of first refusal, but would get zero compensation if Worilds signs an offer sheet and the Steelers decide not to match the offer.
That could keep Worilds wearing black and yellow next season but if it doesn’t and Worilds hits the open market, it would be wise for the Giants to pursue him since he won’t break the bank for the Giants and would keep him away from other potential suitors like the division rival Philadelphia Eagles.
Overall, Worilds would be a great fit in New York if available, and is definitely worth pursuing for the G-Men if they choose not to draft an outside linebacker.