New York Giants: Crafty Moves Improves Team


Yesterday was one of the more hectic player movement days in NFL history. It seemed like every time you checked Twitter a new deal was being made somewhere in the NFL. The Giants were one of many busy teams during the first official day of free agency; I think they made some really important signings that will pay off in the long run.

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Names like Jonathan Casillas and J.T. Thomas aren’t exactly household names, but that doesn’t mean they don’t add value. Although the Giants ranked 15th in special teams in 2014, over the past two seasons they’ve allowed 4 punt return touchdowns. These two signings add a great special teams presence and much needed depth to their linebacking unit.

The signing of Dwayne Harris really intrigued me. Did he get paid too much for primarily being a returner? Maybe. I say maybe depending on what his salary comes out to for the 2015 season.

As we know in the modern-day NFL, players rarely ever finish out long-term deals. If somehow the Giants back loaded his 5 year, $17 million contract then this could be a steal as a threat the Giants have been trying to find for years in the return game.

Sep 15, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back David Wilson (22) runs with the ball against the Denver Broncos during a game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

To me this is the offseason of David Wilson. I say that because he was supposed to be the Giants home run-hitting, pass-catching, return man. When the Giants drafted him in the 1st-round in 2012 they expected to get all those facets from his game.

We all know by now that a neck injury derailed his career so the Giants took to free agency to fill the holes he left behind.

Dwayne Harris replaced his returning duties while former New England Patriots running back Shane Vereen filled his pass-catching, homerun-hitting duties. Vereen was an excellent pick-up by New York. Vereen is a cerebral football player, with both great pass-catching and great pass-blocking ability. He’ll be a key guy on 3rd down with those qualities.

Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; New England Patriots running back Shane Vereen (34) runs the ball against Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) and free safety Earl Thomas (29) during the second quarter in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

What really impressed me was how the organization structured each contract. Out of the 5 signings they made on Tuesday J.T. Thomas, Jonathan Casillas, Dwayne Harris, Marshall Newhouse, and Shane Vereen, the team only spent about $7 million in cap room towards the 2015 season with an estimated $8-$10 million approximately remaining.

Many of these contracts are low-risk high-reward type deals. Applaud this organization. They did an outstanding job of working the salary cap while also adding much-needed role players. This team now has enough wiggle room to aim for a possible starter on the defensive line or secondary.

Next: New York Giants: Team Agrees With J.T. Thomas