Aug 9, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New England Patriots running back Shane Vereen (34) during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Patriots defeated the Eagles 31-22. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Grading Free Agency:
Almost immediately the Giants made a deal with Shane Vereen. Vereen is a very complementary piece to the puzzle but it is hard to call this a huge splash in the market. Vereen will help with the passing game and he could emerge as the Giants lead rusher. The Giants urgency to get him suggests that they have big plans for him. The Giants also made moves to bring in J.T. Thomas and Dwayne Harris. Thomas will likely start as an outside linebacker; he is a tenacious headhunter that should help the Giants in run defense. Kenrick Ellis was also added and he will be a big time help against the run as well. Dwayne Harris, though a bit of a pricy move will provide much needed performance as a return specialist.
The biggest qualm I have with the Giants free agency period is Vereen. He is a good player but the Giants could have had a superior player. DeMarco Murray stayed in the NFC East, going to Philadelphia for not much more than Vereen got from the Giants. The Giants made a move on Vereen prematurely. There were other rushers that were more highly coveted. If the Giants wanted Vereen no matter what, they could have waited and got him for less (though that is a gamble). Murray would have brought a whole different element to the Giants offense. The Giants made a good move but they could have done better.
The Giants made several moves that will help them at all phases of the game. Those signings mentioned were the key signings. The moral of the story is twofold. First the Giants got significantly better, secondly they could have gotten even better.
Free Agency Grade: B
Next: Grading The Draft