New York Giants: Top 27 free agent targets
By Henry Buggy
Big Blue fans are looking ahead to the 2018 NFL Draft with the franchise’s highest pick in over three decades, but New York will first have to address their roster issues in free agency.
The New York Giants and newly appointed general manager Dave Gettleman are currently seeking the organization’s next head coach, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t planning for the start of free agency in less than two months.
The G-Men have some significant personnel decisions to make this offseason with 20 impending free agents. Gettleman made his plans for both free agency and the draft clear during an interview with WFAN earlier this month, via New York’s team website.
"“The whole purpose of free agency is to set up your draft. In the ideal world, you never go into a draft saying I’ve got to have a [fill in the blank] – whatever that ‘a’ is. You don’t want to be in that spot because now you’re shopping hungry. So we’ll use free agency. There’s always the trade route. There’s always the waiver wires. So you’ve got to do your film work. It’s not pretty, it’s not easy, but you’ve got to get it done. That’s what you do.”"
While retaining players like Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, Devon Kennard, and Orleans Darkwa should be a priority, Big Blue’s general manager will not be able to keep all of New York’s top free agents while still adding new talent to the roster.
The Giants are currently slated to have just under $23 million in cap space this offseason, placing them 20 out of 32 teams, according to Spotrac. The G-Men and other franchises will look to clear cap space in the coming months by cutting players, which in turn will add more talent to the free agent market.
Many of the biggest names scheduled for free agency will re-sign with their current teams or will be placed under the franchise tag. Big Blue is unlikely to sign multiple notable free agents this offseason, but adding one or two key players, especially along the offensive line, could prove to be a difference maker in 2018.
Here’s a closer look at the top 27 free agent targets for the New York Giants based on talent and the team’s biggest needs.