5 Former New York Giants that could have helped in 2018

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 25: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie #41 of the New York Giants makes his second interception of the day against the Dallas Cowboys during their game at MetLife Stadium on October 25, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 25: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie #41 of the New York Giants makes his second interception of the day against the Dallas Cowboys during their game at MetLife Stadium on October 25, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

The New York Giants have turned over their roster at breakneck speed the past two offseasons under general manager Dave Gettleman, but there are players they parted ways with that they perhaps should not have let go.

New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman wants to build his roster with the type of players he wants. He values certain positions over others, positions his predecessor, Jerry Reese, had largely ignored in recent years.

The Giants are moving away from the Reese-type players that are exceptional athletes first towards the Gettleman types which arrive on the scene with a history of production and accomplishments.

The salary cap plays a major role in whether or not players are keepers or not. We listed five players that the Giants should have held onto for the 2018 season instead of releasing, or allowing them to walk via free agency.

DB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

The Giants displayed a lot of confusion on defense in James Bettcher’s first year as defensive coordinator. Most of that was in the secondary, where their main corners were Janoris Jenkins, who played 99.2% of the defensive snaps and B.W. Webb, who played on 91.4%. Eli Apple was traded after just five games and rookie Grant Haley was predominantly used in the slot. The diminutive Donte Deayon is a hustler but this is the NFL.

The Giants could have used another natural outside corner in the mix and to help out in packages. DRC would have gone a long way to augmenting that unit after he “retired” during the season as a member of the Oakland Raiders. He would have come cheap, likely the league minimums, since he never really wanted to leave in the first place. He’s currently on the Washington Redskins’ roster.

S Andrew Adams

The Giants cut Adams in favor of the eternally-injured Darian Thompson at the cutdown deadline last year and then ended up cutting Thompson along with him. That left the free safety job in the hands of Curtis Riley, who – to his credit – started all 16 games (playing 95.5% of the snaps). That, unfortunately is to the discredit of the Giants. Riley was consistently out of position and late to the action and – on one play – actually backed off making a tackle on Dallas TE Blake Jarwin to prevent a score. The Giants were a mess at safety last year and Adams could not have possibly been a worse option than Riley. He went on to play in Tampa, where he recorded four INTs.  Adams recently signed with Detroit.

DE/OLB Romeo Okwara

Giant fans were a little puzzled when the team cut Okwara last summer. He was seen as an up-and-coming pass rusher by many, dressing for all 16 games as a rookie in 2016 before spraining his MCL early in the 2017 season. The Giants were hard up for sacks and with the former Notre Damer coming back healthy in 2018, he was sure to play a prominent role in Bettcher’s defense.

Think again.

The Giants opted to sign Kareem Martin and feature Olivier Vernon as a rush linebacker. They could have done all of that and kept Okwara, who racked up 7.5 sacks for the Detroit Lions last season. Meanwhile, the Giants were second to the bottom in the NFL in sacks last season.

OLB Devon Kennard

Kennard was usually hampered by some type of injury and never seemed to reach his potential after four seasons with the team. Granted, he given plenty of chances. Although he showed a penchant for rushing the passer, the team felt it was time to move in another direction. Maybe they should have taken a second look at Kennard.

In 2014, as a rookie, Kennard had 4.5 sacks. He had four in 2017 as a 4-3 outside linebacker. With the Giants converting to a 3-4 alignment, it might have made sense to reconnect with Kennard, who signed with Detroit and registered seven sacks last year in their 4-3 defense. He was always considered an exceptional athlete and locker room guy as well.

OL Ereck Flowers

What? Perish the thought, you say. Not so fast. Flowers may end up being one of the biggest busts in Giants’ draft history, but that might be because he was miscast as a tackle. He’s clearly too slow to handle edge rushers at this level.

He has played 59 games in the NFL since the Giants took him ninth overall in the 2015 NFL Draft – all at tackle. No one ever thought to put the 6’6″, 335-pound former Miami Hurricane at another position. Until now. The Washington Redskins have said they plan to start Flowers at guard this year.

The Giants released Flowers after five games last season and they were starving at guard with Patrick Omameh playing like a turnstile. The Giants let Omameh go during the season as well, but instead of trying Flowers at guard, they released him. I’m pretty sure the Giants weould not have re-signed Flowers after the 2018 season, but they may have missed an opportunity by not trying him at guard. They lucked in Jamon Brown off the waiver wire, but if they had not they would have continued to struggle at guard.