NY Giants grades for biggest free agency moves including the Brian Burns trade

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The beginning of the 2024 NFL Free Agency period always brings a myriad of surprises, but the New York Giants were at the forefront of the league’s attention at the onset of things. 

Some shocking departures, blockbuster trades and major signings made Day 1 of free agency one of the busiest days in recent memory for the Giants. Now, the future of the franchise has been severely altered, and many believe that Joe Schoen made moves that will put New York back on track for sustained success.

That remains to be seen, but what we can do at the moment is take a long, hard look at the moves that the Giants general manager made, and didn’t make, when the period to do so opened up. With a ton of pressure on Schoen to get an almost decade-long mess right, there isn’t a lot of room for disappointment. 

Regardless, here’s a breakdown of the Giants’ biggest moves from free agency, including their massive trade for star defender Brian Burns, and grades for each move they made. 

Trading for Brian Burns to improve the pass-rush

Of course, the move that shook up the face of the Giants franchise, and the league in general, was the franchise making the splash decision to trade for and extend former Carolina Panthers pass-rusher Brian Burns.

After the Panthers received an offer that included multiple first-round picks from the Los Angeles Rams in 2022 and declined it, a majority of NFL media theorized they had planned to extend Burns. However, last season’s disaster of a campaign completely changed where the Panthers were headed, and they never could come to an agreement with the former first-round selection, so the Giants swooped in and made a deal that didn’t require the significant draft capital Los Angeles offered. 

Immediately, Burns gives the Giants arguably a top three defensive line in the NFL, and a front-seven that can compete with the best of the best. Playing aside Dexter Lawrence and Kayvon Thibodeaux could work wonders for Burns, unlocking the raw potential and elevate him into one of the league’s top pass-rushers.

The gigantic extension the Giants signed him to will be the biggest thing fans have a problem with, but that’s the going rate for stud pass-rushers. Burns is still only 25 years old, and is yet to reach his peak in the NFL. If he lives up to his immense potential, the contract will look better and better as more time passes.

Grade: A

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