A year ago, New York Giants fans harbored high hopes for a playoff run led by Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, and Darren Waller. However, the reality was a disappointing season marked by offensive struggles, a leaky offensive line, and a battle for draft position rather than a playoff berth.
Despite the setbacks, there's still hope for a resurgence in 2024. The key lies in a strategic approach to free agency and a strong showing in the upcoming draft. Joe Schoen knows there's going to be a ton of pressure on him.
Pro Football Focus suggests pursuing Curtis Samuel, a slot receiver formerly with the Washington Commanders, as a crucial free-agent acquisition. The question is, can Samuel truly be the catalyst for a turnaround in the Giants' 2024 prospects?
The NY Giants signing Curtis Samuel in free agency would be a mistake
While acknowledging Samuel's abilities as a talented receiver who could fit into the Giants' lineup, more compelling options are surely available. PFF's prediction that the Giants will "double-dip" by acquiring a wide receiver both in the draft and free agency is reasonable, but is Samuel the standout choice compared to current Giant Wan'Dale Robinson?
A closer look at the statistics reveals that Robinson closely mirrors Samuel's statistics despite missing an additional game and playing in an offense that struggled to move the ball downfield. For reference, Sam Howell, the Commanders quarterback, threw for nearly 4,000 yards, compared to the combination of Jones/Devito/Taylor totaling just above 3,300.
The Giants envisioned Robinson, selected No. 43 overall in 2022, as a lightning-quick, highly-mobile security blanket for Jones, excelling in the slot position. While injuries have impeded this vision to some extent, Robinson showed promise towards the end of the season, accumulating at least 75 scrimmage yards in two of his last four games.
Given Samuel's lack of "special" abilities and the clock ticking at 27 years old, the Giants might be better off exploring alternative options. Priority should be placed on first addressing the most pressing need: fortifying a competent offensive line unit.
With the likes of Andrus Peat from New Orleans, Connor Williams from the Dolphins, Jonah Williams from Cincinnati, and Aaron Brewer from Tennessee all free-agent offensive linemen that are 30 years old or younger - the Giants' would be much more wise placing an investment up front. Those players can make an immediate impact, and hopefully help the younger players, like Evan Neal, reshape their development and become valuable assets working under Carmen Bricillo.