NFL Free Agency 2012: After Martellus Bennett Signing, What's Next for Giants?

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IMarch 15, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 14:  Martellus Bennett #80 of the Dallas Cowboys is tackled by Kenny Phillips #21 of the New York Giants on November 14, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

On the second day of free agency for the NFL, more big names came off the market.

Kyle Orton, Laurent Robinson, Carl Nicks, Peyton Hillis, Brandon Carr, John Carlson and Chad Henne all got signed, and Peyton Manning is still deciding on a new home for 2012.

The defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants made their next move on Wednesday by signing former Dallas Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett to a one-year, $2.5 million deal.


Former Cowboys TE Martellus Bennett's deal with the New York Giants: 1 year, $2.5 million.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2012


Bennett played four seasons as the backup tight end in Dallas behind Jason Witten, but due to both Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum tearing their ACL's in Super Bowl XLVI and likely will begin the 2012 season on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list, Bennett will have a chance to not only play more, but potentially start.

Now, the Giants could still show some interest in former tight end Kevin Boss, who was released by the Oakland Raiders, or they could draft a tight end in next month's draft, like Dwayne Allen or Coby Fleener.

On Tuesday, the first day of free agency, the Giants took care of a major priority by re-signing cornerback Terrell Thomas to a four-year, $28 million deal.

So now that the Giants have addressed two needs in bringing back Thomas and signing a tight end in Bennett, where do the Giants go from here now?

They could look to fill the void that will likely be left by wide receiver Mario Manningham, who has drawn interest from the San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins.


Two names that came up in rumors last week for the Giants were Plaxico Burress and Steve Smith, both former Giants.

They could also address their need for another wide receiver in the draft, but I think they will end up signing a receiver too as a free agent, I think it probably will end up being Smith.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 20:  Steve Smith #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles scores on a 14-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 20, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Patrick
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Giants also have a void to fill at running back following the departure of Brandon Jacobs, who was released last week.

San Diego Chargers' Mike Tolbert was on Sirius NFL Radio this past week and said he would be open to playing for the Giants.

I think Tolbert would be the perfect option to replace Jacobs in the Giants offense, but it just depends on what kind of contract Tolbert is looking for and if they could fit him into their budget.

The Giants also have a need to fill at linebacker, and while they have their own free agents they have to think about bringing back in Chase Blackburn and Jonathan Goff, that could be a position they address in the draft.

The same need goes with the Giants need at the offensive line. David Diehl just restructured his contract and may end up moving from left tackle to left guard or right tackle with the departing Kareem McKenzie.

The Giants usually address offensive line needs through the draft and if they don't want to go with Will Beatty as the starting left tackle and Kevin Boothe as the left guard, the Giants could find younger linemen in the draft.

Thursday will be the third day of free agency for the NFL and it will be interesting to see if the Giants make any more moves or additions to their roster.

Stay tuned, Giants fans.