In an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio, Giants general manager Jerry Reese said, “There’s still some things to do in free agency for us I think.” He continued, “Just kind of slow play it and see who is out there and what is available for us and what our needs are as we continue the offseason process and look at the draft and look down the road. But we have things to do still.”
Usually not big signers in free agency, the Giants' biggest splashes this offseason were re-signing key Super Bowl contributors Steve Weatherford and Jake Ballard, and most importantly, re-signing Pro Bowl-caliber cornerback Terrell Thomas to a long-term deal.
Despite coming off their second Super Bowl victory in five seasons, the Giants do have some holes to fill this offseason. Though many of the big name players are off the market, the following players could have something to offer:
MLB David Hawthorne
With uncertainty surrounding the return of middle linebackers Jonathan Goff and Chase Blackburn, the Giants could have a big hole at the position. Hawthorne, 26, is a young run-stopper that could be landed at a bargain price due to the declining value of the running game in the NFL. Hawthorne would be a commodity at a position the Giants may be desperate to fill.
LB Manny Lawson
Lawson has yet to live up to the expectations placed upon him as a first-round draft pick, but still holds value in the NFL. For a team lacking in strong coverage linebackers, Lawson could be a great addition. After making just $3 million with the Bengals last season, he should come at a rather uncostly rate.
RB Kevin Smith
The Giants still need a No. 2 back with the release of Brandon Jacobs. Though Kevin Smith’s career has been riddled with injuries, his capabilities could make him a valuable contributor on third downs and in the red zone—Smith has 16 career rushing touchdowns in 42 games in the NFL. His injury history should knock his price down quite a bit, making him a more favorable option for the Giants.
C Jason Brown
After a disappointing season from free-agent signing David Baas, the Giants may be seeking a healthier option at center in 2012. There may be no healthier a center than former Rams’ first-rounder Jason Brown—he missed just two starts in five seasons. Unfortunately, Brown has seen his fair share of trouble, struggling with penalties and sacks allowed. It is possible the 28-year-old’s issues are something that can be solved through coaching and may be worth the risk.
RB Brandon Jacobs
Believe it or not, this may still be a possibility. In fact, it’s likeliness is growing the more both sides fail to find a replacement for the other. Brandon Jacobs has been a fantastic leader and contributor for the Giants over the course of his seven-year career. While the soon-to-be 30-year-old’s production has slowed, he can still be an important player in the Giants backfield splitting carries with his buddy Ahmad Bradshaw.
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