The New York Giants have not been serious players in this offseason’s free-agency period, but the minimal moves they have made have been vital to their improvement in 2012.
The Giants shored up key positions by re-signing cornerbacks Justin Tryon, Michael Coe and, most importantly, Terrell Thomas to strengthen a position that the Giants lacked at because of their absences due to injuries.
With ACL injuries sidelining tight ends Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum for at least the early part of the 2012 season, the Giants filled a big hole in their offense by adding former Dallas Cowboy Martellus Bennett. Bennett may be the Giants biggest signing this offseason and could be even more spectacular if he is able to live up to his expectations within New York’s high-powered offense.
Though the Giants biggest needs can be found along the offensive line and within their linebacking corps, minimal salary cap space handcuffed the defending Super Bowl champions and has forced them to look toward the draft to bolster those positions. General manager Jerry Reese and the Giants will not shy away from that opportunity, however, as they have had substantial success through the draft process since Reese’s promotion in 2007.
Unfortunately, such little remaining cap space also forced the Giants to let some valuable players go. Brandon Jacobs, Kareem McKenzie and Mario Manningham have all been major contributors for Big Blue for some time but will find time in the NFL elsewhere in 2012.
Despite this, the outlook heading into the 2012 NFL draft is a positive one and their moves in free agency should aid them as they attempt to successfully defend their Super Bowl title.
Let’s take a look at how those moves grade thus far.