It appears the New York Giants are about done with free agency, which is why they're the first NFC East team we're going to wrap up the free-agency period with. New York entered and exited the market with very limited funds, but still found a way to sign seven new players while keeping six unrestricted free agents of their own.
Before giving you my broad final thoughts on how Big Blue fared, here's a chart breaking down what has happened thus far in March for Jerry Reese, Tom Coughlin and Co.
As you can see, the Giants lost more starters/key role players than they gained, but not by a huge margin. They believe Stevie Brown—who re-signed on a one-year tender—can replace Phillips, while there's a good chance the younger Jacquian Williams can step in for Boley and 2012 first-round pick David Wilson can do Bradshaw's job.
All of the other replacements have been color-coded to match up with each other on the chart, and none represent major losses.
The only issue I have is that the the pass rush, which is their bread and butter, is getting weaker. Umenyiora wasn't the same player nor was he affordable, but his loss will still be felt. Justin Tuck isn't the same and there's no clear candidate to step up and complement Jason Pierre-Paul. Bottom line, the Giants really have to focus on edge-rushing prospects early and often in the draft.
But overall, I'm impressed that the Giants were able to keep the offensive line pretty much fully intact (David Diehl, James Brewer or a draft pick can step in for Locklear no problem) without sacrificing any major offensive or defensive weapons.
I do fear they'll regret letting Phillips walk to a division rival, especially since he signed such a cheap, one-year deal with the Eagles. But obviously they're confident in Brown, who finished one interception short of leading the league last year, and there's no telling how many more times Phillips will encounter knee problems from here on out.
All in all, the Giants exceeded expectations on the open market, living to be competitive for yet another year and not royally screwing themselves in future offseasons.
Worst signing: Aaron Ross. The dude was dumped by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"Best" loss: Ahmad Bradshaw. It was time to move on. Well-timed release there.
Worst loss: Martellus Bennett. Even though the Myers signing was their best, they'll miss the extremely versatile Bennett.
OVERALL GRADE: B+
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