Why the New York Giants Are Free Agency's Quietest Winner
USA TODAY Sports
There haven't been any Leon Sandcastle-type stars joining Big Blue, but general manager Jerry Reese has re-signed and signed a number of hardworking guys who complement the current culture of the Giants.
A big part of free agency—sometimes overlooked—is re-signing the right players, and Reese and company succeeded in doing just that.
Some familiar faces that will be back in Giants blue for 2013 are the following key members: Kevin Boothe, Will Beatty, Bear Pascoe, Stevie Brown, Shaun Rogers, Keith Rivers, Justin Trattou, Ryan Torain and David Carr.
When it came to Reese going out and bringing in talent, he didn't do too shabby either.
Some notable free-agent signings include TE Brandon Myers, DT Cullen Jenkins, S Ryan Mundy, LB Dan Connor, familiar face CB Aaron Ross, WR Louis Murphy and kickers Josh Brown and David Buehler.
NFL experts—using that term very loosely—have been busy praising teams like the Detroit Lions for signing Reggie Bush, the Seattle Seahawks for grabbing Percy Harvin, the Atlanta Falcons for signing Steven Jackson and Osi Umenyiora and the San Francisco 49ers for adding Anquan Boldin.
The G-Men, however, get no love.
Unlike their MetLife Stadium tenant, the Giants will never sing their own praises in order to sell newspapers and make people take notice, but the G-Men have had a terrifically "quiet" free agency.
The Giants made the "right" moves, and with football being the hardest sport to predict because of the risk of injury, making the right moves is more important than the big moves.
New Giants TE Myers caught 79 passes and four touchdowns to the recently departed-for-the-money Martellus Bennett who had 55 catches and five touchdowns for Big Blue in 2012.
The oft-injured Kenny Phillips joined the enemy in Philadelphia, but rising star Stevie Brown and new man and ex-Steeler Ryan Mundy should be a devastating tandem at safety.
Chase Blackburn sprinted for Carolina and Michael Boley was released, but Dan Connor stays in the rough NFC East and fills the role of experienced linebacker along with youngsters Rivers, Paysinger, Jacquian Williams and Mark Herzlich.
Umenyiora went "home" to Atlanta, but that opens up a great opportunity for Trattou and Adrian Tracy to assert themselves.
Chris Canty was released and found a home with the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, but Reese scooped up ex-Philadelphia Eagle Jenkins to clog the middle for Big Blue in 2013.
Ahmad Bradshaw was released to many fans' dismay, but David Wilson appears to be like the symbol proudly displayed on the Cowboys' helmet—a star. Andre Brown, Torain and Da'Rel Scott are great padding at running back.
Let the naysayers say that the G-Men didn't come away big winners in free agency, but they sufficiently replaced the position players who didn't return and maintained good depth.
To boot, Reese made all these moves and currently has the Giants $4,580,958 under the salary cap.
Victor Cruz has until April 19 to sign an offer sheet with another team, and the Giants would have the chance to match it or take a first-round pick as compensation.
As soon as April 19 passes, Cruz’s options for 2013 would be to sign a new long-term contract with the Giants or play for the $2.879 million that was tendered.
As far as Hakeem Nicks goes, all has been relatively quiet, but like Cruz, Nicks is an unrestricted free agent in 2014.
The two wide receiver studs look like they will be part of the plans for Big Blue in 2013, but the free-agency period in 2014 is already shaping up to be pivotal for Reese and the Giants.
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