For the New York Giants, the 2009 free agency period was all about improving upon a strength; namely the defense and the defensive line. Instead of addressing a weak sport like Wide Receiver, the Giants chose to bolster something that they were already very good at; rushing the passer.
It is for this reason however that I am in disapproval of their first round draft pick; Hakeem Nicks WR out of North Carolina.
While he may well turn out to be a fine player and the receiver the Giants need to get back to the Super Bowl, I much would have preferred Big Blue take a defensive player with their first selection. Needless to say, there were defensive players to be had with the 29th overall pick.
Antonio Pierce, the Giants Middle Linebacker, only has a couple of seasons of good production left in him at best.
With that being said, there were linebackers avaliable for the taking if the Giants so desired them. One of them was James Laurinitis, middle linebacker out of Ohio State. He has been considered by some to be a very polished player and a future star.
While the Giants sorely needed a wideout, improving upon a strength might have served them better for the longterm. Eventually they are going to have to address the position. Consider the fact that the middle linebacker serves as the Captain of the defense on the field, and Laurinitis would have been a great fit in New York.
Many would respond to this by saying that the Giants needed a receiver more than a linebacker. While this may be true for the present, I much rather would have had the Giants trading for a veteran such as a Braylon Edwards or an Anquan Boldin.
However, what I find to be most perplexing about this offseason is the lack of attention that Torry Holt got when he hit the open market. For some strange reason, NFL fans and analysts alike wrote him off as if he has nothing left. I beg to differ, and allow me explain why.
In 2008, Holt had 64 receptions and 796 yards receiving with a total of 3 touchdowns. Now at first glance, those numbers look terrible for a future Hall of Famer. But consider that he played on an awful Rams team that was ravaged by injuries on offense as well as defense.
Their offensive line was pathetic and was unable to protect Marc Bulger. It's a pretty simple equation here folks: If your offensive line is bad, you can't sustain an offensive attack.
If you can't sustain an offensive attack, your won't score as many points as you would have otherwise and your players might not achieve numbers that they otherwise would have on a better team.
Also consider that in 2007, the Rams were an awful team then as well. Yet Torry Holt still made his 7th Pro Bowl that year with 93 receptions for 1189 yards and 7 scores.
While some would point to his huge drop in production between 2007 and 2008 as evidence that Holt is slowing down, his average yards per catch in 2008 was 12.4 which was a mere drop of .4 from his 2007 campaign.
Combined with the fact that the Rams were even worse in 2008 than they were in 2007, and I conclude my case for why the Giants should have signed Torry Holt.
If the Giants signed Torry Holt they would have solved their problems at receiver, at least in the short term. The problem with drafting a wide receiver this year is that the Giants are a win-now team. Receivers usually take a couple of years to develop, and we don't know what the Giants will look like in 2-3 years in terms of being able to compete for the championship, which they are able to now.
They still could have taken Ramses Barden in the 3rd round to complement Torry Holt and the other host of wideouts that populate the Giants roster.
But adding a receiver as accomplished as Torry Holt would have been the direction I would have taken this team in. After all, he would not have cost much and he is only 32.
T.O. by comparison is 35 and still productive, so its not insane to think that Torry Holt could reach levels of production prior to his 2008 season.