What do the Giants need this offseason? They need to add as many useful players as possible without losing any key players or draft choices in the process.
With that in mind, the suddenly over-saturated restricted free agent list is probably not where they’ll be looking to add from. Signing one of these players would mean surrendering valuable draft choices, a practice this franchise does not usually partake in.
Here are the top-rated unrestricted free agent safeties, linebackers, offensive lineman and running backs that will be available Mar. 5:
The Giants will probably add one through the draft, but they will take a look at veterans such as Tampa Bay’s Jermaine Phillip s and Will Allen . Along with 13-year vet Darren Sharper , one of these may be worth a flier.
Phillips, an eight-year man out of Georgia, spent the majority of 2009 on IR with a broken thumb. He may come cheap. Allen also finished 2009 on IR, was a Pro Bowl first alternate after the 2008 season. The former Ohio State Buckeye is also a valuable asset on special teams.
The only other UFA safety I would recommend is a former Giant: Pittsburgh’s Ryan Clark . I know, this is not much to deal with, but the alternatives are just downright scary...
In the middle you could grab Gary Brackett or Larry Foote if you like. Both are still pretty good players, but do they have more upside than Jonathan Goff? Hmmmm.
On the outside, there are some interesting names. But outside of Karlos Dansby are any worth bringing in? Keith Bulluck, Tully Banta-Cain, Scott Fujita, and Paris Lenon are not players that are going to help sell those empty club-level seats.
At tackle, it's unlikely you’re going to find one worth signing under the uncapped rules. Any OT worth his salt will be tagged. The top three remaining are Chad Clifton, Mike Gandy and Tony Pashos . Good luck.
On the inside, there are very few attractive names as well: Chester Pitts, Bobbie Williams and Stephen Neal. All of these players have been in the league a decade or close to it.
Center is where I worry. Shaun O’Hara will be 33 this season and is the only pure center on the roster. The team needs to start thinking about finding an heir. Adam Koets has been kept on the roster for three years and is said to be a possibility, but the Giants may look for a proven veteran.
Of the UFA candidates there is little to get excited about after 16-year vet Kevin Mawae.
Every Giant running back was injured in 2009. Brandon Jacobs banged up his knee in Week One and never got going. Danny “DJ” Ware was supposed to fill the void left by Derrick Ward , but he was banged up and also never got going.
Ahmad Bradshaw's feet and ankles troubled him all season and Andre Brown blew out his Achilles in training camp. Gartrell Johnson, signed off the Chargers’ practice squad, was never integrated into the offense.
If all of these players make it back for training camp this season, the Giants may not need help at RB, but, they may decide otherwise in the interim. The UFAs that caught my eye are Willie Parker and Chester Taylor. Both could help this team if healthy.
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