DE Would Put Big Blue Back on Map
While everyone and their mother has been flapping their lips about which linebacker and/or safety the Giants should add to their roster this spring, the team may be focusing on bringing the best player available to East Rutherford.
That player is free-agent DE Julius Peppers.
Sure they need an upgrade at LB and safety, but what they need the most is veteran leadership on the defensive side of the ball. They need an a**kicker.
Peppers is that guy. He would restore immediate legitimacy to a badly wounded unit and is a considerable upgrade over Osi Umenyiora, who has basically talked his way out of New York and will most likely be traded.
By bringing in Peppers, the Giants starting DL would be: a healthy Justin Tuck , Chris Canty, Barry Cofield, and Peppers. Behind them are Jay Alford and Rocky Bernard in the middle and Mathias Kiwanuka and Dave Tollefson on the ends. Not too shabby...
Umenyiora could be traded for a second-rounder or a package of picks. Those extra picks will allow the Giants to vie for a restricted free agent or two, a practice they would normally stay away from.
Some interesting players have been tendered at that second-round level. It makes no sense to get into the players in that group until Friday, because there is still time to avoid an uncapped season. If no CBA agreement is struck by Friday, 212 players that would have been UFAs become RFAs.
They may also opt to keep the picks and bring in young talent. The upcoming draft is deep, and extra third- and fourth-round picks could reap some diamonds in the rough.
The Giants are expected to take a run at free-agent LB Karlos Dansby. I believe that will happen. I also believe that they will inquire about veteran safeties Antrel Rolle and Darren Sharper.
But it is the addition of Peppers that would be the first big step in retooling the defense.
Get him, and the latitude to improve at the other positions expands.
The other advantage to signing Peppers would be to keep him out of Philadelphia, which is reportedly on the five-time Pro-Bowler’s short list of desired destinations.