In previous years, the Giants went big, re-signing Jason Pierre-Paul in 2017, adding Nate Solder in 2018 and Golden Tate last offseason. But the team has shied away from certain big-ticket free agents like Byron Jones this year, instead opting to sign ex-Carolina Panthers cornerback James Bradberry to a significantly less expensive deal. And they added former Green Bay Packers tackling machine Blake Martinez, who accounted for 155 total tackles last season.
But for a team that has a few desperate needs—namely, defensive end, offensive tackle and wide receiver—New York has been radio-silent on those positions for the most part.
The team placed a $16.1 million franchise tag on defensive tackle Leonard Williams, who they acquired from the Jets in a trade last season. He didn't register a single sack and added just two tackles for loss in seven games with the Giants, but general manager Dave Gettleman is clearly hoping that's an aberration.
New York has 10 picks in April's NFL draft, though four of them are in the seventh round. The Giants' No. 4 overall pick could have some serious trade value, though, especially as teams debate whether they should move up and select quarterback Tua Tagovailoa before he falls to the Miami Dolphins at No. 5.
New York could stockpile a few picks to better fill the aforementioned holes, and they likely wouldn't be missing out on the elite offensive tackle and wide receiver prospects expected to go in the top 10-15 picks.
In the meantime, it appears they are looking to shore up the secondary via an unusual route.
XFL's Askew-Henry Headed to the Big Apple
Dravon Askew-Henry isn't completely unfamiliar with the NFL, as he spent time briefly with both the Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots, but he's yet to play an NFL regular-season snap. That didn't keep the Giants from agreeing to a two-year deal with the ex-West Virginia standout, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Askew-Henry, 24, is the cousin of former All-Pro defensive back Darrelle Revis and started a program-record 51 games during his four years at West Virginia, where he racked up 215 tackles and six interceptions from his safety position. After adding Bradberry, the Giants have two secondary playmakers between him and Jabrill Peppers. They are likely hoping Askew-Henry can become a third with his versatility at the nickel spot.
And after playing with the XFL's New York Guardians until the league shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Askew-Henry won't have to move his locker far at MetLife Stadium.
Ex-Giant Latimer Headed to Washington
Latimer, 27, was a second-round pick of the Denver Broncos in 2014 but was not re-signed after his rookie deal expired in 2017. He hoped to reboot his career in New York, but an injury-shortened 2018 season and an unproductive 2019—he only caught a total of 35 passes in two seasons—made him expendable.
New York re-signed Corey Coleman, who tore his ACL last summer and missed the entire 2019 season, and it also has Golden Tate and Darius Slayton both returning. But don't be shocked to see the team use multiple picks on receivers, especially if it can move down into the middle of the first round.
This year's receiver group is among the best in recent years, and top-end pass-catchers like Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb and Alabama's Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs are likely to be available in the mid-teens.
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