By Robbie Stratakos
The New York Giants are walking a tightrope with their payroll. Even with the likely releases of veterans Golden Tate, Nate Solder and possibly Kevin Zeitler, general manager Dave Gettleman will have roughly $30 million in cap space. With some crucial free agents from the inside poised to corral eight-figure salaries, the Giants have to act with prudence this offseason.
Here are five players that Big Blue should pursue in NFL free agency:
The Giants have an extremely difficult decision to make: re-sign Leonard Williams or Dalvin Tomlinson? They should choose Williams, albeit Tomlinson has been a sturdy force on the defensive line over the last four years.
Williams was arguably the Giants’ best player last season, totaling 11.5 sacks, clobbering the run and powering through an abundance of double-teams. He’s an impact player that defensive coordinator Patrick Graham can’t afford to lose.
Jenkins is coming off an underwhelming season with the New York Jets, low-lighted by a season-ending shoulder injury in December. At the same time, he’s a productive player who could help out the Giants’ pass rush.
The Georgia product racked up 15 sacks from 2018-19 and is a tenacious tackler. He could be a starter off the edge or, at the very least, a third-down pass rusher for the Giants. A one-year flier is worth the price of admission.
The Giants need outside playmakers – badly. While Conley wouldn’t be their outside answer, so to speak, he’d be a respectable deep ball threat on a team-friendly contract. The 6-foot-3 receiver is a season removed from logging 775 receiving yards on 16.5 yards per reception.
Conley gives the Giants height on deep balls and more options for quarterback Daniel Jones. Inking Conley on a short-term deal would be a cost-effective move.
The Giants need a starting-caliber running back behind Saquon Barkley, who’s rehabbing from a torn ACL. James White fits the bill.
White has some familiarity with Giants head coach Joe Judge, as they were together with the New England Patriots from 2014-19, and brings a versatile skill set to the table. He’s one of the NFL’s best checkdown/receiving running backs and has some burst in his step. White gives the Giants another back to run up the middle, as well as an underneath passing option.
While soon-to-be second-year offensive tackle Matt Peart figures to be the Giants starting right tackle next season, Lamm would be a worthwhile signing.
Lamm started 13 games at right tackle for the Houston Texans in 2018 and has been a rotation tackle for the Cleveland Browns over the last two seasons. He’d add a veteran presence to an overall young offensive line and push Peart for the right tackle job.
These signings keep a vital piece to the puzzle, fill voids and add depth to the Giants roster. They also open the door for the organization to select pass catchers (wide receivers and/or tight ends) in the early stages of the NFL Draft.