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Mailbag: Early look at 2021 NFL free agency


David in Florida: Realistically, what positions and free agents will the G-men pursue this off-season?

John Schmeelk: It is too early to tell for a couple of different reasons. We don't know where the salary cap will land, though reports are projecting it will land around $180 million, which would equate to a nearly $20 million drop.

The Giants could also make decisions with players on their roster to free up more cap space, but that usually doesn't happen until the new league year gets a little closer. Until the Giants know how much cap space they are going to have available to them, it is impossible to know what free agents they may be able to pursue.

The Giants also have their own free agents to deal with, including starting defensive linemen Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson. If the Giants re-sign both and others, such as Kyler Fackrell, it will limit their cap space to bring in others.

Speaking generically, the front office was very clear in postseason conference calls that they need to add more weapons to the offense. The Giants also rotated through a lot of edge rushers and cornerbacks (across from James Bradberry) last season. So, those positions could be possible targets.

Charles in Virginia: The Giants need a speed receiver. There is currently no receiver on the roster who can post as a deep threat. I feel ideally that an offense should have at least two speed receivers in order to offset as opponent's reliance on "a shutdown corner."

John Schmeelk: Speed is increasingly important in the modern-day NFL, but straight-ahead speed is not necessarily the biggest need for the Giants. Darius Slayton ran a 4.39 in the 40-yard dash at the combine and has been able to consistently run past cornerbacks when healthy. He ran a faster 40 than Odell Beckham (4.43) clocked at the combine.

The key is to find explosive players. These are players that not only have speed, but also have the change-of-direction and stop-start ability to turn a short pass into a big play. Those are the type of players the Giants need to add to their receiver corps. If a player is a one-trick pony who only wins with straight-ahead speed, he is easier to neutralize. If he can win in many different ways, he becomes a problem for the defense.


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