Recap of reported Giants moves in first week of free agency
It's been a busy few days for the Giants at the start of free agency.
Let's start with the official moves.
After placing the franchise tag on him last week, the Giants signed defensive tackle Leonard Williams to a three-year contract. The move will keep the 26-year-old defensive lineman, who recorded a career-high and team-high 11.5 sacks in 2020, with the team for the next few seasons.
Williams wasn't the only one to sign a new contract to remain with the Giants. Offensive tackle Nate Solder, who opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, signed a new contract with the team and will return to the OL room this year. The 32-year-old tackle missed a total of only 57 of 2,037 offensive snaps in 2018 and 2019 while starting 32 consecutive games at left tackle.
The Giants also re-signed WR C.J. Board, DT Austin Johnson and LS Casey Kreiter, all of whom were set to become free agents at the start of the new league year.
As for new players, only one free agent has been officially signed to the team - fullback and special teams standout Cullen Gillaspia, who signed his contract on Tuesday. Gillaspia was waived from the Houston Texans last week, thus allowing him to sign with the Giants before the start of the new league year.
In addition to the official moves, the Giants have reportedly agreed to deals with several free agents over the last few days, according to media reports.
These are the latest unconfirmed New York Giants free agent rumors from various media members not associated with the Giants.
The views expressed or reported in this article are not confirmed by any member of the New York Giants.
On Monday night, it was reported that the Giants agreed to a deal with running back Devontae Booker, who is entering his sixth NFL season. Last year, he played in all 16 games for the third consecutive year and the fourth time in his career, starting one. He rushed for 423 yards and three touchdowns on 93 attempts (4.5 avg.) and caught 17 passes for 84 yards. The 5-foot-11, 219-pound back played four years for the Denver Broncos and the 2020 season for the Las Vegas Raiders, who he joined as a free agent last May.
The next day, media outlets reported that the Giants agreed to a deal with wide receiver John Ross, the ninth overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Ross played in 27 games with 20 starts for the Bengals the previous four seasons, during which he often struggled with injuries. He caught 51 passes for 733 yards (14.4-yard avg.) and 10 touchdowns, with a long catch of 66 yards. The 5-foot-11, 194-pound receiver had his best season in 2018 when he played in 13 games with 10 starts and scored seven touchdowns, finishing with 21 receptions for 210 yards. He caught 28 passes for 506 yards and three touchdowns in 2019.
Things continued late Wednesday night as news broke of a reported deal between the Giants and defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo. Odenigbo played in 32 games with 15 starts for the Vikings between 2018 and 2019 and recorded 59 tackles (34 solo), 10.5 sacks, 28 quarterback hits, 10 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. Last season, he started all 15 games in which he played and had a career-high 35 tackles (16 solo) and 3.5 sacks.
On Thursday, it was reported that the Giants agreed to deals with two veterans, starting with quarterback Mike Glennon. The 31-year-old quarterback has played in 34 regular-season games with 27 starts in eight seasons with Tampa Bay, Chicago, Arizona, Oakland and Jacksonville. The Giants will be his sixth team in six seasons. In 2020, Glennon started five games for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He completed 111 of 179 passes (62.0%) for 1,072 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions.
The other veteran the Giants reportedly agreed to a deal with is tight end Kyle Rudolph. Rudolph played his first 10 NFL seasons for the Minnesota Vikings, who released him on March 2. He has played in 140 regular-season games with 132 starts and has started all six postseason games in which he played. For his career, Rudolph has 453 regular season receptions for 4,488 yards and 48 touchdowns, with another 16 catches for 154 yards and two scores in the postseason.
Thursday night, media outlets reported that the Giants agreed to a deal with veteran linebacker Reggie Ragland. Ragland was a second-round pick (41st overall) in 2016 by the Buffalo Bills, but never played a down for the team. He suffered a torn ACL in his rookie training camp and was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs the next year. He played three seasons for the Chiefs before joining the Detroit Lions as a free agent last year. His career totals include 210 tackles (130 solo), 3.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in 58 regular season games (38 starts), and 30 tackles (21 solo) and one interception in six postseason games (four starts).
View photos of every move made by the Giants this offseason.
Leonard Williams back with Giants for the long-term
Leonard Williams recently completed the finest season of his six-year career and he just signed a lucrative new contract, but he hasn't yet reached his peak.
"I'm 26-years-old still," Williams said today. "I think I'm still in the middle of my prime and I think I have a lot of game left in this league, obviously. I have a lot of personal goals. I'm not trying to reach any specific stat line or anything like that, but I want to just give it my best and keep playing like the player I am and just keep bringing my best to the table."
The Giants expect exactly that from Williams and today they officially signed him to the three-year contract they had agreed to earlier in the week. On March 9, the Giants had placed the franchise tag on Williams for the second year in a row. Both sides were determined to continue a partnership that began when Williams was acquired in a trade with the Jets midway through the 2019 season.
"Honestly, I just love this organization," Williams said. "I love the way I've been getting coached here under coach (Joe) Judge and his staff. I love the way they treat people here. I love the guys that they're bringing into the building, player-wise. Overall, it just seemed like a good fit. I'm just glad to be back."
So are the Giants, because under defensive coordinator Patrick Graham and line coach Sean Spencer, Williams developed into one of the NFL's best linemen in 2020. He led the team and was seventh in the NFL with 11.5 sacks, the most by a Giants' player since Jason Pierre-Paul's 14.5 in 2014. He was third in the league with 30 quarterback hits and tied for sixth with 14 tackles for loss. Williams was fifth on the Giants with 57 tackles (29 solo).
Leonard Williams joins Giants Huddle podcast
Defensive tackle Leonard Williams joins Giants.com's John Schmeelk to talk about signing a new long-term contract with the Giants.
Check out the audio below to listen to Williams' full conversation with Schmeelk.