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Mailbag: Free agency scenarios for Giants

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Sean in New Jersey: With the improved performance on the defensive side, what are the odds of keeping the front four together?

John Schmeelk: This is all about the finances and business of football. Given the Giants' original decision to trade for Leonard Williams (plus his career year of leading the team with 11.5 sacks last season), there's little reason to think the Giants do not want him back. Dalvin Tomlinson has been a model of consistency, being stalwart against the run, never missing a game, and being the team's 2020 Man Of The Year nominee. The front's ability to stop the run gave them the freedom to play two safeties deep more often than not, which allowed them to disguise as much as they did. Maintaining a strong front is important. It's likely the Giants try to make both free agent deals work financially under the cap.

Joe in New Jersey: Obviously some of the top free agents will be franchise tagged or re-signed by their current teams, so who will the Giants will go after?

John Schmeelk: Some people may think this is a cop-out but due to a shrinking salary cap that may limit the amount of money the Giants have to spend, it's likely the team prioritizes its own free agents on defense. Last season, the Giants' front was the strength of their defense, led by anchors Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson. Kyler Fackrell could also be someone who they'd want to return, given he was their healthiest and most consistently available edge rusher last year. It doesn't mean they won't look outside the organization to bring in some reinforcements, but they likely will try to take care of their own business first.

Jim in New Jersey: If WR Jaylen Waddle from Alabama and TE Kyle Pitts from Florida were available with the No. 11 pick, who do you think would suit the Giants better. They need a wideout, but Pitts is an offensive star.

Shragy in New Jersey: Which player is more logical to take with the 11th pick Kyle Pitts or a wide receiver?

John Schmeelk: After the season was over, Dave Gettleman was very clear at his press conference that the Giants would try to add some explosive players around Daniel Jones, but he identified playmakers rather than receivers. As long as the player can regularly get open, make explosive plays, and be a consistent target for Jones - that's all that matters. In other words, if the Giants are left with the choices you named, their decision should be simple: pick the higher player on their draft board.

Harold in Pennsylvania: With the injury concerns of Saquon Barkley, will the Giants re-sign Wayne Gallman or look for another running back? And would the new back come from the draft or free agency?

John Schmeelk: Wayne Gallman was good as Saquan Barkley's backup last year, but he, Dion Lewis, and Alfred Morris will be free agents. Backup running backs are generally not very expensive in free agency and good backs can also often be found in later rounds of the NFL Draft. If the Giants want a running back, they can trust in the passing game (and protecting the quarterback), they may be better off looking in free agency since rookies can sometimes struggle in this area. If they are looking for a pure runner, a Day 3 pick maybe be a good place to look. It is very possible the team looks at both options to improve the position.

Mark in Georgia: The Titans' Corey Davis will most likely become a free agent. Wouldn't he be a great inexpensive addition to shore up receiving corps without using a high draft pick on a player with unknown NFL potential?

John Schmeelk: It's unknown whether the Giants would be interested in Corey Davis if he reaches free agency and he may not be an "inexpensive," anyway. If some of the top receivers on the market get the franchise tag, as expected, Davis might one of the top three most productive receivers on the market. Last season, Davis finished with 65 catches for 984 yards and five touchdowns in just 14 games. Pro Football Focus, for example, projects a four-year contract for him to be worth over $60 million.

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