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Cover 4: Possible offseason targets for Giants


The crew looks at possible areas the Giants could target heading into the draft and free agency, which is less than a month away:

John Schmeelk: Offensive line. The Giants need to get the most out of their quarterbacks, and it starts up front. The biggest need is at guard, where Justin Pugh was as starter to end last season, but is a free agent. Ben Bredeson manned the other guard spot, with younger players like Josh Ezeudu and Markus McKethan also on the roster to provide multi-positional flexibility. There needs to be reinforcements at guard for the Giants to feel secure that they can compete in 2024. The draft is a potential venue for that, but free agency is often a good place to find high-level guards for prices that will not often break the bank. Veteran guards also provide more immediate help than rookies, who often have a steep learning curve on the offensive line.

I want to give an honorable mention to quarterback. As of today, the Giants have only two healthy quarterbacks on their roster: Tommy DeVito and Jacob Eason. You need at least three healthy arms to get through OTAs and mandatory minicamp in the spring. The Giants need to add at least one quarterback this offseason, and one they have to have some confidence they can start in September if Daniel Jones is not ready to play in Week 1. They could add a veteran in free agency or re-sign Tyrod Taylor, but drafting a developmental quarterback on the second or third day of the draft to join DeVito might be preferable. I'm very curious to see how the Giants address the quarterback situation this offseason.

Dan Salomone: Now would be a good time to go over the pending free agents. Following a two-day negotiating period, the 2024 league year and signing period begin at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 13. Before that, clubs may use franchise or transition tags from Feb. 20 to March 5. As the Giants approach those checkpoints, here is a look at which players are set to become free agents:

Unrestricted Free Agents

  • RB Saquon Barkley
  • OL Ben Bredeson
  • RB Matt Breida
  • LB Cam Brown
  • K Randy Bullock
  • WR Parris Campbell
  • LB Carter Coughlin
  • LB Jarrad Davis
  • C Sean Harlow
  • C J.C. Hassenauer
  • CB Darnay Holmes
  • CB Adoree' Jackson
  • LS Casey Kreiter
  • G Shane Lemieux
  • S Xavier McKinney
  • WR Gunner Olszewski
  • OT Matt Peart
  • OT Tyre Phillips
  • OL Justin Pugh
  • DL A'Shawn Robinson
  • WR Sterling Shepard
  • LB Isaiah Simmons
  • QB Tyrod Taylor
  • OLB Jihad Ward

Restricted Free Agents

  • TE Lawrence Cager
  • G Wyatt Davis
  • WR Isaiah Hodgins
  • CB Nick McCloud

Exclusive Rights

  • QB Jacob Eason
  • OLB Benton Whitley

As you can see, there are some key contributors on this list – some will be back, and some will go their separate ways. And when you have a season like the Giants just did, there isn't one reason just like there isn't one solution in terms of building the roster. Every position needs bolstering because, as the NFL shows you every year, a strength can become a weakness quickly due to injuries.

View the players set to become free agents when the new league year begins on March 13.

Lance Medow: If you want to tell the story of the 2023 season, you'll likely begin with three different players starting at quarterback and combining to be sacked 85 times. Sacks can be attributed to several factors, but at the end of the day, a quarterback is only as effective as the protection he receives. So, all signs point to the improvement of the offensive line as the biggest need. I can make a strong case for pass rusher and corner opposite Deonte Banks, but neither of those positions match how much consistent play in the offensive trenches will define the 2024 campaign.

Change is inevitable in the NFL based on the annual turnover rate of the roster and the Giants won't be an exception this offseason as both of their starting guards (Justin Pugh, Ben Bredeson) are scheduled free agents along with two other interior linemen in Shane Lemieux and J.C. Hassenauer as well as backup tackle Matt Peart and Tyre Phillips, who was brought back late in the season off the Eagles practice squad. Based on that alone, the team will need to address the overall depth of the line. Not only do they need to create stability around center John Michael Schmitz, but they also must identify several options who can serve as backups at both guard and center. Let's also not overlook the fact that Josh Ezeudu and Marcus McKethan have been limited due to injuries in each of their first two seasons. Another member of the 2022 draft class is Evan Neal, who will be coming off ankle surgery and has only suited up in 20 of a possible 34 games in his first two seasons in the league. Getting him back to full health is the top priority.

Matt Citak: Over the last two offseasons, general manager Joe Schoen has done a nice job of beginning to build the foundation of the team's wide receiver corps. Wan'Dale Robinson was selected in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft, while Jalin Hyatt was taken in the third round last year. Both Robinson and Hyatt showed flashes of their potential this past season, and both are certainly a part of the team's plans at the wide receiver position moving forward. The Giants also re-signed Darius Slayton to a multi-year deal last March, meaning the veteran will be back in 2024. However, outside of those three players, the Giants don't currently have much depth at the position.

Sterling Shepard, Parris Campbell and Gunner Olszewski are all unrestricted free agents, while Isaiah Hodgins is a restricted free agent. The Giants are going to need to add some bodies to the wide receiver room, and have a great opportunity to do so this offseason. If they decide to select a receiver with the No. 6 pick in the draft, they will likely be able to land one of the top prospects in the entire class in LSU's Malik Nabers or Washington's Rome Odunze. Even if they decide to wait until Day 2 to address the position, there should be some very talented wideouts still available in the second and third rounds. There are also be some No. 1 receivers that could soon become unrestricted free agents, including Tee Higgins, Mike Evans, Michael Pittman Jr., or Calvin Ridley, just to name a few. Additionally, it seems like every offseason, a handful of talented wide receivers get traded. There are several different paths the Giants could go down over the next few months in their pursuit of wide receivers. It will be interesting to see which route (or routes) Schoen and the front office decide to take in order to address the position.

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah released his updated ranking of the top 50 prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft.


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