- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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Teams can begin negotiating with the agents of free agents tonight at midnight.
The Giants reportedly have around $10 million in cap space thus far. They still could create more room if they restructure more deals or cut other players. The Giants will focus on re-signing many of their own free agents and restricted free agents. Remember, the Giants want to be responsible with their salary cap, try to sign young stars like Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz to long-term deals and see what some of their young unproven players on the roster can do with opportunities.
Keep that in mind as we take a look at some free agent names that are available at positions of need for the Giants.
Corey Webster agreed to a pay cut and reduced his base salary from $7 million to $1.25 million for this coming season according to the NFLPA website. Webster struggled last year but the Giants don't have much depth or experience after Prince Amukamara and Jayron Hosley. Terrell Thomas is attempting to return from a third ACL injury. That is why the Giants need to add some corners. According to ESPN's free agent tracker and grading, Chris Gamble, Antoine Cason, Brent Grimes, Quentin Jammer, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Aqib Talib, Sean Smith, Adam Jones and Tracy Porter are among some of the top corners available. Gamble is intriguing. But considering their cap space and how they want to re-sign their own free agents like Kevin Boothe and Martellus Bennett, the Giants might be more in the market for backup cornerbacks for depth unless they can get somebody good at a reasonable price. Former Giant Aaron Ross was also released by Jacksonville on Friday.
What happens if the Giants can't re-sign Bennett? It's hard imagining the Giants investing a lot of money in the tight end position since they have filled that spot with Kevin Boss, Jake Ballard and Bennett in the past few seasons. The Giants probably wouldn't spend the money to land a free agent like Jared Cook. But there are some intriguing tight end names out there if Bennett bolts. Dustin Keller, Delanie Walker, Anthony Fasano, Boss and Brandon Myers are among the free agents. Remember, the Giants likely won't spend a lot on a tight end and they would ideally want a guy on the rise, one who can block and catch. That's why re-signing Bennett within a reasonable price is important.
The Giants can use another pass rusher since Osi Umenyiora is a free agent and will be looking to test the market. Free agent defensive ends include Cliff Avril, Dwight Freeney, Michael Bennett, Glenn Dorsey, John Abraham, Matt Shaughnessy, Ty Warren and Israel Idonije. The Giants could add a veteran pass rusher at a reasonable cost but it probably makes more sense to draft one in April.
This is another position where the Giants might not invest a ton of money into. Rey Maualuga, Nick Barnett, Daryl Smith, Paul Kruger and Larry Foote are among the free agent linebackers. The Giants could sign a cheap veteran and/or just bring back their own free agent linebackers -- Chase Blackburn and Keith Rivers -- at a low cost. Drafting a linebacker is a possibility.
The Giants are expected to tender RFA Stevie Brown. Kenny Phillips is a free agent and the Giants likely would want him back for the right price. If Phillips moves on, the Giants may feel the need to add one more veteran safety to join Antrel Rolle and Brown with youngsters Will Hill and Tyler Sash behind them. ESPN's Josina Anderson reported that the Giants expressed interest in Charles Woodson. The safety free agent market is deep with names like Ed Reed, Adrian Wilson, Woodson, LaRon Landry and Dawan Landry out there. The Giants already have a lot of money tied into Rolle so it might not make sense to pay big bucks long term for another safety.
If Boothe signs elsewhere, the Giants will need a guard or tackle even if they opt to start James Brewer and/or David Diehl at left guard and right tackle. This is one of the areas that the Giants would invest money in but likely nothing outrageous after investing up to $38.75 million in Will Beatty. Free agents include Jake Long, Phil Loadholt, Sebastian Vollmer, Eric Winston, Andre Smith, Jammal Brown, Gosder Cherilus, Andy Levitre, Ramon Foster, and Kory Lichtensteiger among others. A young guy with potential like Donald Thomas might make sense if Boothe leaves. The Giants also might try to add some veterans at a low price like they did with Sean Locklear last season and they could draft a lineman in April as well.