Giants 'endangered' by free agency

July, 20, 2011
7/20/11
6:32
PM ET
Football Outsiders has an Insider post up about the five teams in the most danger in terms of potential personnel losses once free agency begins. (And yes, I do find it ironic that the "Outsiders" are an "Insider" feature.) The only NFC East team on the list, at No. 5, is the Giants.

[+] EnlargeAhmad Bradshaw
John Sokolowski/US PresswireBringing back Ahmad Bradshaw will likely be a priority for the Giants when free agency begins.
Rivers McCown agrees with the prevailing opinion that Ahmad Bradshaw is an important player for the Giants to re-sign and describes Steve Smith and Mathias Kiwanuka as potential "buy low" options for other teams, though I'd argue that their injury status makes it more likely they stay in New York. As for the other potential losses:
Five-year starter Barry Cofield will almost certainly find a new team after New York spent back-to-back second-round picks on Linval Joseph and Marvin Austin. Tight end Kevin Boss and reserve safety/linebacker Deon Grant might also draw interest from other teams, though Grant would almost certainly have to be a system fit. There isn't much for-sure talent here, but the Giants do have a number of interesting players available.

There's no doubt the Giants belong on this list. They'll be over the cap and will need to make cuts and/or restructure contracts no matter what they do in the free-agency period. But the most important thing for the Giants, as we've said here before, is to prioritize their own free agents. They have to decide who's important to keep and who's not as important to keep, because there's no way they're keeping everyone.

My guess? If they have three days before the market opens to sign their own free agents, they work hard on getting Bradshaw and Boss signed, hope Smith and Kiwanuka are happy with their offers (or that their health scares off other teams once the market opens) and bid good-bye to Cofield and Grant, since they seem to consider Cofield expendable and the addition of Prince Amukamara makes it less likely that they'll employ as many three-safety sets (and need Grant as much) in 2011.

But the point here is that we don't know what's going to happen. We don't know who's going to like their offers and who isn't. We don't know whether Bradshaw and Drew Rosenhaus are set on testing the market no matter what the Giants offer in those first three days. Free agency is about the unknown, and the Giants might well have to stay flexible and come up with some Plans B, C and D, because it's hard to believe their (or anyone's) Plan A is a sure thing to hold up.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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