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Insider

$200 million well spent? Giants betting big on defensive firepower

The Giants put an emphasis on adding defensive playmakers like Jason Pierre-Paul and Janoris Jenkins. Getty Images, USA Today Sports

During the 2015 NFL season, the New York Giants were shredded on defense, giving up a league-worst 27.6 points and 420.3 yards per game. That's bad football. But after the Giants opened up a treasure chest of money on the first day of free agency, the team added some legit upgrades to Steve Spagnuolo's defense and are now in a position to pick the best player available at No. 10 in the upcoming draft.

Did the Giants overpay for defensive end Olivier Vernon (five year, $85 million, $52.5 million guaranteed), cornerback Janoris Jenkins (five years, $62.5 million, $28.8 million guaranteed) and defensive tackle Damon Harrison (five years, $46 million, $24 million guaranteed)? Probably. That's the drill with free agency for desperate teams. Spend big. And then spend some more to fill remaining holes.

While the money is gaudy, it's important to remember that all of the Giants' big additions fill immediate needs on the roster.

And following the blueprint of any successful defense -- including the two that led New York to Super Bowl victories this century -- the Giants went all-in on their defensive line. After re-signing defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (one year, up to $10 million), the Giants paired him with Vernon, who has ridiculous upside with edge speed, athleticism and the ability to play the run. He could be a star in New York. Adding a run-stuffer like Harrison is just gravy.

But how do all of the pieces fit together?