With the start of the offseason the Giants have a large amount of free agents in 2020. Here is a proposed approach on whether to sign the free agents. It also takes a look at potential players not free agents that they may want to cut. Free agents that have signed will be bolded and noted in the blue text. I will update the list as developments occur.
Resign the following free agents:
a. Markus Golden – Most sacks by a Giant since Jason Pierre Paul in 2014.
b. Leonard Williams – Leads Giants interior linemen in QB hits in just 7 games.
c. Michael Thomas – Special teams captain, was named to the 2019 Pro Bowl as a special teams replacement.
d. Cody Latimer – His 81.8% 1st downs / reception is 8th in the league among players with 10+ receptions.
e. David Mayo – Highest graded Giant linebacker by PFF (73.4)
f. Javorius Allen– His 4.1 yards after contact per attempt is third in the league among backs with 5+ attempts. He has nine attempts.
g. Alex Tanney – Set the NCAA record for most career touchdown passes thrown by any player in any division. A mentor for Daniel Jones. Check out his trick shot video below.
h. Deone Bucannon – A 2014 1st round draft pick by the Cardinals. Made 2014 All-Rookie Team. Had 13.8% Cardinal team market share of solo tackles in 2015. Joined Giants 10/22/19. Worth another season at low salary.
i. Scott Simonson – a good blocking tight end. The Giants run a 2 tight end formation on a third of their rush plays. Ellison and Simonson may be the two best blocking tight ends on the Giants.
j. Corey Coleman – A 2016 1st round draft pick by the Browns. Coleman had a 36% team market share of receiving yards in his final year of college in 2015. His first two NFL seasons were hampered by injury. He was out the 2019 on the Giants with a torn ACL. He is worth a shot at a low salary.
k. Jon Halapio – A restricted free agent. Halapio did not play great in 2019 and hopefully the Giants can sign him for a smaller amount than an original-round RFA tender. The Giants should draft a center and worst case Halapio would be backup.
l. Aldrick Rosas – A restricted free agent. Rosas had a bad season in 2019 after making the Pro Bowl in 2018. Among kickers with 10+ attempts his field goal percentage and points made ranked 30th. His extra points percentage ranked 27th. Sign Rosas and bring in some competition for the preseason either drafted or a undrafted free agent.
m. Elijha Penny – The Giants ran a two back personnel Group on 9% of their offensive snaps. When they rushed in those formations they were successful 41%. When there was 1-3 yards to go they used the 2 backs on 29% of the rush attempts and were successful 59%. In 2018 only 3 qualifying fullbacks were graded higher than Elijha Penny in run-blocking grades (63.2). Sign Penny and see how the new signed fullback – George Aston – competes in preseason.
n. Colin Holba – Zak DeOssie’s replacement as long snapper.
o. Cody Core – Cody Core is the second-highest graded Giants special teams player according to Pro Football Focus. Core leads the unit in tackles with seven, including five solo. Core has pinned at least three punts inside the 20 this year.
p. Chad Slade – Slade spent his first 2.5 years on the Texans practice squad. But in practice he would go up against JJ Watt. He is a competent backup to Solder who can play tackle or guard. He says he can even play heavy tight end if needed. (Exclusive Rights Free Agent – can only sign with Giants if they place the minimum salary tender) (Giants resigned OL Chad Slade)
q. Da’Mari Scott – promoted off the practice squad late November, Scott has had 2 receptions on three targets each for eleven yards. He has averaged 7 yards after the catch per reception. Against Washington he also had 1 rush for 5 yards. In college Scott played receiver but in his last season he was used on 14 rush attempts for a 6.6 yard average. The second year player also has returned punts and kickoffs. (ERFA)
r. Sean Chandler – In college Chandler was one of only 9 players since 2000 to have 10+ interceptions, 20+ passes defended, 180+ solo tackles and 2+ sacks. Two year AAC All-Conference Second Team. Through week 12 of the 2018 season Chandler was PFF’s second highest graded player on special teams. (ERFA)
s. Eric Smith – Smith was signed as an undrafted free agent by Miami following the 2017 draft. Pro Football Focus had ranked Smith as the tenth best offensive tackle going into the draft. Smith took his first regular season NFL snaps week ten of this season with the Giants.(ERFA) (Giants resigned OL Eric Smith)
t. Amba Etta-Tawo – In 2016 in his senior year Etta-Tawo achieved a 38% team market share of Syracuse receiving yards. He made ACC All-Conference First Team. He was ninth in the nation in receiving touchdowns with 14. (ERFA)
u. Isaiah Searight – A 2019 undrafted free agent. Scout reports are big size, fast tight end that can break coverage and high point catches. Blocking ability is questionable. A raw route runner. (ERFA)
v. Devante Downs – On 10/1/19 the Giants added LB Devante Downs to their practice squad. The second year player was waived by the Vikings. Downs was elevated to the 53 man roster on 10/22 and played special teams. In 4 years at Cal Downs had 110 solo tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 8 sacks, 5 interceptions and three forced fumbles. (ERFA) (The Giants resigned LB Devante Downs)
5. Let the following Free Agents Go
a. Eli Manning – Next up the Giants Ring Of Honor.
b. Mike Remmers – Nick Gates looks like an upgrade at Right Tackle. Unless sign Remmers for a lot less than his current $2.5 million as a backup.
c. Russell Shepard – 8 targets for 3 receptions this season. Over his 6 year career his Catch % never hit 60%.
d. Zak DeOssie – Colin Holba has filled in well for an injured DeOssie. It looks like time to move on after a great 13 year career on the Giants.
e. Antonio Hamilton – In his highest snap percentage on defense of his 4 year career Hamilton was targeted 9 times allowing 9 receptions for an average of 10 yards and 5 yards after the catch. His special teams performance alone can not justify the position.
f. Grant Haley – In 2019 PFF has graded Haley with a 53.3 grade. In 2019 Haley allowed a 111.8 passer rating when targeted and a 82.1% completion percentage for 32 completions. He had zero passes defended and has yet to get an interception. He committed one pass interference penalty for 15 yards. His 8.8 yards per target allowed is tie for 206th among 258 players.
6. Cut the following Player
a. Antoine Bethea – Bethea has been a liability in coverage this season. He was targeted 34 times and allowed 26 completions for a 75.6% completion percent. He allowed a passer rating of 145.2 when targeted. His yards per target of 13.8 was the worst in the league. He allowed an average 7 yards after the catch per completion. His base salary in 2020 is $2.5 million.
7. Trade the Following Player Or Else Cut
a. Alec Ogletree – Ogletree has also been a liability in coverage. He was targeted 48 times and allowed 42 completions for an 87.5% completion percent. Ogletree allowed a 109.6 passer rating when targeted. He allowed an average 6 yards after the catch per completion. His 16.7% missed tackles was 410th out of 459 players.