Feb 252005
 
 February 25, 2005  Posted by  Articles, Roster Thoughts

New York Giants 2005 NFL Free Agency Preview: With the Giants having only four picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, free agency for the G-Men has taken on added importance this year. To be frank, the Giants are unlikely to dramatically improve themselves in the draft and will have to do so on the free agent market.

The good news is that the Giants do not have many key players to re-sign. The only players of note who are unrestricted are FB Jim Finn (RE-SIGNED BY NEW YORK GIANTS), DE/DT Lance Legree (Signed by Jets), QB Jesse Palmer (RE-SIGNED BY NEW YORK GIANTS), and PK Steve Christie (Giants signed PK Jay Feely instead). LB Nick Greisen (RE-SIGNED BY NEW YORK GIANTS) is the only restricted free agent worthy of mention.

So what do the Giants need to do to become a better team? In my opinion, there are two primary objectives: (1) become a tougher, more physical team, and (2) get faster. I believe the first objective is the most important. If you look at recent Super Bowl Champions such as the Ravens and the Patriots, I believe they won because they were the most physical teams in football. As Phil Simms recently said in his latest book (Monday Morning Quarterback):

If I had to cite the one factor that determines the winner in the National Football League, it would be the team that is winning the physical battle. It’s funny, I start out every year forgetting this, and then somewhere during the season I say, “When am I going to remember this quicker?” As an old coach of mine once said, “It just comes down to which team’s big guys are going to beat up the other team’s big guys to give the small guys a chance to have success.” In the long run, the winner of that little tug-of-war always determines not only who’s going to the play-offs, but who’s going to have success in them as well.

The bad news is that General Manager Ernie Accorsi does not seem to subscribe to this theory based on his draft/free agent history from 1998-2003. The good news is that Head Coach Tom Coughlin seems to believe it wholeheartedly. It will be interesting to see who gets his way.

So what does it mean to become tougher and more physical? Basically, it means finding tough, physical big men up front. We’re talking about the offensive and defensive lines. That’s where I believe Coughlin’s focus will be – even despite all of the draft/free agent moves the Giants made there last year. Coughlin has also made it clear that he wants the Giants to become faster. When you’re talking speed, you are mainly talking about the wide receiver, linebacker, and defensive back positions. Ideally, you also want tough, physical linebackers who play with great speed, but those guys are very hard to find.

I think intangibles should be important too. You can have all the talent in the world, but unless you are a super-competitive guy, your talent may not translate to the playing field. You also want players who are instinctive – in other words – play-makers. This is something that Coughlin repeatedly lamented that the Giants lacked in 2004.

I’ve seen a lot of interesting pieces by Giants’ fans on what positions the team needs to address and what they should do in free agency in the draft. But let’s be honest here, the Giants are a bad football team and they could use help at almost any position. This is a team that has lost 22 games in two years. The goal should not be to sign or draft for position, but to sign or draft good football players. Obviously, the Giants are not going to spend big bucks on a starting quarterback or tight end, but there are very few players on the roster who untouchable in terms of replacing. The goal is to get better by signing GOOD football players…not just signing NAMES who happen to fill a positional need. Good football players win games, not the average ones.

My listing of free agents below is by no means comprehensive. As a layperson, these are guys who caught my eye. It is also critical to note that the quality of those players released by other teams during free agency is often superior to those players who are available at the start of free agency. In other words, the Giants are likely going to sign someone who not yet a free agent (i.e., Michael Barrow and Norman Hand are previous examples of this scenario).

Offensive Line: My problem here is that I have absolutely no idea what the Giants have in mind. The press seems convinced that the Giants want to move Luke Petitgout back to right tackle. Is that accurate? I don’t know. What I do know is that finding a quality left tackle in free agency is almost impossible. Teams generally do not let these guys hit the open market (for example, Seattle re-signed Walter Jones and the Rams placed the Franchise tag on Orlando Pace). Do the Giants really want to replace David Diehl at right tackle? I thought he progressed nicely during the second half of the season. I would keep him at right tackle, but the Giants may think otherwise. What they truly want to do makes it tough for me to predict the moves the Giants may want to make. If they do want to move Diehl inside, are they talking about starting him at left guard then? Or are the Giants simply going to sign a quality offensive lineman and let everything else sort itself out at camp and start the best five linemen? What about Luke Petitgout’s back problems? Are they chronic? Can he be counted on? Guards Rich Seubert (leg) and Barry Stokes (back) (waived) will be coming back from serious injuries, but how effective will they be? Questions, questions, questions. Don’t look to me for the answers. I don’t have a clue. It doesn’t help clarify matters that Accorsi recently said the Giants would be looking for another tackle and said it would be best to move Diehl inside to left guard, while Coughlin said he’d be content with Petitgout and Diehl staying where they are.

What we do know is this. Chris Snee will likely start at right guard. Shaun O’Hara will likely start at center. Petitgout’s contract likely prevents him from being waived. Diehl is a guy who two separate coaching staffs appear to be high on. One would think that these four players, barring injury, will start in 2005. The wild cards are what the Giants do in free agency plus the competition from Seubert, Stokes, Jason Whittle, and Wayne Lucier.

TACKLES:

  • RT Kareem McKenzie, New York Jets (6-6, 327lbs, 25 Years Old): Huge right tackle with quick feet for his size. Has long arms. Not a finished product yet. Could possibly project to left tackle. (SIGNED BY NEW YORK GIANTS)
  • LT Jonas Jennings, Buffalo Bills (6-3, 320lbs, 27 Years Old): Solid left tackle who is a decent run blocker. Sometimes has problems with speed in pass protection, but he plays with good technique. (Signed by 49ers)
  • RT Fred Miller, Waived by the Tennessee Titans (6-7, 315lbs, 32 Years Old): Huge right tackle with long arms. Solid all-around run and pass blocker. (Signed by Bears)
  • RT Floyd Womack, Seattle Seahawks (6-4, 330lbs, 26 years Old): Has some experience at guard as well. Huge player who is a good run blocker. Sometimes struggles with quickness in pass protection. Isn’t much of a puller. (Re-Signed by Seahawks)
  • RT Stockar McDougle, Detroit Lions (6-6, 367lbs, 28 Years Old): Humongous right tackle. Strong run blocker. Not overly agile and has some problems in pass protection. Needs to play with better focus. (Signed by Dolphins)
  • RT Victor Riley, New Orleans Saints (6-5, 328lbs, 30 Years Old): Solid right tackle. However, has issues with false start penalties, his weight, and personality clashes with teammates in 2004. (Signed by Texans)

GUARDS:

  • LG Rick DeMulling, Indianapolis Colts (6-4, 304lbs, 27 Years Old): Good all-round player with decent size and technique. Not a mauler, but he pulls well. Can play center. Pro Bowler. (Signed by Lions)
  • OG Jermane Mayberry, Philadelphia Eagles (6-4, 325lbs, 31 Years Old): Big, tough run-blocker who sometimes struggles with quickness in pass protection. Fundamentally sound and experienced. (Signed by Saints)
  • RG Bennie Anderson, Baltimore Ravens (6-5, 335lbs, 28 Years Old): Big, powerful run blocker. Sometimes struggles with quickness in pass protection. Not a puller. (Signed by Bills)
  • RG Paul Zukauskas, Cleveland Browns (6-5, 320lbs, 25 Years Old): Improving player who needs to be more consistent.

Defensive Line: The Giants have a lot of bodies here. They currently have 12 players on the defensive line under contract and another three who will be unrestricted free agents [Legree (Signed by Jets), Chuck Wiley, and Regan Upshaw]. They would like to re-sign Legree if his contract demands are not too steep. But how much talent do the Giants really have here? Michael Strahan will be 34 and is obviously on the downside of his career. Norman Hand (waived) turns 33 and is entering the final year of his contract. Fred Robbins and Osi Umenyiora will likely be around a while. Robbins is solid, but not a difference-maker. Umenyiora has the potential to be a special player, but has to play tougher. After these guys, there are a bunch of interesting prospects who are question marks such as William Joseph, Kenderick Allen, Damane Duckett, and Davern Williams. Keith Washington (waived) is coming off of a serious knee injury as is Chuck Wiley (and Wiley may not be re-signed). Based on Coughlin’s draft/free agent history, he has a special affinity for defensive tackles. The Giants also need to be concerned about depth at defensive end, even if Legree returns.

Three of the best defensive linemen available, DE John Abraham, DT Corey Simon, and DE Darren Howard, are already off the market as all three have been Franchised.

DEFENSIVE ENDS:

  • RDE Reggie Hayward, Denver Broncos (6-5, 270lbs, 25 Years Old): Strong pass rusher who has accrued 19 sacks in two years. (Signed by Jaguars)
  • RDE Marques Douglas, Baltimore Ravens (6-2, 280lbs, 27 Years Old): Plays right end in a 3-4 scheme. Douglas is a good athlete with some quickness and strength. Plays hard and has some pass rush ability. Good at the point-of-attack. (Signed by 49ers)
  • LDE Derrick Burgess, Philadelphia Eagles (6-2, 266lbs, 26 Years Old): Quick pass rusher who has been somewhat injury-prone. Plays hard against the run, but he is not real strong at the point-of-attack. Played extremely well in the 2004 playoffs. (Signed by Raiders)
  • DE Vonnie Holliday, Waived by Kansas City Chiefs (6-5, 290lbs, 29 Years Old):
    Holliday was a high-profile free agent disappointment with the Chiefs. Groin and abdomen injuries cut short his 2004 season. Holliday is a bit of a DE/DT tweener. Has demonstrated an ability to be a solid all-around defender. (Signed by Dolphins)
  • LDE Chike Okeafor, Seattle Seahawks (6-4, 265lbs, 28 Years Old): Has experience at both right and left end. Athletic defensive end who can rush the passer. Not as good against the run. (Signed by Cardinals)
  • LDE Kyle Vanden Bosch, Arizona Cardinals (6-4, 275lbs, 26 Years Old): A high-motor end who is both strong and quick. Has suffered serious injuries to both knees. (Signed by Titans)

DEFENSIVE TACKLES:

  • Pat Williams, Buffalo Bills (6-3, 315lbs, 32 Years Old): Big, powerful lineman who is very strong at the point-of-attack. Has good quickness for his size and can penetrate. (Signed by Vikings)
  • Jason Ferguson, New York Jets (6-3, 305lbs, 30 Years Old): Very good run defender who is stout at the point-of-attack. Plays hard. Not much of a pass rusher. (Signed by Cowboys)
  • Seth Payne, Houston Texans (6-4, 303lbs, 30 Years Old): A 3-4 nose tackle. Run stuffer who is strong at the point-of-attack. Has some quickness on the pass rush. Has a previously injured knee that needs to be checked out. (Re-Signed by Texans)

Linebackers: On paper, the Giants acquired two of the best free agent outside linebackers available last offseason in SLB Carlos Emmons and WLB Barrett Green. But both had injury issues and did not perform as hoped. Emmons appears to be finally rounding into form after recovering from a leg fracture he suffered late in the 2003 season. Green suffered a tear to his ACL in 2004, which somewhat clouds his availability/effectiveness for 2005. The good news is that the injury was reportedly a partial tear and should not require the extended rehab time a full tear would require. Because the Giants have quite a bit of money invested in Emmons and Green, it is unlikely they will look to replace either as a starter in 2005. The Giants have some interesting prospects behind them in Reggie Torbor and Jim Maxwell, but more competition and depth would be ideal.

Inside, journeyman Kevin Lewis was the surprising starter over Nick Greisen (RE-SIGNED BY NEW YORK GIANTS), who is a restricted free agent. Greisen will likely sign a 1-year tender. He’s an instinctive player, but he is not overly athletic. Teams don’t tend to spend big bucks on middle linebackers in the NFL today because they are largely considered two-down players. But the Giants may look to add a quality veteran here.

MIDDLE LINEBACKERS:

  • Ed Hartwell, Baltimore Ravens (6-1, 250lbs, 26 Years Old): Big, athletic, and aggressive. Competitive, smart, and instinctive. Not real strong in coverage. Has learned from the best in Ray Lewis. (Signed by Falcons)
  • Kendrell Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers (6-1, 254lbs, 26 Years Old): Kendrell Bell is a big, athletic player with good speed. He’s instinctive and a good tackler. However, he needs to improve in coverage and at playing off blocks at the point-of-attack. Makes big plays, but he needs to be more consistent. (Signed by Chiefs)
  • Antonio Pierce, Washington Redskins (6-1, 232lbs, 26 Years Old): Came out of nowhere to put together a solid season in the NFL. Lacks ideal size, but he is an aggressive, smart player. Good in coverage. Could project to weakside linebacker. (SIGNED BY NEW YORK GIANTS)
  • Rob Morris, Indianapolis Colts (6-2, 243lbs, 30 Years Old): Never lived up to his draft hype. Solid, but not spectacular. Combines good size and range. Instinctive and a good tackler. Sometimes has problems at the point-of-attack. (Re-Signed by Colts)

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS:

  • SLB Matt Stewart, Atlanta Falcons (6-3, 232lbs, 25 Years Old): Has good speed and range. One of the better strongside linebackers in the League. Can have problems at the point-of-attack at times and needs to improve in coverage. (Signed by Browns)
  • SLB Morlon Greenwood, Miami Dolphins (6-0, 238lbs, 26 Years Old): Very athletic and aggressive strongside linebacker. Not overly instinctive, but has improved in this area. Good tackler and hard worker. Needs to improve in coverage. (Signed by Texans)
  • WLB Tommy Polley, St. Louis Rams (6-3, 240lbs, 27 Years Old): Quick, fast, instinctive player. Better in coverage than against the run. Very inconsistent. (Signed by Ravens)
  • WLB Nate Wayne, Waived by Philadelphia Eagles (6-0, 237lbs, 30 Years Old): Undersized, instinctive linebacker who projects best to the weakside. Not strong at the point-of-attack, but he can run and is good in coverage. (Signed by Jaguars)
  • SLB Hannibal Navies, Green Bay Packers (6-2, 240lbs, 28 Years Old): Combines good size and athletic ability. Plays well at the point-of-attack, but not on plays away from him. Not overly instinctive. Good blitzer. (Re-Signed by Packers)
  • WLB Warrick Holdman, Cleveland Browns (6-1, 235lbs, 29 Years Old): Slightly undersized weakside linebacker who has good range and instincts. Solid in pass coverage. (Signed by Redskins)

Tight Ends: The press keeps stating that the Giants are looking for a blocking tight end. If true, this means the team has been unimpressed with Visanthe Shiancoe, who I think is developing into a good blocker. Marcellus Rivers (Signed by Texans), who is not a good blocker, will be an unrestricted free agent.

  • Anthony Becht, New York Jets (6-5, 272lbs, 27 Years Old) : It’s not likely that Becht would be looking to play second-fiddle to Shockey, but Becht is a big tight end and a good blocker. So-so receiver who doesn’t look real fluid or natural in the passing game. (Signed by Buccaneers)

Wide Receivers: The Giants have some interesting younger prospects here, but the problem is two of the key guys (Tim Carter, Jamaar Taylor) can’t seem to stay healthy and there is a question mark about the true upside of the others (Willie Ponder, David Tyree). What we do know is that starters Amani Toomer and Ike Hilliard (waived) are coming off terribles seasons and both are looking at the downside of their careers. Toomer no longer looks like a #1 receiver and Hilliard no longer looks like a #2 receiver. A starting-caliber receiver who scares opposing teams deep is one of the biggest – if not THE biggest – needs on the team.

  • Plaxico Burress, Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5, 226lbs, 27 Years Old): Combines superb size and athletic ability. Can get deep. Uses his size and jumping ability to out-leap defenders. A bit immature and can be a lazy route-runner at times. (SIGNED BY NEW YORK GIANTS)
  • Derrick Mason, Waived by Tennessee Titans (5-10, 190lbs, 31 Years Old: More of a #2 receiver and potential replacement for Ike Hilliard. Lacks great speed, but Mason is a great route runner who reads coverages well and has a knack for getting open. Tough guy who will cross the middle of the field. Very good hands. (Signed by Ravens)
  • Muhsin Muhammad, Waived by Carolina Panthers (6-2, 217lbs, 31 Years Old): Big, physical wide receiver who is capable of making circus catches. More of a possession receiver than burner, but he can make plays down the field. Will catch in traffic and runs well after the catch. (Signed by Bears)
  • T.J. Houshmanzadeh, Cincinnati Bengals (6-1, 197lbs, 27 Years Old): Not a burner, he should be viewed as more of a #2 receiver. Runs good routes, has good hands, and will fight for the football. (Re-Signed by Bengals)
  • Kevin Johnson, Baltimore Ravens (5-11, 195lbs, 28 Years Old): More of a #2 receiver. Lacks blazing speed. Smooth, quick, and athletic. Runs good routes and gains separation out of his breaks. (Signed by Lions)
  • WR Charles Lee, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2, 210lbs, 27 Years Old): Has nice combination of size and athletic ability. Has flashed ability, but was not used much last season. (Signed by Cardinals)

Defensive Backs: On paper, the Giants are in pretty decent shape at cornerback with Will Peterson, Will Allen, Frank Walker, and Curtis Deloatch. However, they need to bring in a decent fifth corner now that Terry Cousin has been waived. Of course, the big question mark is are the Giants looking to replace Allen? Some newspapers have speculated that the Giants may be looking to trade Allen. Others have speculated that the Giants will let Allen test the free agent market in 2006. If either scenario is true, the Giants will have to consider bringing in a quality corner in free agency (if Allen is traded) or the draft (if Allen is allowed to leave in 2006).

The Giants could use an upgrade at safety. Much depends on where the Giants intend to play Gibril Wilson. The wear and tear of having him play at strong safety may not be prudent. The Giants may look to move him to free safety. In fact, Accorsi has hinted that Wilson could move to cornerback (Allen’s replacement?). But let’s assume he stays at safety. The other safeties currently on the roster are Shaun Williams (coming off two knee surgeries, takes up a lot of cap space for a player who doesn’t make much of an impact), Brent Alexander (an older guy nearing the end of the line), Jack Brewer (more of a special teams player), and Curry Burns (a young guy who shows some promise). The Giants are obviously going to look at bringing in at least one guy in free agency or the draft here.

CORNERBACK:

  • CB Ty Law, Waived by New England Patriots (5-11, 200lbs, 31 Years Old): Aging starter who is most likely looking for his last big payday. Excellent cover corner who does well in both zone and man coverage. Capable of shutting down top receivers. Good run defender.
  • CB Fred Smoot, Washington Redskins (5-11, 168lbs, 25 Years Old): Very good man-to-man defender who does well in bump-and-run coverage. Became a more consistent player in 2004. Very quick and has good speed. Lacks ideal size. (Signed by Vikings)
  • CB/S Gary Baxter, Baltimore Ravens (6-2, 204lbs, 26 Years Old): Somewhat of a CB/S tweener. Big and physical for a cornerback. Has good speed, but lacks ideal agility for a corner. Good player. (Signed by Browns)
  • CB/S Anthony Henry, Cleveland Browns (6-1, 208lbs, 28 Years Old): Somewhat of a CB/S tweener. Big and physical corner. Lacks ideal agility but is instinctive. (Signed by Cowboys)
  • CB Ken Lucas, Seattle Seahawks (6-0, 203lbs, 26 Years Old): Combines good size and athleticism. Physical. Lacks ideal speed. (Signed by Panthers)
  • CB Samari Rolle, Waived by Tennessee Titans (6-0, 175lbs, 28 Years Old): Instinctive corner who makes a lot of plays on the football. Has good speed. Sometimes guesses too much in coverage and can give up the big play. An offseason domestic violence charge could affect the demand for his services. (Signed by Ravens)
  • CB Andre Dyson, Tennessee Titans (5-10, 187lbs, 25 Years Old): Dyson lacks ideal size, but he is a good athlete with very good speed and quickness. Instinctive against the pass. Sometimes makes mental mistakes and he needs to tackle better. (Signed by Seahawks)
  • CB Renaldo Hill, Arizona Cardinals (5-11, 180lbs 26 Years Old): Nickel/back-up corner-type who can start in a pinch. Lacks ideal size and speed, but he is a smart, instinctive player. Tough and hard-working. Good special teams player. (Signed by Raiders)
  • CB Jason Craft, New Orleans Saints (5-10, 180lbs, 29 Years Old): Nickel/back-up corner-type. Instinctive cover man who lacks ideal size and agility. (Re-Signed by Saints)
  • CB Ray Buchanan, Oakland Raiders (5-9, 186lbs, 33 Years Old): Lacks ideal size and is nearing the end of the road, but Buchanan is a smooth, fluid corner with excellent instincts. Lacks ideal speed.
  • CB Kevin Mathis, Atlanta Falcons (5-9, 181lbs, 30 Years Old): Nickel/reserve-type corner who can start when needed. Lacks ideal size, but he’s a solid cover man. (Re-Signed by Falcons)
  • CB Aaron Beasley, Atlanta Falcons (6-0, 205lbs, 31 Years Old): Former high draft pick of Coughlin’s in Jacksonville. Has slowed down with age and is now better suited for a nickel/back-up role. Big, physical, and instinctive. Lacks ideal speed and quickness.
  • CB Nicholas Harper, Indianapolis Colts (5-10, 182lbs, 30 Years Old): Experienced corner who lacks ideal size and agility. Physical with decent speed. Better in zone coverage than man-to-man. (Re-Signed by Colts)

SAFETY:

  • SS Dwight Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-10, 201lbs, 26 Years Old): Lacks ideal height, but Smith is a converted corner with good coverage skills for a safety. Makes plays on the football. Big hitter, but he needs to become a more consistent tackler. Good special teams player. (Signed by Saints)
  • SS Kenoy Kennedy, Denver Broncos (6-1, 215lbs, 27 Years Old): Has good size. Strong run defender who will hit. Not bad in coverage, but he lacks speed. (Signed by Lions)
  • FS Arturo Freeman, Waived by Miami Dolphins (6-0, 198lbs, 28 Years Old): Combines good size and athleticism. Has good speed. Sometimes makes mental mistakes. (Signed by Packers)
  • FS Idrees Bashir, Indianapolis Colts (6-2, 198lbs, 26 Years Old): Nice combination of size and athleticism. Sometimes guilty of mental mistakes. Needs to improve as a tackler and hitter. (Signed by Panthers)
  • FS Keion Carpenter, Atlanta Falcons (5-11, 205, 27 Years Old): Better against the pass than the run. Instinctive with good speed. Needs to tackle better and play tougher. (Re-Signed by Falcons)
  • SS Lynn Scott, Dallas Cowboys (6-0, 191lbs, 27 Years Old): Back-up strong safety who has some starting experience. Makes few mental mistakes. Good special teams player. (Re-Signed by Cowboys)

Running Backs: It’s pretty clear that Tom Coughlin wants a quality #2 halfback to split time with Tiki Barber. Ideally, I would think that Coughlin is looking for a complementary back – that is, more of a straight-line, power back. The Giants will likely add one of these guys to the roster – the question is will it be in free agency or the draft?

As for fullback, everything depends on (1) how does Coughlin feel about Jim Finn (RE-SIGNED BY NEW YORK GIANTS)? and (2) can Finn be re-signed at a reasonable contract?

Halfbacks:

  • LaMont Jordan, New York Jets (5-10, 230lbs, 26 Years Old): Talented, big back who is not likely to want to share time with Tiki Barber. Power runner who plays with great natural leverage. Has surprising quickness for a larger back. Needs to improve his play on passing downs. (Signed by Raiders)
  • Anthony Thomas, Chicago Bears (6-2, 228lbs, 28 Years Old): Between-the-tackles big back who runs tough and finishes his runs. Lacks speed and quickness to be much of a threat on the outside. (Signed by Cowboys)
  • Eddie George, Dallas Cowboys (6-3, 236lbs, 31 Years Old): Former feature back who is nearing the end of the line, but someone who may have some gas left in his tank as a more limited role player. Big, physical, tough back. Has lost some of his quickness and power with age.

Fullbacks:

  • Moran Norris, Houston Texans (6-1, 250lbs, 26 Years Old): Improving player. Very good and physical lead blocker. Not really a receiver or runner. Good special teams player. (Re-Signed by Texans)
  • Mike Sellers, Washington Redskins (6-3, 260lbs, 29 Years Old): A FB/H-Back tweener who is a very good run blocker. Good special teams player. (Re-Signed by Redskins)
  • Zack Crockett, Oakland Raiders (6-2, 240lbs, 32 Years Old): Older fullback who the Giants expressed some interest in the last time he was a free agent. Excellent short-yardage runner. Decent, but not standout, lead blocker.

Quarterbacks: Only Eli Manning and Jared Lorezen are under contract. Much depends on whether or not Jesse Palmer (RE-SIGNED BY NEW YORK GIANTS) re-signs. If he doesn’t, the Giants need to bring in two quarterbacks to camp, including one veteran who could step in and play if Manning got hurt. Even if Palmer re-signs, adding a veteran to compete for the #2 job with him would make sense.

  • Jay Fiedler, Waived by Miami Dolphins (6-2, 225lbs, 33 Years Old): Smart, tough quarterback with good size. Has good mobility and accuracy. Lacks a real strong arm and will force some throws. (Signed by Jets)
  • Vinny Testeverde, Dallas Cowboys A(6-5, 235lbs, 41 Years Old): Very old, very experienced quarterback who stays in great shape and still has an NFL-caliber arm. Not as mistake-prone as he used to be, but still guilty of forcing the ball at times.

Kickers: The Giants are not likely to sign a veteran punter with Jeff Feagles still punting well.

But the Giants do need a place kicker. They either need to re-sign Steve Christie (Giants signed PK Jay Feely instead), who performed well on field goal attempts (but not on kickoffs), or sign another experienced veteran.

  • Joe Nedney, Waived by Tennessee Titans (6-5, 220lbs, 31 Years Old): Experienced kicker who was a fairly consistent performer from 2000 to 2002 (81.4 percent). Suffered season-ending injuries in 2003 (knee) and 2004 (hamstring). Pretty good on kickoffs. (Signed by 49ers)
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Eric Kennedy

Founder and owner of BigBlueInteractive.com, which is now entering its 20th season.

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