Last Updated: August 22, 2017
2017 New York Giants Free Agent Losses
LB KELVIN SHEPPARD (to the Chicago Bears): While Kelvin Sheppard started 11-of-16 regular-season games at middle linebacker in 2016, he only received 39 percent of defensive snaps. Sheppard finished the year with 50 tackles and two pass defenses. Sheppard was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. He was traded to the Indianapolis Colts in April 2013 and signed with the Dolphins in September 2014 and Giants in April 2016. Sheppard is more of a two-down linebacker who plays the run better than the pass. While he has good size, Sheppard lacks ideal overall athletic ability. Sheppard does not make many big plays.
CB TREVIN WADE (to the Baltimore Ravens): Trevin Wade played in every game in 2016 with two regular-season starts. He received about 33 percent of defensive snaps and finished the year with 26 tackles and three pass defenses. Wade was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He has spent time with the Browns (2012-13), Saints (2013-14), and Lions (2014). The Giants signed Wade to a reserve/future contract in January 2015. Wade is a decent-sized corner with only average athletic ability and speed. He can handle the slot corner position. Wade flashes solid cover skills at times but also gives up a fair share of completions.
TE LARRY DONNELL (to the Baltimore Ravens): Larry Donnell began the 2016 season as the starting tight end but was benched after the bye week. He started to receive more playing time again late in the season. Donnell ended up playing in 14 games with six starts, and finished the regular season with just 15 catches for 92 yards (6.1 yards per catch) and one touchdown. Donnell originally went undrafted and unsigned in 2011. The Giants signed him as a street free agent in March 2012 and Donnell spent the 2012 season on the team’s Practice Squad. Donnell has regressed since his breakout 2014 season (63 catches for 623 yards and six touchdowns). His numbers were down in 2015 (missing half the season with a neck injury) and down again in 2016. He just has not developed as hoped or expected. Donnell has good size and flashes athletic ability, but there is a klutziness to his game and he is far too inconsistent as a blocker and receiver. He also has issues holding onto the football (five career fumbles).
RB BOBBY RAINEY (to the Baltimore Ravens): The Giants signed Bobby Rainey as an unrestricted free agent from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in April 2016. He played in 15 games with no starts and finished the season with 17 carries for 63 yards (3.7 yards per carry) and 20 catches for 153 yards (7.6 yards per catch). Rainey also returned six punts (6.5 yards per return) and eight kickoffs (25.5 yards per return). Rainey was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2012 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Ravens (2012), Cleveland Browns (2013), and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2013-2015). Rainey lacks size, but he is a well-built runner with good quickness. He lacks power and has had issues with ball security with 13 career fumbles. Rainey catches the ball well and has experience as a punt and kickoff returner.
QB RYAN NASSIB (to the New Orleans Saints): Nassib was placed on Injured Reserve in December 2016 with a right elbow injury that required surgery. Nassib was drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Giants. Since 2014, Nassib had been the team’s #2 quarterback. During that time, he only saw very limited playing time with all of his regular-season throws (10 total) coming at the end of two blowout losses. Nassib has average height, but he is a well-built quarterback with a good arm and decent mobility. He is very smart and played in two pro style offenses in college. At the college level Nassib was a team leader and clutch player who had a history of winning games late. Nassib has not really developed at the pro level and he struggled during the 2016 preseason, completing only 41 percent of his passes with five turnovers (three interceptions and two fumbles).
DT JOHNATHAN HANKINS (to the Indianapolis Colts): Hankins started every game and finished the 2016 regular season with 43 tackles, three sacks, and one forced fumble. Hankins was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Giants. Hankins has excellent size, strength, and overall athleticism. He is a stout run defender who occasionally flashes on the pass rush.
CB COTY SENSABAUGH (to the Pittsburgh Steelers): Coty was signed by the Giants in October 2016 after he was waived by the Los Angeles Rams. He played in 10 regular-season games with no starts and finished the year with 15 tackles. Sensabaugh was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans. The Rams signed him to a 3-year, $15 million contract in March 2016. Sensabaugh has played in 72 regular-season games with 29 starts. Sensabaugh is an average-sized corner whose strength is playing the slot nickel corner spot.
OT MARSHALL NEWHOUSE (to the Oakland Raiders): In 2016, Newhouse started the first two games at right tackle, was sidelined by a calf injury for five weeks, started three games at left guard when injuries hit, and then started the final regular-season and post-season game at right tackle. In all, Newhouse played in 10 regular-season games with six starts. Newhouse was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. He was the starting left tackle for the Packers in 2011 and 2012 before losing his starting job in 2013. Newhouse signed with the Bengals as a free agent in 2014 but struggled and was benched. The Giants signed him in March 2015 and he started 14 games at right tackle that season. Newhouse looks the part. He’s big and athletic. He’s also versatile, with the ability to play both tackle and guard positions. However, Newhouse is not very powerful or physical and he lacks consistency as both a run and pass blocker.
PK ROBBIE GOULD (to the San Francisco 49ers): The Giants signed Gould in October 2016 after the team parted ways with Josh Brown. Gould played in 10 regular-season games and finished the year a perfect 10-for-10 on field goal attempts, with a long kick of 47 yards. Forty-four percent of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. Gould was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2005 NFL Draft. After brief stints with the Patriots and Ravens, Gould signed with the Chicago Bears in October 2005. He played 11 seasons with the Bears (2005-2015).
2016 New York Giants Free Agent Losses
DT CULLEN JENKINS (to the Washington Redskins): The aging Jenkins had a solid 2015 campaign, starting 13 of the 16 games he played in, and finishing with 26 tackles, three sacks, and 2 pass defenses. Jenkins was originally signed by Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent after the 2003 NFL Draft. He did not make the team but spent time in NFL Europe and then re-signed with the Packers in 2004. Jenkins spent time with the Packers (2004-2010) and Philadelphia Eagles (2011-12) before signing with the Giants in March 2013 after he was cut by the Eagles. Jenkins lacks ideal size and is on the downside of his career. Versatile, he has experience playing both defensive tackle and defensive end. He still flashes as a solid two-way defensive tackle.
WR HAKEEM NICKS (to the New Orleans Saints): Desperate for veteran wide receiver help, the Giants signed then 27-year old Hakeem Nicks off of the street in November 2015. Unfortunately, the results were not good. Nicks played in six games with two starts, but finished with only seven catches for 54 yards. It’s been a precipitous decline for Nicks ever since his stellar 2010 and 2011 seasons when he compiled 155 catches for 2,244 yards and 18 touchdowns in 28 regular-season games. Nicks was originally drafted by the Giants in the 1st round of the 2009 NFL Draft. After two disappointing seasons in 2012 and 2013 when Nicks’ production fell to 109 passes for 1,588 yards and three touchdowns in 28 regular-season games, Nicks departed in free agency for the Indianapolis Colts. Nicks’ production in Indianapolis was disappointing too as he caught 38 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns. He tried to catch on with the Tennessee Titans in training camp in 2015 but did not make the team. Nicks’ demise has largely been attributed to injuries, including compartment syndrome in his lower right leg in 2010 as well as a broken right foot and a poster cruciate ligament (PCL) tear in 2012. Nicks has a nice combination of size and strength, but his athletic ability has clearly waned.
DT MARKUS KUHN (to the New England Patriots): The Giants placed Markus Kuhn on Injured Reserve with a knee injury in December 2015. In his four season with the Giants, Kuhn has steadily seen his playing time increase. In 2015, he played in 10 games with nine starts, finishing the year with 20 tackles and 0.5 sacks. In addition to the last three games of the season, he missed three early games with a knee issue as well. Kuhn was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Giants. He suffered a torn ACL knee injury that year and began the following season on the Reserve/Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List before being activated to the 53-man roster in November. Kuhn was born in Germany and was only a one-year starter in college. Kuhn has good size and he is a hard worker, but he does not really stand out as either a run defender or pass rusher.
WR RUEBEN RANDLE (to the Philadelphia Eagles): Randle, a 2nd round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, remains a frustrating performer. With Victor Cruz unable to play in 2015, the Giants needed consistent productivity from Randle and did not get it. Indeed, despite starting all 16 games, his numbers dropped from 71 catches for 938 yards in 2014 to 57 catches for 797 yards in 2015. He did increase his touchdown total from three to eight. Randle has a nice combination of size and athletic ability. While Randle is not a burner, he is fluid and smooth and can make plays down the field. He still has issues with properly reading defenses and running precise routes, leading to him sometimes not being on the same page with his quarterback. Randle adjusts well to the football in the air and has good hands. Reliability and consistency remain problems for Randle. It often appears he is going through the motions and he will disappear for long stretches in games. Randle does have experience returning punts.
CB PRINCE AMUKAMARA (to the Jacksonville Jaguars): Amukamara was off to a strong start in 2015 until he tore his pectoral muscle in Week 5. He missed the next five games, and when he returned, Amukamara did not play as effectively. He played in 11 games with 10 starts, and finished the season with 63 tackles, 10 pass defenses, 1 interception, and 1 forced fumble. Amukamara was drafted in the 1st round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Giants. In his five seasons with the team, he has stayed healthy for a full 16-game schedule just once (2013). He missed most of his rookie season with a broken foot, battled high ankle sprain and hamstring injuries in 2012, and missed half of the 2014 season with a torn biceps muscle. Amukamara combines good size, speed, and agility. When healthy, he usually does a good job of keeping his opponent quiet during a game. Amukamara is a physical corner who will hit and tackle. However, he simply can’t seem to stay healthy and has yet to put together one top-flight season.
DE ROBERT AYERS (to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers): Despite missing four games early in the season with a hamstring injury, Robert Ayers had his best NFL season in 2015, starting 11-of-12 games and finishing with career highs in tackles (41), sacks (9.5), pass defenses (4), and forced fumbles (2). Ayers was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2009 NFL by the Broncos. In five seasons with the Broncos, Ayers played in 72 regular-season games with 27 starts. He signed with the Giants as a free agent in April 2014. In his first year with the Giants in 2014, Ayers started 1-of-12 games before being placed on Injured Reserve with a torn pectoral muscle. Ayers has a nice combination of size and overall athleticism, which enables the Giants to not only play him at end but inside at tackle in pass rush situations. His quickness can present problems for interior blockers. Ayers is a decent run defender, but he could improve in that area of his game. He also needs to stay healthy.
2015 New York Giants Free Agent Losses
S STEVIE BROWN (to the Houston Texans): Brown played in all 16 games. He started the first three games of the season, lost his starting job for eight weeks, then regained it for the last five weeks of the season. Brown finished with 38 tackles, one sack, and one pass defense. Brown was originally drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the 7th round of the 2010 NFL Draft. The Raiders released him in September 2011 and he then spent time with the Panthers and Colts. The Giants signed him in April 2012. Brown had a tremendous season in 2012, intercepting more passes in a single season by a Giant in 44 years. He was placed on Injured Reserve in August 2013 after tearing the ACL in his left knee in the preseason. Brown has superb size for a safety, but lacks quickness and range. Despite his size, he does not stand out as a run defender and tackler. Against the pass, Brown lacks range and quickness, and is prone to making mental mistakes. Contrary to 2012, he rarely made plays on the football in 2014.
CB ZACK BOWMAN (to the Miami Dolphins): Bowman played in all 16 games with five starts but saw his playing time decrease as the season progressed despite all of the injuries that hit the secondary. He finished the year with 24 tackles, two interceptions, and six pass defenses. Bowman was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Bears. In six seasons with the Bears, Bowman played in 73 regular-season games with 23 starts. The Giants signed Bowman as an unrestricted free agent in March 2014. Bowman is a big, physical corner who can make plays on the football. He lacks ideal speed and quickness and can be beat deep. Bowman is a good special teams player.
LB SPENCER PAYSINGER (to the Miami Dolphins): Paysinger was signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2011 NFL Draft. In four seasons with the Giants, Paysinger played in 62 regular-season games with 14 starts. Paysinger saw his playing time on defense dramatically decrease in 2014. He played in 15 games with one start, but only had 15 tackles. The year before, in 2013, Paysinger started 10 games and finished with 74 tackles and one sack. He was a solid special teams player during his tenure with the team. Paysinger is a decent athlete who has gotten bigger and stronger. He doesn’t make many plays.
OT JAMES BREWER (to the New York Jets): Brewer simply has not developed as a player since being drafted in the 4th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Giants. A year after playing in all 16 games with eight starts, Brewer only played in two games in November before being placed on injured reserve in December with a concussion. Brewer has a nice combination of size and athleticism. He can play both tackle and guard spots. However, he has not proven to be a very tough or physical lineman.
S ANTREL ROLLE (to the Chicago Bears): Despite starting all 16 games in 2014, Antrel Rolle did not have the same impact on the playing field that he did in 2013. Rolle finished the 2014 season with 87 tackles, three interceptions, nine pass defenses, and one forced fumble. Rolle was steady but did not make many big plays. Rolle was originally drafted as a cornerback in the 1st round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. After three inconsistent seasons at corner, the Cardinals moved him to free safety in 2008. Rolle was signed by the Giants in March 2010 after the Cardinals cut him in a salary-related move. One of the better coverage safeties in the game, Rolle has good speed and range. Due to his experience as a cornerback, unlike most safeties, Rolle can play man coverage and has often been called upon to play the slot corner position. He is a good tackler and run defender. Rolle has become one of the key leaders of the defense. He also has been very durable, never missing a game in his five seasons with the Giants. Rolle has been voted to the Pro Bowl twice (2009 and 2010) and named All-Pro twice (2010 and 2013). He also played in the 2013 Pro Bowl as a second-alternate.
CB WALTER THURMOND (to the Philadelphia Eagles): Thurmond was placed on Injured Reserve in September 2014 with a torn pectoral muscle that required surgery after playing in only two games. Thurmond was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Seahawks. He missed much of the 2011 and 2012 seasons recovering from a broken leg (fibula), playing in only eight regular-season games. In November 2013, he was suspended four games for violating the NFL’s drug policy. That year he played in 12 regular-season games, with three starts, and finished with 33 tackles, six pass defenses, and one interception that he returned for a touchdown. The Giants signed Thurmond as an unrestricted free agent in March 2014. Thurmond combines decent size with good speed and quickness. Smooth in coverage, Thurmond is considered one of the better slot corners/nickel backs in the NFL. Thurmond obviously has off-the-field concerns.