JOHN MARA TALKS ABOUT FREE AGENCY…
Newsday and NJ.com caught up with New York Giants President and CEO John Mara in advance of the NFL owners’ meetings in Florida. Mara discussed what the team has accomplished in free agency and the work that still needs to be done.
The Giants have signed defensive end Olivier Vernon (5-Years, $85 million), defensive tackle Damon Harrison (5-years, $46.25 million), and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (5-years, $62.5 million) to high-priced deals from other teams.
“We had some big holes to fill and we were fortunate to get the three top guys – at least according to how we had them rated – at their position,” said Mara. “It’s not something you want to do every year. You have to pick your spots and this was our spot.
“We targeted these three guys. I thought we would get two of them. We ended up getting three of them. What we didn’t want to do is backload these contracts so we run into salary cap jail in a few years. We were pretty successful I think in evening it out. I feel pretty good about it.
“The three guys were a little more expensive than I thought they were going to be, but they are all young, they are all healthy and they fulfill needs.”
Mara also indicated the Giants still pursuing free agents.
“Yes, those were the three guys we wanted going into it,” Mara said. “After that, you’re kind of looking at some lower level guys.
“There are still some players we’re looking at, obviously at a lower level in terms of compensation. But I still think we have some holes to fill. I think we’d like to have another offensive lineman somewhere down the line, another corner, another receiver. There are still players we’re looking at. We may have to wait until the draft if (the right players) aren’t there in free agency.”
The Giants have also signed linebacker Keenan Robinson (1-Year, $3.5 million) and re-signed defensive Jason Pierre-Paul (1-Year, $10.5 million) and linebacker Jasper Brinkley (1-Year) in free agency. Defensive end Robert Ayers (3-Years, $21 million) and cornerback Prince Amukamara (1-Year, $6 million) have signed with other teams.
Mara said he believes that one of three injured safeties from last season – Nat Berhe, Mykkele Thompson, or Bennett Jackson – could start at free safety in 2016 for the Giants.
Mara downplayed idea TC is a distraction at facility. "He's always welcome there."
— Tom Rock (@TomRock_Newsday) March 20, 2016
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