2023 Giants Free Agency+

We are not going to do any deep dives, but want to quickly share some preliminary thoughts on the NY Giants’ front office moves after the start of Free Agency.

The big splash move is signing former Colts LB Bobby Okereke. They paid $40M for 4 years, with $22M guaranteed. Wonder commented positively on the move. “Okereke is a tackling machine. The Giants got themselves a very solid player. He is a 3 down LBer who covers okay. The contract is reasonably priced.”

“The guaranteed money, at ~50% is in line with what they needed to do,” said the UltimateNYG draft analyst. Wonder noted that Okereke is better than where Blake Martinez was pre-injury. “This move fills a big need at the right price, giving Schoen more flexibility in next month’s draft.”

As the offseason began, I put out a poll on Twitter for where the Giants should go with their Round 1.25 pick.

Of course the correct answer is to Trade Down. My last choice would have been to take a Wide Receiver, given I have shown over and over what a waste of Round 1 draft capital it is for a position that is ALWAYS AVAILABLE. What other position could see elite players like AJ Brown, OBJ, DeAndre Hopkins, Tyreek Hill and Devante Adams all become available via trade in their prime? Please, name me another position on the field where 5 elite All Pro players are made available? My second choice in the poll, the one position of greatest need this offseason, was Linebacker. That Joe Schoen made his big 2023 splash on LBer shows what we have been saying about the new Giants GM- he is a disciplined, smart, organized leader who has a plan and knows how to execute on the plan.

And speaking about finding a receiving option, always available, the Giants may have found one…

The TE Darren Waller move is a high reward, relatively low risk play. If Waller is healthy, it is a score. Waller could easily become Jones’ best receiving target. If Waller is not healthy, he has 1 year of cap money, and the Giants will have lost a late Round 3 draft pick (the 3.100 KC Toney pick). That is the risk. I am not expecting Waller to fail his physical, but the Giants can use that toggle to their advantage in keeping the trade low/er risk. I have to imagine that the Giants would not have made this deal if Waller was a significant risk to simply burn the salary and draft pick.

Schneier and Falato talk scheme in how Waller will fit in. They are glowing in the risk vs reward. 12 Personnel! Bellinger and Waller. The coaching staff knows how to use the Tight End. If healthy, it is a gamechanger.

The re-signing of RB Matt Breida is a thumbs up. Breida can do it all. He is a quality backup who can deliver the plays for $2M. What is not to like?!

The signing of IDL Rakeem Nunez-Roches is competent roster filler. Ok player. A backup who can take some decent snaps.

The Giants re-signed WR Isaiah Hodgins. They got him for 1 year and $1M. That to me is a freaking steal. I would have preferred to get more term on that deal.

The Giants re-signed P Jamie Gillen. I was not a fan of Gillen and would have preferred the Giants go in another direction, preferably one where the punts angle properly and do not end up in the end zone for touchbacks.

SUMMARY: The Okereke FA signing is the big move of Giants Free Agency. It addresses probably the biggest need of the offseason, enabling the Giants to go in many different directions in the draft. I still prefer they trade completely out of Round 1 and get more Round 2 players, given their needs at so many positions. This makes even more sense given that they traded away 3.100 and got a major receiving threat. Round 2, all steak, no sizzle.

EXTRA: What is the best thing to have happened this offseason to the Gmen? Everyone will point to re-signing Jones. Of course that is huge. But the stroke of luck is that Mike Kafka is back at Offensive Coordinator. Getting him and Jones together for a second consecutive year is enormous for the entire franchise. Things are shaping up very well for the Gmen. If Evan Neal can make progress, this team rates to be very competitive.

2 thoughts on “2023 Giants Free Agency+

  1. Great analysis BUT…What about tagging Barkley…You are on record for not wanting to pay…and for the risk of a multi-year deal…what about the cost of the tag for a one year deal(and what about 2024?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for pointing this out. Yes, we were on record, and (sorry, not sorry) we were correct. We understood that the RB market is terrible. It was unfortunate that Schoen, during negotiations that eventually broke off, bid 12.5 per. Obviously that is not what we would have endorsed. He blocked the other 31 teams from negotiating by using the “cheaper” 10M tag, Yet we see that even that price is generous. Yesterday, it was reported that the Cowboys are walking on Ezekiel Elliott’s deal, only 2 years into a 6 year deal. Miles Sanders gets 25 for 4 yrs. Breida gets barely 2 w incentives. Momma don’t let your babies grow up to be RBs. It is exactly what we have been saying for … forever. This is not a RB league. They don’t drive championships. I am afraid sentimentality got the better of Schoen because Barkley is such a class act, which NO ONE denies. He is worth 8M per. (2 receiving, 2 blocking, 2 running, 2 leadership). That’s it. What Schoen should have and should still do is let Barkley test the FA market and then compete if he wants. But he was obviously bidding against himself when he had exclusivity. 12.5 per? Mistake. Even Duggan tweeted that anything over the 10 tag is a gift. If you want to allocate the cap and draft resources to maximize for a title, you simply cannot be overspending on RB, and in fact, the blueprint (as we have shown so many times) is UNDERPAYING via the Pachecos.


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