Big Blue:Top 5 Free Agent Targets
posted Mar 04 2013, 10:37PM
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posted in NFL, Analysis

The New York Giants are in the process of a true overhaul after a disappointing 2012 season. Some old faces have already been shown the door, and some more are sure to be gone before training camp in July. However, this is no rebuilding process because as long as Eli Manning is under center they are looking to win a championship. Assuming the Giants brass and WR Victor Cruz can come to an agreement on a contract, here are the top 5 Free Agents the Giants can realistically target in the offseason to help them get back to the Super Bowl.

1. DT Cullen Jenkins (2012 team: PHI)- Cullen Jenkins signed with the Eagles post-lockout in 2011 to complete their "dream" offseason. Things did not work out as well as they planned, and they had to cut the veteran DT to create cap space. The Giants recently did the same by cutting Chris Canty and they now have a spot open in the defensive line rotation. Jenkins played well in Philly, and was recently in East Rutherford for a visit with the Giants. It has been made known that the 32-year-old wants to end his career with a contender so look for the Giants to add Jenkins this offseason.

2. LB Daryl Smith (2012 team: JAX)- Smith missed most of the 2012 season with a groin injury but has a great pedigree. Before last season he had recorded 95+ total tackles in 3 straight seasons and had only missed 4 total games since entering the league in 2004. The Giants recently cut LB Michael Boley and their Linebackers have been their weak spot for quite some time anyway. Smith is about to turn 31 years old and again is coming off of an injury ravaged season, but it is pretty obvious he still has alot of gas left in the tank. The Giants could sign him and probably for a good bargain.

3. TE Jared Cook (2012 team: TEN)- The deadline for teams to franchise players has passed and the Titans declined to use theirs on the young Tight End. There has been rumors of late that the Giants may not try to bring Martellus Bennett back into the fold. Cook will soon be turning 27 and has shown flashes of brilliance in the last two years while playing with below average QB's. He likes to split out wide like a WR and becomes a matchup nightmare when he does. The Giants would probably have to pony up a good amount of cash to sign Cook, but teaming him up with Eli may be worth it.

4. CB Chris Houston (2012 team: DET)- The 28-year-old CB has not played a full season since 2008, but has never missed a long chunk of time during any season. It has become pretty obvious that Corey Webster is going to be cut before training camp, and Houston is one of the only reliable corners on the market that won't cost the G-Men too much capspace. Houston is familiar with the style of play the Giants have on defense, because in Detroit they have much the same philosophy: cover long enough for the pass rushers to get there. Houston would bring a sense of stability to the secondary.

5. DE Dwight Freeney (2012 team: IND)- Dwight Freeney has been one of the leagues premier pass rushers since he burst onto the scene in 2002. In the past 3 seasons his production has gone on the decline but playing next to 2 Pro Bowl Defensive Ends may revitalize his career. Osi Umenyiora will finally get the long term deal he wants, and the Giants will without a doubt bring in his replacement. Freeney won't be relied upon to be the #1 pass rusher anymore and will fill the exact role Osi once filled. Freeney grew up a huge Giants fan and it seems like he and the Giants would be a match made in heaven.


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