Free agency is all but over and it is time to give out some free agent grades for the New York Giants. Yes there are still some well known free agents out there but most players have been signed. The Giants were more active than most in free agency trying to fill needs and improve a terrible defense. The Giants still have roughly $18.2 million in cap space so they still have time to make some moves. However with the draft coming up I expect them to fill the rest of their voids with their draft picks. Let us go over some of the free agent signings and give you our honest free agent grades.
James Bradberry: 3 year, $45 million ($32 Million guaranteed)
James Bradberry comes in to bolster a struggling secondary for the New York Giants. Bradberry has been a solid cornerback who has gone against elite receivers more than most. He is turning 26 and is entering the prime of his career. Last season Bradberry had 3 interceptions and a total of 12 pass deflections. He also only allowed opposing quarterbacks an honest 86.6 passer rating with a 64% catch rate and 1 touchdown. Considering he went up against Julio Jones, Michael Thomas and Mike Evans all twice id say that is very impressive. I also really like how this contract is set up. The Giants cleverly put an opt out option making this deal a possible 2 year deal. This not only allows them to get out of the contract if it works but less guarantees down the road. Overall the Giants got a top cornerback at a fair price.
Blake Martinez: 3 year, $30 million($19 Million guaranteed)
The Giants signed Martinez to be a leader on their young defense. To be honest I am not a Martinez fan. Last year he was second in total tackles with 155 combine tackles and 3 sacks overall. He also added 4 tackles for loss and 1 force fumble. Looking beyond stats we see that Martinez does not run well laterally. If you look at game tape he does not show that sideline to sideline speed that the new age linebackers need. That does not necessarily mean he is a bad player it just how I personally view the game. It can also benefit him greatly if they draft Isaiah Simmons who can be that versatile linebacker. His contract also includes an opt out after two years. The deal itself is not a bad one yet for a player I am not as high on it will produce a lower grade.
Cameron Flemming: 1 year, $3.5 million ($2 Million guaranteed)
Low risk, high reward. Sometimes some of the most important moves are the ones that encompass that saying. Flemming comes in to help out an offensive line that had been brutal the past few years. No he has not started many games. Yet he has been a crucial part of two of the best offensive line groups the past 6 years. Regarded as a “swing lineman” he has experience in multiple spots on the line. If the Giants are going to use him effectively they will have to figured out the best way to use them for their team. He may or may not be able to be a true starter so that may not wow people. Yet for this small contract I think it is a very solid move for this team.
Leonard Williams: Tagged $16.1 Million
The Giants used their franchise tag on Leonard Williams. To me this was a move that had to be done as they traded a third and fifth round pick for Williams during the year. If they let him walked they essentially gave up assets and only had a return for 10 games. Williams played 8 games for the Giants but only started 5. He had 26 combine tackles and 11 quarterback hits for the team. Williams also had 5 batted passes and 3 run stuffs. He need to improve in these categories if they are to get the most out of the tag. I do expect them to work out a deal but currently he would be the 6th highest paid defensive tackle with the tag in the league. His production needs to match that or to me the trade and tag was not worth it.
Dion Lewis: 1 year deal
Another 1 year deal that adds as a bit of insurance policy for Saquan Barkley. With only Wayne Gallman on the roster bringing in a veteran was the right move in my opinion. Lewis is going to be 30 but we can still see him be effective on passing downs. With Derrick Henry taking all the load last year we saw a bit of a down year for Lewis. However two years ago he did have 59 receptions for 400 yards. If he can help give Barkley any bit of a breather this deal is worth it.
Nate Ebner and Cody Core
I will group both of these guys together as they should primarily be special team players. With Joe Judge coming from a special team background it only makes sense he would bring in some top notch guys. Both Ebner and Core have been top notch special teamers who could make difference making plays for this team. For the one year deal with Ebner and 2 year deal with Core it is well worth it.
Kyler Fackrell: 1 year $4.6 Million
Another low risk high reward type contracts. The Giants were probably never going to land a top pass rusher after their deals with Bradeberry and Martinez. Fackrell has 10.5 sacks in 2018 but has not produced anywhere close to those totals in other seasons. With such a small contract however if he can produce within the rotation it makes this a solid deal. If he does not he will just be another backup who they can let go next year.
These are just a few of the New York Giants free agents that have been brought in. The Giants have a lot of potential if they can continue to build up the defense and hit on an offensive tackle in the draft. These are my honest free agent grades for the team and you may or may not agree with them. That is totally ok but these are based on several advanced metrics, the eye test and the contracts they have been given. With the draft coming up we look forward to what the Giants will do with that number 4 pick. They are in an unique situation as they weigh team need verse best player available. Get ready things will be heating up real soon. Let us know about your free agent grades for the Giants!