After failing to procure the services of several well-known, high-value targets such as Ndamukong Suh, Devin McCourty, and Darrelle Revis, the New York Giants approached day one of free agency with proactive urgency. By the end of it and $55 million later, Jerry Reese had signed five players in total — Shane Vereen, Jonathan Casillas, Dwayne Harris, Marshall Newhouse, and J.T. Thomas —all of whom share various similarities including being young-but-experienced, affordable, and very versatile.
While none of the signings are marquee or headline-grabbing, they all serve a purpose; some will plug a hole while others add depth and dimension to their respective positions. With that, here’s a closer look at Big Blue’s day 1 bonanza:
Shane Vereen (RB, NE): A multipurpose back who had 99 receptions in his last 2 years for 874 yards and 6TDs, Vereen will most likely be used as a 3rd down/ change-of-pace option backing up Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams. 3yr/$12.35 mil with $4.75 mil guaranteed and $3.5 mil signing bonus
Dwayne Harris (KR/PR, DAL): A specialist returner who takes the workload off of OBJ, Reuben Randle, and Preston Parker, Harris was ranked in the top-10 for both kick and punt returns with averages of 26.6 yards and 11.1 yards, respectively. He could be an important reason for why the G-Men may have an exceptionally healthy receiving corps come next winter. 5 yr/$17.5 mil with $7.1 mil guaranteed
Marshall Newhouse (OL, CIN): A former Packer, Newhouse is the “weakest” of the 5, being given a ranking of 61st out of 84 OTs in a Pro Football Focus report. He is, nonetheless, an upgrade over existing backup lineman such as John Jerry and can be utilized as a swing tackle in place of presumable starters Will Beatty and Justin Pugh. 2 yr/$3.0 mil with $1.0 mil guaranteed and $800,000 signing bonus J.T. Thomas (LB, - ): With Jacquian Williams’ concussion towards the end of last year, Thomas could usurp the position and lay claim to the throne as he addresses the team’s physical needs and pads the roster to raise the overall talent level. 3 yr/$10.0 mil with $4.5 mil guaranteed