New York Giants co-owner John Mara spoke to reporters at the NFL Owner's Meetings and fielded questions about the Giants free agency spending spree. Mara's remarks surprised many, as he intimated that the team isn't done signing top talent just yet.
“There are still some players we’re looking at, obviously at a lower level in terms of compensation… I still think we have some holes to fill," admitted Mara.
“I think we would like to add another offensive lineman somewhere down the line, [as well as] another corner [and] another receiver. There are still players we’re looking at. We may have to wait until the draft if [the players the Giants want] aren’t there in free agency.”
Between the signing of Olivier Vernon, Janoris Jenkins, Damon Harrison, and the re-signing of Jason Pierre-Paul the Giants have committed to $203.75 million. However, they are still $25 million under the salary cap, giving Big Blue plenty of room to add depth at multiple positions.
Mara admitted that this year’s spending was, “a little more expensive than I thought [it] would be,” and that General Manager Jerry Reese was in fact instructed to do all he can to improve to roster after back to back losing seasons.
The fact Reese was instructed to act in this way could have been a blessing for the General Manager. Following the 2011 Super Bowl victory, the Giants have endured a 4-year playoff drought. There has been a lot of speculation that this spending spree, something the Giants have are not known for, was orchestrated by Reese in an attempt to grab immediate talent and save his job. It appears Mara has faith in Reese by giving him the go ahead to improve by any means necessary.
However, Giant fans will not have to worry about such an off-season in the future.
“I certainly don’t see us being this aggressive [in free agency] next year,” Mara added.
The average Giants offseason usually consisted of adding depth at positions and signing new players to take up starting spots. Spending such exorbitant amounts of money has never been a quality of Reese, who frequently let go of first round picks and players asking for bloated contracts in the past. And for a while it worked.
Perhaps the Mara saw this as a way for Reese to prove himself. By giving Reese the reigns of the organization, he can flex his muscles and put up a season that will get him off the hot seat.