The New York Giants were arguably the most active team in the first week of free agency. They spent over $200M on just four defensive players. Newly assigned head coach Ben McAdoo was able to give his reasoning on why the Giants went after the players they did in a recent interview with Giants.com.
“They’re good fits, not just good players,” said McAdoo of the new defensive free agents. “They’re guys who can come in and make an impact, who are young and have a lot of energy, and are excited to be a part of it…(Vernon) jumped off the tape as much as anybody we’ve seen going into a game. He offers a lot as far as getting after the quarterback, but he’s a complete player as well.”
With the outrageous price tag Prince Amukamara put on himself, the Giants decided they’d rather go after Janoris Jenkins, who was pound for pound the best cornerback on the market. Jenkins loves to jump routes and go for the big plays. That being said, this can hurt Jenkins as he has been beat in coverage when trying to jump routes. Jason Pierre-Paul was re-signed on what many call a “prove-it” deal, which includes contract incentives. The Giants felt it was necessary to sign another defensive end, and why not go after the best defensive end on the market, Olivier Vernon. Vernon is one of the best pass rushers in the league, and as McAdoo said, he is a “complete player”. The Giants also signed Damon Harrison, one of, if not the leagues best run-stuffers. To say the least, the Giants defensive line will be one of the leagues best, and adding Jenkins will take the secondary to the next level.
“Jerry put the vision together, gotta give him credit,” McAdoo said. “(Assistant General Manager) Kevin (Abrams) put the contracts together, gotta give him credit. And there was great support from the ownership.”
With Jerry Reese’s job on the line, McAdoo let the Reese create the offseason plan. The ownership group made it clear that the Giants needed to be big-time spenders in free agency to fix last years disappointing team.
McAdoo was also asked about if Ereck Flowers will remain at left tackle.
“I’m excited for Ereck to develop as a left tackle,” McAdoo said. “Nothing is ever written in stone, but for him to go out there and battle the way he did as a rookie and have a chance to improve on his fundamentals and technique, we look forward to him developing there.”
Left tackle is the most important position on the offensive line. The Giants drafted Ereck Flowers with their 9th overall pick in the 2015 draft, so McAdoo acknowledged that it would be a better use of the young player to play him at left tackle rather than right tackle.
Lastly, McAdoo was asked if the team will be adding an offensive lineman in free agency.
“We’re looking at every position, not just offensive linemen,” responded McAdoo. “It’s important that you don’t just find starters, you find depth out there. We’ll take help at any position we can get it.”
The “Tom Coughlin approach” to free agency was adding depth, not necessarily starters. McAdoo sounds as though he will continue that approach, however, this year was an exception as there were many holes to fill. The Giants could use another wide receiver, a right tackle and right guard, one or two linebackers, and a safety. Expect these positions to be addressed in the NFL draft, and the remaining free agency period.