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A Look at the 2011 Giants’ Free Agents

Here’s a look at the 21 soon-to-be- Free Agents… Well kind of:

There are currently 21 players on the Giants’ roster who are slotted to be free-agents. However, without a current CBA, and the lack of uncertainty surrounding a new one, if there’s even one, has left both sides waiting. The Giants – and most teams – aren’t willing to make deals with players right now, because they don’t yet know what the implications would be when the new CBA comes out. Right now we don’t know if a player will be a “restricted” or “unrestricted” free-agent until there’s a new CBA. We also don’t know if a player will be “unrestricted” with four years of service, or six. Here is the list on players who are slotted to be free-agents:

Offensive Side of the Ball:

OL Kevin Boothe ($1,176,000)

Boothe had a tremendous year this year. At first, Boothe spent the beginning part of the season on the PUP list. The Giants’ considered putting him on IR because they weren’t quite sure he’d be ready. But when called upon Boothe delivered. When Diehl and Andrews went down Boothe was thrust into a starting role and played brilliant. The Giants’ would like to bring Boothe back, but if Boothe wants to play, it isn’t going to be here. Boothe has to think he can get money somewhere else and have a legitimate chance to play – and often.

TE Kevin Boss ($1,350,000)

Here’s a tough one. Boss became a much better blocker this season, and should have been used more in the passing game. Boss was clutch for the Giants’ when it counted and always had a big catch or run in the fourth quarter. However, the Giants’ could be concerned with all the huge hit’s Boss takes, and the amount of injuries – and concussions – he’s racked up. Some believe Boss would consider going out west, near where he lives. Some think he will stay in New York. However, if he wants a larger role, he won’t get it in New York.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw ($1,001,000)

Bradshaw had a career year. How ironic that Bradshaw racks up over 1,500 total yards from the line of scrimmage in what appears to be a contract year for him. As you know, Bradshaw had fumble issues, coughing up the ball seven times, losing six of them. Expect Bradshaw to be back.

WR Michael Clayton ($630,000)

Clayton, the former first round pick, filled in nicely in his limited role when called upon. However, the Giants have plenty of wide receivers. Clayton will have to look elsewhere to revive his lackluster career, which once had such promise.

WR Derek Hagan ($630,000)

The Giants called Hagan mid-way through the season needing an emergency receiver. Boy did Hagan deliver. Hagan caught 24 balls and played well on special teams, too. If they thought Victor Cruz and Duke Calhoun were good enough for them to release Hagan, will things be any different come time to re-sign him? I don’t think so. I think he’s earned another chance to compete for a spot this summer, but don’t expect him to stick.

WR Domenik Hixon ($1,684,000)

One could argue the Giants missed Hixon the most out of any player injured this season. The Giants’ were simply awful in the return game. They had terrible field position to start most drives. The only issue is that he tore the ACL in his right knee in June, which I saw happen live. Hixon has said he’s recovered and ready to go, but the Giants’ won’t know if that’s the case unless they give him another shot. I think they do, and Hixon comes back and gives the Giants’ a much-needed return game, and some depth at receiver, too.

OL Jamon Meredith ($395,000)

Meredith was a decent reserve OL who played the reserve tight end well. The Giants’ will likely offer him a minimum contract and let him compete for a roster spot come summer time.

TE Bear Pascoe ($395,000)

According to some sources, there is “no question” the Giants’ want to bring Pascoe’s back. The question is in what area? They aren’t willing to overpay, either. Pascoe’s came on great as the blocking full back when FB Madison Hedgecock went down. He could be converted to a full-time FB.

WR Darius Reynaud ($470,000)

Do I need to answer this one? The Giants’ traded for Reynaud this past season when Hixon went down. He was terrible. He wasn’t — and isn’t — the answer. The GiantsGab favorite won’t be back.

WR Steve Smith ($555,000)

Mr. Reliable, Steve Smith is Eli Manning’s favorite target. You know what he can do when healthy. He racked up over 100 catches last season and made it to the pro-bowl. Smith was plagued by injuries this season, and needed microfracture surgery to repair the torn articular cartilage in his left knee, which won’t allow him to begin running until mid-June. He caught 48 passes for 529 yards and three touchdowns in nine games last year. But will he ever be near a Pro Bowl level again? You just don’t know. Smith wanted Greg Jennings type money which was 4 years, $26 million. Smith might have to settle for a 1-year deal, where he can re-estbalish his value.

QB Jim Sorgi ($630,000)

The Giants’ originally signed Sorgi to be Eli Manning’s backup but he tore the capsule in his right shoulder, and was placed on IR. The Giants went out and traded for Sage Rosenfels. The Giants don’t tend to keep three QB’s on their roster, so Sorgi likely goes. Could he compete with Sage Rosenfels for the second QB slot? It’s possible, but unlikely.

RB DJ Ware ($545,000)

Ware was decent as a KR, but he didn’t show enough to where the Giants’ are willing to commit to him as their full-time KR. He didn’t get much time as the teams third down back, either. Ware could come back for a cheap price and provide some depth, but the Giants’ might try and upgrade here and get a back who can catch out of the backfield. Something they’ve missed since Derrick Ward.

Defensive Side of the Ball

DB Courtney Brown ($470,000)

Brown was placed on IR this season. Some reports had him waived, but according to the Giants’ he was on IR. Regardless, Brown won’t be back next season.

DT Barry Cofield ($1,759,000)

Cofield has a great season, but he still isn’t thrilled he hasn’t been paid yet, and he was almost traded to the Saints on draft day. Cofield want’s to be paid. The Giants’ currently have DTs Chris Canty and Rocky Bernard already signed to pretty large contracts, and there lengthy, too.This year’s second-rounder Linval Joseph is waiting in the wings, and has been coming along nicely, too. If the Giants’ decide not to break the bank for him, can you blame them? I think the Giants’ will give Cofield the money, but they may very well not.

S Deon Grant ($855,000)

In my opinion, Grant is the most intriguing free-agent this off-season. The Giants’ played with the three-safety set a ton this season, giving Grant a lot of time on the field. He played great whenever on the field. He always seemed to come up with a big play when it mattered. If Grant want’s to start, he will go somewhere else. If he want’s to stay and get a decent amount of playing time, he’ll stick. But the Giants’ won’t give him a lot of money, either. They consider him a locker-room leader, who has great character, so expect a short-term offer. Two years seems about right to me.

LB Keith Bulluck ($855,000)

Bulluck will not be back unless he is starting. He does not wan’t to play in a limited role. The Giants’ need to get younger at his position, and they need to get faster there, too. Bulluck probably won’t be back. They’ve been waiting for Clint Sintim to come along anyways. He was a transitional guy.

DE Dave Tollefson ($1,684,000)

Tollefson did everything the Giants’ have ever asked him to do. He was solid on special teams, and was a great 5th defensive end. Are the Giants’ willing to give him almost $2 million dollars again to be the teams 5th DE? I think Tollefson think’s he can get a better chance to play elsewhere, and more, too. If he want’s a chance to compete and be a teams third or fourth DE, he leaves. He’s one I don’t think comes back.

LB Gerris Wilkinson ($1,176,000)

Wilkinson is solid on special teams, but he isn’t going to see the field with this team elsewhere. Wilkinson will probably be offered a minimum deal. If he thinks he can play elsewhere, he’ll leave. If not, expect him to compete for a roster spot, again. He has talent, but never put it together when he got his chances.

S Michael Johnson ($1,350,000)

If Chad Jones never got hurt, Johnson wouldn’t have made the roster. Now with a healthy Kenny “Superman” Phillips, there even more set. He won’t be back.

DE Mathias Kiwanuka ($1,776,000)

According to the Giants’ the herniated disc in his neck has still not healed, and Giants’ General Manager Jerry Reese has already said the Giants may offer him a one-year deal “so that he can re-establish his value.” He led the Giants’ in sacks before he got hurt. He has tremendous talent, we know that. The question is will he heal, and will he be the same?

LB Chase Blackburn ($650,000)

Blackburn is the Giants’ Special Teams captain. They were horrible this year, but he was one of the few bright spots. He will have surgery on not one, but likely both his shoulders. He should be back unless another team gives him a chance to play at LB.


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One Response to “A Look at the 2011 Giants’ Free Agents”

  1. Chris says:

    Kenny Phillips didn’t play like Superman this year. Nice play in crunch time against Philly, giving TE the longest catch and run of his career. And Grant played well, not great, but also blew it against Philly – as Giant D-line was crashing in all around Vick, 10 year veteran Grant doesn’t control his rush and jumps up in the air like an idiot. Vick gets handed an early Christmas present and runs up the middle for 40 yds. Keep both, but the lame Michael Johnson has no value.

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