Shop for New York Giants gear at Fanatics.com

Linebacker Free Agent Targets For the G-men

I’ve been talking draft a ton, but now it’s time to look at some of the free agents that MIGHT be available (depending on CBA and how teams handle their free agents) this off-season.

All the free agent information is taken from Walterfootball.com

The Giants really need linebackers and this year they are in luck because the Linebacker free agent class is actually pretty impressive especially for 4-3 teams looking for outside linebackers (Ie the Giants).

Let’s start with the linebackers because I’m sure that’s what people are most interested in.

LaMarr Woodley-will most likely be retained or go to a team that plays a 3-4

Chad Greenway-walter points out that with Sydney Rice also becoming a free agent that the Vikings can only franchise one of the two. Here’s hoping the Vikings choose Rice because Greenway is one of The best outside linebackers in the National Football League and has to be the Giants top target if he becomes a free agent. Even if they have to move some money around (ie cut Bernard and or Jacbos) to ensure that they can sign Greenway I think they have to really consider doing so in order to land Greenway. Greenway is very good at stopping the run, he can play the pass, and he can get after the QB. He has prototypical SAM size and is just..well I’m doing cart wheels if the Giants land this guy.

Kamerion Wimberly this year Wimbley played 4-3 OLB and 4-3 DE for the Raiders and was very productive. The Giants, love players who are 3-4/4-3 combination players and Wimbley,if he becomes availbe might be a player they are very intersted in, whether or not he’s the best fit I’m not sure, but at the very least Wimbley can shut down the run and get after the QB  which would still be an upgrade to what they had last year, but his price is going to be higher then the Giants should be willing to play for a guy who won’t get as many opportunities rushing the passer as he had in Oakland because he’s not going to push Osi or Tuck (and or even JPP) off the field.

Manny Lawson-When I profiled Akeem Ayers I said to me he reminds me of a Manny Lawson (at the lower end of his potential) or a Karlos Dansby at the high end of his potential. Well, Manny Lawson is available this off-season and could be an under the radar kind of addition for the NY Giants. Although he was drafted to be a 3-4 Rush linebacker he may actually be better suited as a 4-3 OLB because of his coverage abilities. Lawson has very good speed (he ran a 4.43 40 yard dash at the combine, according to footballsfuture.com) and he is 6-5 240 pounds (nfl.com). In short he is an ELITE athlete that also plays linebacker and may really blossom with the Giants as a 4-3 OLB instead of a 3-4 Rush linebacker. I really like the idea of signing Lawson because he should be cheaper than the other guys listed above (because he doesn’t have the sack numbers)

Rocky Mcintosh-I was never that impressed with McIntosh’s play on the Redskins the past few years (especailly this year when he was miscasted in a 3-4). So meh

James Anderson Panthers

When I did a brief overfiew of free agency I highlighted James Anderson as a potential target for the NY Giants. He’s another under-the-radar move the Giants could make, but they’d be getting a steal. Last seaosn Anderson had 130 tackles and 3.5 sacks 5 passes defensed and an 1 INT. He was just all over the place this year and would be a welcome addition for the Giants.

Stephen Nicholas

Nicholas played pretty well for the Atlanta Falcons this year, but with the drafting of Sean Weatherspoon last year Nicholas is probably expandable for the Atlanta Falcons.  He’s a decent player and a low risk kind of medium reward kind of player the Giants have continued to sign over and over (Kawika Mitchell, Danny Clark, Keith Bulluck) the difference being he’s only 27 so he’s not old yet.

I’m going to skip some of the players now

Clint Session OLB Colts

I like Session and think he’s a quality player and could play well in the right system. The question is whether or not Session fits in with the Giants defensive system and I think he could because of his coverage abilities.

Thomas Howard

Here’s another kind of player who could be gotten at a lower price, but he actually has a high upside. He’s a very good athlete and was productive for a few years with Oakland before he just got pushed out of the rotation this last season. It’s almost certainley going to be allowed to enter free agency this off-season.

Leroy Hill Seahawks

A very talented due all linebacker. Leroy Hill suffered an injury to his achilles last year and only played in the first game. Before that Hill showed that he can rush the passer, and defense the pass equally well. Hill also has some “character concerns” that could shy some teams away.

Julian Peterson

Too bad Peterson isn’t in his prime because he was very good in his prime as a run stopping and QB sacking machine. This year for the Lions he was still decent. He racked up 83 tackles, a sack, five passes defensed in 14 games for the Lions this year.

Peterson seems like a possible target for the Gmen because they like to go after productive, but aging veterans in hopes of catching lightning in a bottle. At least if they sign Peterson it will be a player not coming off a terrible injury. But the Lions who are devoid of linebacker talent released Peterson, which should say something to the Giants. Peterson will be 33 by the start of next year.

Here are the rest of the linebackers

most of which are substitutional players or depth additions.

Be sure to check out my latest profile of LB Greg Jones out of Michigan State.(just posted this morning)

And let me your top three targets for the Giants to upgrade their linebacker corps.

Next for the free agent targets will be cornerbacks and Offensive linemen.

[poll id=”42″]


Enjoyed this post?
Subscribe to Giants Gab via RSS Feed or E-mail and receive daily news updates from us!

Submit to Digg  Stumble This Story  Share on Twitter  Post on Facebook  Post on MySpace  Add to del.icio.us  Bark It Up  Submit to Reddit  Fave on Technorati

5 Responses to “Linebacker Free Agent Targets For the G-men”

  1. sam says:

    That is BEAUTIFUL! I love the list but I really love how many people(including me) will donate a kidney for the Giants to be successful!! GO GIANTS!!!

  2. BIGPAPI360 says:

    I THINK THEY SHOULD GO AFTER Mark Herzlich FROM BC….THIS KIDS A BEAST AND A NATURAL LEADER WHO PLAYS HARD ON EVERY DOWN

    I CAN SEE THIS KID AS A GIANT AND WOULD BE A STEAL IN THE SECOND ROUND

  3. nycsportzfan says:

    Chad Greenway, James Anderson, Clint Session… In that order, would be my targets….

  4. Steve B. says:

    Love Greenway, playmaking LB that can cover, something the Giants have been missing for quite awhile.

    Not really crazy about the other LBs

    Some think, with the CBA thingy, that Free Agency will happen after the draft, which makes things interesting

  5. […] you’re intested in potential free agents of the Giants you can click here for the available linebackers. And here for Offensive linemen and […]

Leave a Reply