The New York Giants haven’t reached the playoffs, since their win in Super Bowl XLVI. Through free agency, the team is looking to, once again, build a championship contender.
Several players who were important in helping the Giants win their last championship have headed elsewhere. New York, though has been active in signing replacements.
Below is an update on some of the best free agents that have been linked to the Giants in 2014.
The wide receiver’s days in New York have been numbered since the Giants gave Victor Cruz a new contract in July. Nicks has dealt with injuries throughout his career, and didn’t catch a touchdown pass in 2013. Still, he’s one of the best free agent wide outs that are available. According to reports, the Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers and San Diego Chargers have interest in the 26-year-old. Eli Manning has completed more passes to Nicks than any receiver in his career.
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The Giants are usually known for having one of the best defensive lines in football, but now a key member of their four-man front is gone. Tuck signed a two-year deal with the Oakland Raiders, who reportedly offered him significantly more money than New York. The defensive captain was with the team for nine seasons, recording 60.5 sacks from 2005-2013.
Before the Raiders agreed to terms with Tuck, the Giants signed away one of Oakland’s free agents. Jennings signed a four-year deal with New York worth $14 million. The Giants’ running game is in desperate need of improvement. They ranked 29th last season with 1,332 yards on the ground. Peyton Hillis will return, but Andre Brown is still a free agent, and David Wilson is recovering from neck surgery. Jennings ran for 733 yards on a career-high 163 carries in 2013.
After playing his first six years with the Baltimore Ravens, the linebacker is headed to the Big Apple. McClain has signed with the Giants, and will enter training camp as a projected starter. He missed the first six games of 2013 because of an injury, but he started the next 10 and recorded 52 combined tackles.
The former second-round pick was a staple in the middle of the Giants defense line for the past few seasons. Now, he’ll be playing for the Minnesota Vikings. Joseph signed a five-year contract with the Vikings worth $31.5 million. He missed just one game for New York from 2011-2013.
New York thought they were bringing in the linebacker for $8 million over two years. However, Schofield failed his physical, because of a concern that the organization had with his knee. At the 2010 Senior Bowl, Schofield tore his ACL, though he played all but one game last season for the Seattle Seahawks. After re-signing Jon Beason and giving McClain a deal, the Giants have moved on.
In 2012, the safety had a breakout year with the Giants, intercepting eight passes and forcing two fumbles. He missed all of 2013 with a torn ACL, but Brown will get a chance to repeat his success with New York. The free agent will return to New York with a new contract. The Giants had a similar situation with Terrell Thomas last year, when they re-signed him, even though he missed two straight seasons with a torn ACL. Now, it appears that Thomas is headed elsewhere, possibly to Oakland.
With their new additions, the Giants linebacking corps might be upgraded from last season. Rivers, though, will not be a part of it. After two years with the club, the veteran is headed to the Buffalo Bills.