After Tom Coughlin got a on year extension, signed Ben McAdoo to be there offensive coordinator, they were set with there coaching staff. Next stop; Free Agency. Today marked day one of the NFL’s free agency, an impressive one for the Giants. Things that needed to be addressed for Big Blue were and are going to help in the improvement from a 7-9 record and a +/- of -89. The Giants made a total of 6 signings, just on the first day, and all are players that expect to have an impact on the team.
There was a total of 6 players New York signed. 3 new, 3 players resigned from last season. Running-back Rashad Jennings, from Oakland, defensive-end / outside-linebacker O’Brian Schofield, from Seattle and guard Geoff Schwartz, from Kansas City are the 3 newcomers. Jennings, the most recognized of the 3, was very impressive last season. He came into the season as Darren McFadden’s backup and as soon as DMC got injured he never looked back. He had over 1,000 total purpose yards, averaged 4.5 yards per carry and in 199 touches did not fumble the ball a single time. When Jennings took over the starters job last season, he had 4 out of 5 games with over 100 all purpose yards and scored TWICE in the one game during that stretch where he didn’t. NYG was 29th in rushing yards per game last season and Jennings is looking to vastly improve that mark. O’Brien Schofield may have been a bit of a question mark, a player not many people know about. He simply didn’t get a lot of burn in Seattle but the two prior years in Arizona, in 27 games, 9 of which he started, he had 8.5 sacks which is very respectable. He’s versatile, and I’m sure Jerry Reese took that into account as he’s played LOLB, ROLB and defensive end as well. Schwartz, is much of the same. He’s versatile, but has started more games than Schofield in his career. He’s mainly a guard, has played both positions and has also played at the right tackle position.
The 3 guys who were resigned by Big Blue were safety Stevie Brown, running-back Peyton Hillis and corner-back Trumaine McBride. Headlining these 3, just like Rashad headlined the new guys, is the ball hawk Stevie Brown. Coming off an ACL tear in which made him miss all of the 2013 season. He got a 1 year, $3 million dollar deal and it could reach $4 in incentives. In 2012, in just 11 starts, Stevie was spectacular. He had 76 tackles, was 2nd in the entire league in interceptions with 8 and forced 2 fumbles as well. If Brown can achieve that type of play in 2014, the loss of Ryan Mundy in free agency won’t loom large for New York. I’m also a big fan, of NYG’s starting left corner while Corey Webster was hurt, Trumaine McBride. McBride started 11 games last season for the Giants and had 2 INT’s but had 15 pass deflections, which was 15th in the entire National Football League. Suring up the secondary was big for New York in there pursuit of a Championship. The final signing, which was actually the first of the day, was Peyton Hillis, the one time Madden Cover star who has obviously suffered from the curse since. In limited time, Peyton was average, but reliable for small yardage downs. He spot started when the backfield was totally injured last season and he will be in a similar role coming into 2014.
All in all day 1 was a success. I can’t forget to point out wide-receiver Jacoby Jones is visiting the G-Men on Wednesday which in all likelihood would shut the door on Hakeem Nicks coming back. New York is also completely in play in bringing back Jon Beason, who was fantastic in New York last season, and Justin Tuck who has been a captain of this team since he was drafted out of Notre Dame. If New York lands all 3, boy would you have to think NYG would have one of the better overall free agency runs of all teams.