We are now 7 days(March 16th) removed from the legal tampering period opening up, and 5 days removed from the official start of the league year(March 18th), I’ve decided its time to grade the moves the Giants made in free agency. Obviously they may make smaller additions (or bring back Golden), but the main wave of free agency has passed so it’s time to give my thoughts and put a grade to them.
NOTE: I included new players the Giants signed. If you want to know my opinions on players the Giants brought back, check my twitter(@DannyKingNFL) for that.
*All contracts numbers are from spotrac.com
LB Blake Martinez:
Contract- 3 years/ $30,750,000M with $19M guaranteed
This move was met with some backlash, mainly because we didn’t know much about Martinez and a lot of people wanted Corey Littleton at a higher number. The comparison was made saying he’s Ogletree 2.0, but thats far from the truth. Martinez is a quality coverage LB & yes he’s made some bad plays and had bad games, but saying his coverage skills are like Ogletree is flat out not true. Ogletree was awful in coverage. If you think they are similar players, I highly encourage you to check out NFL GamePass (Its free until May 31st because of what’s happening in the world) and see for yourself. I think this is a good pickup by the team, the contract is questionable, but teams overpay players all the time. Hopefully Martinez’s play on the field backups the contract and this talk goes away, but bottom line is he’s better than Ogletree, and should improve our LB core.
CB James Bradberry
3 years/ $45M with $32M guaranteed
The Giants needed help at CB, and they picked up a good CB in James Bradberry. They signed James Bradberry to a 3 year/ $45M deal with $32M guaranteed. Bradberry finished the 2019 season with 65 tackles, 3 INTs, and 12 passes defended. I watched a few games of his, and many things stood out about him. Bradberry had great instincts, great ball skills, and he doesn’t make many mental errors. I believe Baker will make improvements this season, but they could not roll this secondary out without a proven CB. James Bradberry is that and should hopefully bring some life back to this CB group. He’s not Byron Jones but he’s extremely solid and dependable.
LB Kyler Fackrell
Contract- 1 year/4.6M with $3.5M guaranteed
This is a Markus Golden like deal. Unlike Golden, Fackrell isn’t coming off of a major injury. DC Patrick Graham was his LB coach back in 2018, in which Fackrell had his best season. He was buried on the depth chart behind Preston and Za’Darius Smith this season, so it was hard to get a true feeling on him. I do know that he had a great season in 2018 when Patrick Graham was his position coach. He had 42 sacks, 12 for a loss, and 10.5 sacks. I went back and watched a few of his games from 2018, and he’s no athletic freak, but he’s a grinder. He doesn’t possess any superior pass rusher moves, but he was able to get the job done in 2018 so if the Giants don’t bring back Golden, the OLB core seems to be Fackrell, Lorenzo Carter, and Oshane Ximines. They may add someone later in the draft, but Fackrell will need to be key for our OLB to be dominate under Graham. What they did last year with James Bettcher and Markus Golden is what they hope to duplicate with Fackrell and Patrick Graham.
TE Levine Toilolo
Contract- 2 year/$6.2M with $3.25M guaranteed
With Rhett Ellison retiring this offseason, the Giants had a hole at TE. Not only did this open a hole on the TE depth chart, they now lacked a true run blocking TE. Enter 6’8’’ Levine Toilolo. If you watched his tape and didn’t know he was a TE, you would think he’s an OT. From the games I watched , he is a good run blocking TE and should fill the void left by Rhett Ellison, but a 2 year contract worth $6.2M with $3.25M guaranteed was a strange one. He has 2 TDs over the past 3 seasons, and 40 catches over those 3 years as well. Maybe the team wanted to make sure he doesn’t sign elsewhere, but his presence doesn’t put Evan Engram or Kaden Smith role on the team in question. I can see the depth chart being Engram 1, Smith 2, and Toilolo 3 but it’s a strange contract for a guy that is automatically 3rd on the depth chart.
OT Cameron Fleming
Contract- 1 year/ $4M
Cameron Fleming’s OL coach was Marc Colombo during the 2018 and 2019 season. That was most likely a factor that brought him in , but Cameron Fleming is not the long term solution for RT. In my opinion, the signing of Cameron Fleming shows me they are drafting an OT in the first round. I only view Cameron Fleming as a backup for the offensive line, but he’s not awful. He’s someone if you need to use you should be fine, but I would rather see Gates over Fleming first.
QB Colt McCoy
Contract- 1 year/ $1.5M
The backup QB battle just got a whole lot more interesting this summer. Fans moaning about Alex Tanney getting a new contract, so maybe this will make them feel better? Joking aside, I like the addition of Colt McCoy. The Giants don’t have the luxury this year of having a 2 time Super Bowl champion come to play incase Jones gets hurt. Colt McCoy is true competition for Tanney, as he will have Tanney fighting for the backup role on the team.
Grade-C+(Its a backup QB grade, I’m not going crazy over this signing.)
S Nate Ebner
This is a special teams signing. He’s played 1 snap on defense over the past 3 seasons while playing 817 snaps on special teams in 3 seasons(Thanks to @BobbySkinner_ for doing the digging on that.) Special teams is important, and thats why Cody Core was brought back. Joe Judge was the special teams coach in New England, so I’ll trust the judgement of Joe Judge on this one. Good signing and will hopefully add a few more blocked punts to his resume this season.
I know some people won’t agree with the grades and that’s awesome. Tweet at me (@DannyKingNFL), and tell me why my grading was too positive, or too negative. Would love to know all everyones thoughts after the main wave of free agency has passed.