With NFL free agency just a few weeks away, the New York Giants will try to acquire pieces that they hope will lead to the franchise’s fifth Lombardi Trophy.Since becoming the New York Giants general manager in 2007, Jerry Reese has had his fair share of hits and misses when it comes to acquiring free agents.
Here’s a look at his top four free agent pickups:
1. Antrel Rolle (2010)
In March of 2010, the Giants signed Antrel Rolle to a five-year, 37 million dollar contract. It would turn out to be one of the best free agent signings in the history of the franchise. He would become one of the team leaders on the team and would prove to be the team’s most versatile defender. In 2011, Rolle recorded 96 tackles while playing safety and nickel corner, helping the Giants win Super Bowl XLVI.
During his five seasons with Big Blue Rolle recorded 464 tackles, had 14 interceptions and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2010 and 2013.
2. Janoris Jenkins (2016)
It may seem premature to put Jenkins on this list since he’s only been with the Giants one season, but what a season it was. He was named NFC special teams player of the week in Week 2 and was named to his first Pro Bowl. He’s also earned a reputation of being a shutdown corner. In two games against the Dallas Cowboys, he held Dez Bryant to two catches for 18 yards and a fumble. He is one of the reason why many feel the Giants have the best secondary in the NFL.
3. Steve Weatherford (2011)
Every Giants fan remembers how Matt Dodge faired as a punter in 2010, so the acquisition of Steve Weatherford was a welcomed site in 2011. That season Weatherford average 45.7 yards per punt with a net average of 39.2 yards which were both at the time career highs.
Weatherford played vital role in the 2011 playoffs. In the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers he punted the ball 12 times averaging 46.4 yards per punt, and was able to field a low snap on Lawrence Tynes game winning field goal in overtime. Then in the Super Bowl on his first punt he punted the ball to the Patriots six-yard line. On the next play, Justin Tuck would force Tom Brady into intentionally grounding the ball, resulting in a safety.
4. Damon Harrison (2016)
Just like the case with Jenkins, it may seem premature to put him on this list, but when you consider the Giants rush defense went from 24th to tied for third in 2016, Harrison needs to be on here.
He had a career high 86 tackles which was third on the team and tallied 2.5 sacks and was named first team All-Pro. He and fellow defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins were able to neutralize the Dallas Cowboys offensive line twice resulting in the Giants sweeping the season series for the first time since 2011.