Changes had to be made this offseason if the New York Giants were going to leave a dreadful 2017 season in the past where it belongs. A week into free agency, change has arrived.
The New York Giants were one of the most active teams in the first week of free agency. They added key pieces that will make the first year of the Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur regime a successful one.
With free agency, there’s generally a 30-to-35 percent turnover rate to a team’s roster, and this will hold true for the Giants in 2018 because while they added several pieces, they also lost some of their own free agents.
Given the number of moves the Giants made and the speed at which the announcements came out, it can be hard to keep track. So here’s a look at the players the Giants have added and lost during the first week of free agency.
Jonathan Stewart, RB: The11-year veteran will be reunited with his former GM (Gettleman) and former offensive coordinator in Carolina, Mike Shula. He improves the Giants short yardage and goal line offense.
Kareem Martin, OLB: Martin will be reunited with his old defensive coordinator in Arizona, James Bettcher and will add depth playing behind Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon. He’s an aggressive linebacker who can also cover tight ends.
— New York Giants (@Giants) March 16, 2018
Patrick Omameh, LG: He started 13 games last season for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who had the league’s number one rushing offensive. The versatile lineman has played both guard positions over his four-year career.
Teddy Williams, CB: Williams didn’t play last season due to a shoulder injury, but the speedy cornerback will add much needed depth to the Giants secondary.
Curtis Riley, CB: Although he’s only appeared in 11 games in two seasons, he adds depth to the Giants secondary, just like Williams.
Cody Latimer, WR: The 6-foot-3 receiver adds depth to the Giants receiving corps and will be a valuable member of the special teams unit. He was a member of the Denver Broncos team that won Super Bowl 50.
B.W. Webb, CB: The Giants continued to depth to their secondary by signing the four year veteran. The Giants will be Webb’s fifth team in five seasons.
Josh Mauro, DE: You can never have too many pass rushers, and the Giants added the 27-year-old Stanford product to get after the quarterback. Like Martin, he has a relationship with Bettcher from their time in Arizona and fits perfectly in the 3-4 defense.
Here’s a look at the Giants’ free agents that they were able to re-sign.
Kerry Wynn, DE: Wynn had 19 tackles and one sack in what was primarily a reserve role last season, though he made three starts. He could be a backup defensive end or linebacker in the new 3-4 scheme.
Robert Thomas, DT: Thomas appeared in 15 games last season and recorded 16 tackles.
Jon Halapio, RG: Injuries forced Halapio to start six games last year for the Giants. He could be one of the reserve linemen for the Giants in 2018.
Some of these signings and re-signings have a long way to go to before they’re guaranteed a spot on the final 53-man roster, but they’ll create some intriguing position battles in training camp.
Weston Richburg, C: The Giants second-round pick in 2014 signed a five-year, $47.5 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers. In his first three seasons with Big Blue he missed just one game. But last season a concussion limited him to just four contests. Brett Jones’ development made him expendable.
Devon Kennard, LB: Kennard signed a three-year, $18.75 million contract with the Detroit Lions. There were doubts about whether he’d fit the new 3-4 scheme, so his departure comes as no surprise.
Justin Pugh, LG, RT: The Giants lost their best and most versatile offensive lineman when Pugh signed a five-year deal the Arizona Cardinals that will reportedly pay him $20 million in guaranteed money. There were concerns about his back, which caused him to miss eight games last season, but his loss leaves a huge void.
We’ll have to see what the second week of free agency holds for the Giants. One player to keep an eye on is offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, who started six games for the Giants last season at right guard and is still on the market.