The Giants have done well this offseason, in both free agency and the draft, addressing their roster’s major areas of need. However, there remain a few places that could use upgrades, and fortunately for New York, there are intriguing free agents still on the market who could meet those needs.
Cap space, though, is a problem. As my beat partner, Dan Duggan, explained recently, once the Giants sign their draft picks, they will probably need to create at least $5 million in cap space just to get through the season. Realistically, they will need double that number to bankroll in-season additions, and that can be done with any number of moves, including reconfiguring quarterback Daniel Jones’ contract, signing franchise-tagged running back Saquon Barkley to a contract extension and/or extending left tackle Andrew Thomas.
Until a couple of cap-saving maneuvers are made, the Giants likely won’t be adding any big-name veterans, making this more of a hypothetical exercise for now. Still, in anticipation of those moves, we’ll go window shopping with seven potential fits.
Leonard Floyd, OLB, 30 years old
Floyd has certainly benefited from Aaron Donald’s presence in L.A., but he’s been consistently productive in his own right, without slowing down since turning 30 in September. He has 29 sacks, 59 quarterback hits and 157 pressures (per TruMedia) over the past three seasons, including four sacks, 11 hits and 28 pressures in the six games Donald missed in 2022. Floyd also hasn’t missed a game since 2017 and has played at least 80 percent of defensive snaps in four consecutive seasons.”
The fit: The Giants pass rush is headlined by a pair of intriguing young talents in Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari. But beyond them, there’s little else that can be counted on. The group needs depth, especially considering injuries sidelined both players last season. Ojulari missed 10 games. Floyd would alleviate concerns about either missing time.
Floyd’s numbers tell the story about his quality as a pass rusher, but what they don’t reveal are his abilities beyond them. Floyd can drop in coverage, and despite his smaller frame (for the position), he’s solid against the run, ideal traits in a constantly evolving defense helmed by coordinator Wink Martindale. His versatility and veteran leadership could be exactly what the position group still needs.
Yannick Ngakoue, OLB, 28
“Ngakoue isn’t an elite edge rusher, but he has an undeniable knack for getting to the quarterback that could help any team at a reasonable price, including the Colts. Ngakoue has at least eight sacks in every season of his career and 9.5 in 2022. No team will break the bank to acquire Ngakoue, but the journeyman should have a solid group of suitors.”