Giants may have been a year late to the spending spree

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With Giants G.M. Jerry Reese firmly on notice that the time has come to spend money or forever lose the ability to do so (unless he becomes a General Manager with a new team), Reese and the Giants have blasted open the Mara-Tisch coffers and spent like never before.

As Adam Schefter of ESPN noted the morning after the acquisitions of defensive end Olivier Vernon, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, and defensive tackle Damon Harrison, the team spent $105.5 million in guaranteed money on the trio. In five prior free-agency cycles combined, the Giants spent $85.1 million in guaranteed money.

But with real questions about whether Vernon (who had 7.5 sacks in a contract year), Jenkins (who has admitted to being lazy late in games — as if the Giants didn’t already have enough problems late in games), and Harrison (who was viewed as the expendable member of a defensive line that includes Mo Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, and Leonard Williams), it’s hard not to wonder how much more the Giants would have gotten if the team’s ability and willingness to spend had aligned just a little differently with the available talent.

Despite the big numbers that have been thrown around this week, NFL free agency in 2016 featured a relatively lackluster collection of guys who actually made it to the market. In 2016, the big names belonged to Vernon, Jenkins, Brock Osweiler, Malik Jackson, Doug Martin, Marvin Jones, Travis Benjamin, Bruce Irvin, Sean Smith, Lamar Miller, Alex Mack, Mitchell Schwartz, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Lamar Miller, Tashaun Gipson, and Danny Trevathan. Last year, the guys who got to the market included Ndamukong Suh, Darrelle Revis, Julius Thomas, DeMarco Murray, Greg Hardy, Jeremy Maclin, Pernell McPhee, Byron Maxwell, Brandon Flowers, Mike Iupati, Brian Orakpo, Torrey Smith, C.J. Spiller, Michael Crabtree, and Ryan Mathews.

Last year, the Giants could have landed Suh and Revis instead of Vernon and Jenkins. This year, the Giants were constrained by the possibility that the best available players may not be as good as they need to be in order to prevent January’s decision to move on from coach Tom Coughlin from becoming more widespread in 2017 or 2018.

However it plays out, the big dollars mean significant pressure for the new arrivals. Jenkins will be compared to Revis, who plays his home games in the same stadium. Vernon will be compared to guys like Lawrence Taylor and Michael Strahan, who were among the best pass rushers to ever play the game.

37 responses to “Giants may have been a year late to the spending spree

  1. The Giants got solid players this offseason the only problem is they are paying them at top level talent. I don’t think the team will be much better this year than last I just don’t see how firing tom coughlin and hiring the same staff makes you a better team. Now a solid draft with 1 or 2 rookies that can contribute and these players playing to their potential would prove me wrong but only time will tell

  2. Zero chance that Olivier Vernon’s 52.5m guaranteed doesn’t blow up in their face. Ditto for Janoris Jenkins. Harrison is a good signing but doesn’t make a lot of sense for a Spagnuolo defense.


  3. I’d take Vernon over Suh at this point. Suh is a malcontent and Vernon is younger with a higher upside. Love all the comparisons to the Redskins except all the players the Giants signed are 26-27 and in their prime years. Were they not supposed to spend 60 mil in cap space? Elway went out and bought himself a Defense and was successful. The Giants got much better over night and they needed to with the talent they had last year.

  4. While the list last season had a lot of high profile names outside of Crabtree, Iupati and Revis everyone else vasted underperformed relative to their contract.

    Suh was especially underwhelming.

    The great teams build through the draft and by consistently hitting on undrafted free agents. Right now the Giants are not acting like a great team. Still changes needed to be made, hopefully at least some of them are net positives.

  5. Why write such a foolish line as ‘…blasted open the Mara-Tisch coffers’?

    You’ve been around long enough to the know that there’s a salary cap floor and that the salary cap money is shared revenue. It’s not baseball.

  6. “the Giants were constrained by the possibility that the best available players may not be as good as they need to be in order to prevent January’s decision to move on from coach Tom Coughlin from becoming more widespread in 2017 or 2018.”


    How could “January’s decision to move on from coach Tom Coughlin” become any more, or less, widespread?

  7. Sorry, but this is a stupid article. Like pondering what could have been different if the Titanic has left a week earlier.

    As a Giant lifer, I’m sorry Coughlin’s career ended the way it did, but the man made or allowed plenty of terrible calls in the last few years — perhaps out of desperation — that led to ridiculous losses in the final minutes and seconds of the 4th quarters.

    Should Reese have been axed also? Hell yes, his success was largely with Ernie Accorsi’s rosters and aside from Odell Beckham, Justin Pugh and Erik Flowers, the majority of his draft picks have been busts (too many to list). He’s fighting for his job this season and only time will tell.

    Given the market, Reese did a good job… I am concerned? Indeed I am, especially with Jenkins’ “lazy” comment, but he’s a kid and his slip puts him on notice with coaches and fans. It’s possible he’s being honest about himself and how he needs to improve; if that’s the case, then all the better. I’m sure Spags will be kicking his butt in practice and reminding him that he now has something to prove.

    Let’s see how the rest of free agency and draft works out. Toughen up the LBing corp behind the D line, gets Landon Collins up in the box where he can hit anything that comes through, and this unit might be fun to watch this season. Let’s face it, it can only be better than the last couple of years.

    And, don’t forget the Giants offense when healthy was moving the ball with precision down the field, putting up 35 pts in the second half against the Panthers in a game that should have been won without Cruz (if he plays again?), and Beckham losing his control. I believe Coughlin sealed his fate that day, when he said after the game he was unaware of that OBJ had cost his team 45 yards in personal foul penalties. That’s insane, I coached girls basketball for six years and if I one player that out of control for half a game, I’d have to be drunk, senile or lying to be able to “miss” that behavior.

    That was a nice rant. Thanks, I feel better now.

    (I look forward to seeing Coughlin enter the HOF, but it was time to go. I hope with time, his anger subsides and he is able to find solace in enjoying a life without football.)

  8. From a name recognition standpoint that second group of name sounds great but from a pay to performance standpoint you had to progress through 5 names before you got to a a guy (Maclin) that was worth what he was paid. In fact that list makes a better case for keeping your wallet closed. Suh and Revis were good, not great, but overpaid. Thomas, Flowers, Smith and Spiller were disappointing and Murray, Hardy and Maxwell are already gone from teams that paid them last year.

  9. WHAT? this article should have talked about the reason this bad, very bad, GM who drafted 38 players from 2008-2012.
    13 never made there rookie deal, and another whopping 18 players are out of the NFL!
    Reese somehow stayed? Marc Ross the Director of College Personnel, is somehow still employed there?
    The owners are just inherited rich kids, whose fathers left them the team. One a lawyer, Mara, the other a film-maker?
    This team has many issues and they start at the owners and you know, trickle down, the front office is Ross, Chris Mara, and Reese. Notice Chris Mara, yep the team is loaded with relatives and old cronies and until the ship gets a new direction in the person of a total control Director of Football Operations, don’t expect much to change, YET.

  10. Giants will improve record wise in 2016… But 2017 and 2018 they’ll be right back to the same underachieving group they’ve always been. It’s the culture that coughlin created. … That will be perpetuated with the retention of the same staff

  11. Reese has been a mostly lousy GM during his tenure, and these offseason moves reek of desperation. Year after year, the better teams employ the same consistent approach to free agency, and they remain the better teams.

  12. @thealmightybigblue what a stumblebum you are. you babbling fool. You haven’t beaten us since 2013. And you’ll lose both of them again this year. Bring the ruckus.

  13. Reese is a bum. I’m gonna love watching the giants fail. They are in New York just like the league office. There successes where because there the nfls house team

  14. thealmightybigblue says:
    Mar 13, 2016 2:52 PM
    The Eagles are one of the most failure franchises in sports and are the ugly step-child of the nfc east. Just thought I should remind some posters.


    “Eagles are one the most failure franchises in sports…”

    LOL this sentence is a failure.

  15. thefootballgodssay says:
    Mar 13, 2016 3:43 PM
    Pft said the giants could have got suh and revis last year the giants only had 11 million under the cap so explain to us how

    12 4
    No way this is true. Who did the Giants lose this offseason that would make them go from 11 million in cap space to over 50 million in one year? You guys aren’t very bright…

  16. Cant knock Reese for trying something different (compared to previous offseasons). Management obviously sees a chance to win a SB once or twice in next four years. GM’s and coaches/owners get criticized for not being aggressive enough AND signing too many players. Oh wait they also can’t over reach or over pay (even though they are competing against all the other teams) without being criticized. Off season football articles like this are really comical and have to substance.

    What exactly can Reese do THIS offseason and not warrant criticism in the eyes of almighty PFT?? Sorry Jerry you signed three of the top 10 FA but you should have had all this money available LAST year so you’re still worthless. Dammed if you do damned if you don’t.

    Give the guy a break as a Giants fan I’m happy he is obviously GM-ing with a sense of urgency!

  17. I guess some fans don’t know about dead money smh eagles fans BTW in 2017 giants got 59 million under the cap 2018 the giants got 78 million under the cap 2019 the giants got 112 million under the cap

  18. Revis overrated? Wait-What? He gave up on bad Touchdown to B-Hop on an Island all
    By himself! He gave up a couple of first downs to Watkins in the Buffalo game? ( That’s not the reason the Jets lost to Buffalo anyways, it was Fitz!) before Peeps make stupid comments like Revis is overrated? Know your facts first! Revis is the only Corner in the NFL that completely plays 1 on 1 with ZERO help! Is he the Revis of 09? No, but he’s still the best in the NFL! Only other player that comes close to Revis is Peterson, who also gets ZERO help in coverage! No I’ll take a Revis at 50% then the rest of these Corners at 100%! Look up the Stats before you comment! When you do look at them? Realize that Revis is at the top and plays strictly COVER ZERO!

  19. elifan4life says:
    Mar 13, 2016 2:24 PM

    umm did you see how Revis and Suh played in 2015? no thanks ,,,
    I did see Suh play, and he was really good for his position (even at DE). He was rated 1 or 2 depending on who you check. As for those around him?

  20. Totally delusional Giants fans!!! Suh is an interior DL and had 6 sacks. Vernon is a DE Pass Rusher and only had 7.5 sacks. Also, he would not even have that much if Cameron Wake was not out half the season.

    How is Vernon so much better than Suh? Revis and Suh have top rankings by PFF, both these guys contribute so much to the big picture that other players get the stats. Suh was a model citizen and had less penalties that Vernon. As a Dolphins fan, I have more right to say this than any other anonymous clown… no way does FA success with big names and contracts result in a winning team. Trust me, we Miami Fans proved this. But hey good luck to you!

  21. Last year’s roster was a 2-14 roster. They got all the way to 6-10 because of Coughlin. Give TC a good roster, and he’s proven he’ll get the team to the playoffs.
    Should have fired Jerry.

  22. 52.5 MILLION GUARANTEED for VERNON?!? All of 7.5 sacks last seas?!?!? Yes, That REEKS of desperation for Reese and crew!!
    Sorry Gints fans maybe next year, prob not though!

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