New York Giants: Will Big Blue Re-Sign Kenny Phillips for 2013?

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IFebruary 24, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 19:  Kenny Phillips #21 of the New York Giants against the Philadelphia Eagles at New Meadowlands Stadium on December 19, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

When Giants fans think of free agency, most turn their thoughts to Victor Cruz.

Cruz is perhaps the biggest free agent that the Giants need to bring back, but they have others they need to focus on.

One free agent that the team needs to make a decision on is safety Kenny Phillips.

The former first-round pick of the 2008 NFL draft is set to hit the free-agent market on March 12 and he's not the only safety who is a free agent for the Giants.

Stevie Brown is also a free agent for the team as well, but is a restricted free agent. However, I think Brown is expected to be back considering he might not cost as much to retain.

Phillips however, could get more in a contract since he's a talented player when he's healthy.

His health is a major cause for concern though, playing in just seven games in 2012, in which Brown got the majority of starts in place of Phillips.

However, the secondary struggled at times when Phillips wasn't on the field, and the results showed.

Towards the later part of the season, Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell started using a three-safety look using Phillips, Brown and Antrel Rolle all at the same time on the field, and for the most part, the new look worked.

And now, after five years with the team that drafted him, Phillips is a free agent who could get a decent payday as one of the top safeties on the market.

With all of the other players the Giants have to focus on, do they bring back Phillips too?

Right now, it's very tough to make a concrete decision because of all the factors involved.

For instance, there is the salary cap factor, which is the reason why the team had to cut Ahmad Bradshaw, Michael Boley and Chris Canty.

Plus, not only were all three cut for salary reasons, they were also all injury-prone players too, something in which Phillips is as well.

Also, are the Giants ready to go with Brown and someone like Will Hill as the backup and move on from Phillips? Does Jerry Reese have that much faith in the depth he has now on the team to let someone as talented as Phillips leave?

And, if Terrell Thomas can't play cornerback anymore, the Giants could possibly move Thomas to safety to take the pressure off his knees.

Personally, I would like to have Phillips back, because he does make the defense a better one.

However, I think there is a team out there like the Denver Broncos, the New England Patriots or even the Baltimore Ravens, who may be looking for safety help this spring, and could offer more playing time and more salary for someone like Phillips.

And to be honest, the Giants have other players like Cruz, Will Beatty, Kevin Boothe, Chase Blackburn and Martellus Bennett to bring back, plus the fact that they want to lock up Hakeem Nicks as well.

So I think it might be a safe bet to say that Phillips could be playing elsewhere come 2013.

Of course, I could always be wrong. The Giants may value Phillips too much to let him walk away and end up bringing him back.

But with all of the other options the Giants have, and with the emergence of Brown in 2012, my gut tells me that Phillips is a likely goner in 2013.

Stay tuned, Giants fans.