New York Giants Free Agency Tracker: Updated Signings, Rumors and Grades

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 10, 2014

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, left, and general manager Jerry Reese walk off the field after a minicamp in East Rutherford, N.J., Thursday, June 13, 2013.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

Updates from Monday, April 28

Michael Eisen of confirms the team has signed quarterback Rusty Smith:

The Giants added to their collection of quarterbacks today when they signed Rusty Smith, who spent his first four NFL seasons with the Tennessee Titans.

Smith’s arrival gives the Giants five quarterbacks – starter Eli Manning, 2013 reserves Curtis Painter and Ryan Nassib, and former first-round draft choice and ex-Buccaneer and Viking Josh Freeman, who was signed a week ago. Manning is recovering from arthroscopic ankle surgery and is not expected to begin running until next month.

Updates from Wednesday, April 16's Adam Caplan reports that the Giants are close to finalizing a deal with Josh Freeman:

Ian Rapoport of later confirmed the Giants signed Freeman:

Updates from Sunday, Mar. 16

ESPN's Adam Schefter and CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora report the Giants and Walter Thurmond have agreed to a contract: 

Conor Orr of previously reported the Giants and Quintin Demps have agreed to a contract:

Updates from Friday, Mar. 14

Henry Hynoski posted an image on Twitter of himself re-signing with the Giants:

Updates from Thursday, Mar. 13

ESPN's Adam Schefter provided details on Jon Beason's contract:

USA Today's Tom Pelissero reports that the Giants are signing Jameel McClain:

Updates from Wednesday, Mar. 12

Rashad Jennings announced that he has officially inked a 4-year contract with the Giants:

The Giants have reportedly re-signed three of their own free agents, agreeing to terms with safety Stevie Brown, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Jon Beason, according to Aditi Kinkhabwala, and kicker Josh Brown's announcement via Twitter that he was staying with the team. 

Stevie Brown is a risk-reward gamble after tearing his ACL last year. He played in all 16 games with the Giants two years ago, recording 64 total tackles and eight interceptions. 

Josh Brown had an excellent first season in New York, hitting on 23 of his 26 field goal attempts and all 31 extra point attempts. 

Two solid moves for the Giants, who still have to figure out several positions before the market completely dwindles. 

Updates from Tuesday, Mar. 11

Conor Orr of reports Peyton Hillis and the Giants have agreed to terms:

Given the team's need for an experienced running back in wake of David Wilson's injury concerns, this is a solid "B" signing for the organization.

Original Text

Following a disappointing 7-9 season, the New York Giants enter free agency with a lot of questions to be answered. 

The Giants aren't the biggest spenders in free agency, opting to retain their own key players instead of investing big money in aging stars, but that could change after last year's lackluster showing. 

A problem they will have spending on free agents this offseason is lack of cap space. They do have some money available, approximately $17.5 million, according to

According to Alex Marvez of Fox Sports, the Giants were one of three teams that didn't have any salary-cap carryover from 2013:

That means they spent all of their allotted cap money last year and don't get to apply any of the savings to their cap this season. 

Tom Coughlin returns as head coach for his 11th season. He was entering the final year of his previous deal before signing a one-year extension that will keep him in New York through 2015. That might be the most notable deal the team signs this offseason. 

New York's front office and ownership group clearly view stability on the coaching staff. They have had three head coaches since 1993, winning two Super Bowls along the way. That trust in Coughlin is what has made the Giants so successful throughout his tenure. 

Let's not forget that with all their problems at the beginning of 2013, the Giants went 7-3 after an 0-6 start. Eli Manning may never be the best quarterback in the NFL, but when he has an offensive line to protect him, he's really good. 

The Giants aren't a team that has to undergo a drastic overhaul to compete in the volatile NFC East. A tweak or two here and there might be good enough. 

Giants 2014 Free-Agent Class

New York Giants Free Agents
PlayerPosition2014 TeamContract Details
Hakeem NicksWR
Terrell ThomasCB
Justin TuckDERaidersReported $11M for 2 years
Jon BeasonLBGiantsReported $19M for 3 years
Kevin BootheG
Stevie BrownSGiantsReported $4M for 1 year
Andre BrownRB
Josh BrownKGiantsN/A
Jim CordleC
Peyton HillisRBGiantsReported $1.8M for 2 years
Henry HynoskiFBGiants$1M for 1 year
Chad JonesS
Linval JosephDTVikingsReported $31.5M for 5 years
Trumaine McBrideCBGiantsReported 2 years, $3.1 million
Ryan MundySBearsReported for 2 years ($ undisclosed)
Louis MurphyWR
Brandon MyersTEBuccaneersReported 2 years, $4.25 million
Curtis PainterQBGiantsN/A
Bear PascoeTE
Mike PattersonDE
Keith RiversLBBillsReported 2 years, $5 million
Shaun RogersDT
Aaron RossCB
Corey WebsterCB

Offseason Acquisitions

New York Giants 2014 Offseason Acquisitions
PlayerPosition2013 TeamContract Details
Rashad JenningsRBRaidersN/A
O'Brien SchofieldLBSeahawksReported $8M for 2 years
JD WaltonCBroncosTBA
Jameel McClainLBRavensTBA

Team Needs

Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

Offensive Line (Center): Much was made of Eli Manning's struggles in 2013, some of which were his fault. You can't throw 27 interceptions without making some mistakes. Unfortunately, the offensive line didn't give him a lot of time, as he was sacked 39 times. 

Pro Football Focus had the Giants ranked as the fourth-worst offensive line last year and 31st in pass blocking. David Diehl graded out horribly in his transition to right guard. Losing center David Bass to knee problems certainly impacted Manning. 

Cornerback: Prince Amukamara gives the Giants one reliable starter in the secondary. After that, there are a lot of questions. Free agent Trumaine McBride was effective as a starter for the Giants, recording 15 passes defended, two forced fumbles and two interceptions in 15 games. They need depth and a second starter to plug in opposite Amukamara. 

Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

Wide Receiver: Two years ago, the Giants never would have let Hakeem Nicks go. Now, after two disappointing seasons, he has little chance of returning to New York and is already exploring his options ahead of free agency. Rueben Randle performed well in 2013, catching six touchdowns with over 600 yards, but the team needs more depth on the outside. Jerrel Jernigan could be a valuable slot option, but he's never caught more than 29 passes in a season. 

Running Back: Another problem position last year that wasn't helped by a porous offensive line, running back has to be a target area for the Giants. They have finished in the bottom five of the league in rushing yards two of the last three years. David Wilson missed the last 11 games last year after undergoing neck surgery. Andre Brown was given a chance to start but could muster just 3.5 yards per carry. 

Tight End: Brandon Myers came to New York last year after four seasons with the Oakland Raiders, including a 79-catch, 806-yard campaign in 2012. He regressed badly in 2013, catching just 47 passes for 522 yards and 28 first downs. Manning is at his best when he's got that safety net over the middle, which he didn't have last year. 

Latest Giants Free Agency Rumors

Giants in on TE Andrew Quarless

Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

The Green Bay Packers have two free-agent tight ends this offseason. Jermichael Finley is the one who will draw a lot of buzz, but Andrew Quarless might have more upside. The latter appears to be of serious interest to the Giants. 

According to Jordan Raanan and Conor Orr of, New York has shown interest in the 25-year-old tight end:

Andrew Quarless, who worked under new Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo as a tight end in Green Bay, drew early interest from the team this weekend, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The fact that Quarless has a relationship with a member of New York's coaching staff can't hurt the team's chances of signing him. He's never entered a season as a full-time starter, but he did take over after Finley got injured last year. 

Quarless is still raw, especially when it comes to run blocking. Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel quoted Packers tight ends coach Jerry Fontenot in December as saying, "He plays high. We need more out of him at the point of attack and finish. We’ve talked about that."

With age and upside on his side, Quarless represents a clear improvement for the Giants from the disappointment that was Myers. They will have plenty of competition for him, as the report says the Giants were one of seven teams to contact him. 

Giants "serious" about C Evan Dietrich-Smith

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 01:  Nick Fairley #98 of the Detroit Lions rushes against Evan Dietrich-Smith #62 of the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on January 1, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Lions 45-41.  (Photo by Jonathan Danie
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

In their effort to remake themselves in the image of the Green Bay Packers, the Giants are also reportedly targeting their center, Even Dietrich-Smith, according to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News: 

The Giants were left in a lurch last year when Bass got hurt, relying on an unproven Jim Cordle. With Bass being 32 and counting more than $8 million against the salary cap in 2014 and 2015, according to, the Giants will have decisions to make. 

Dietrich-Smith will turn 28 in July and was the ninth-ranked center in football, according to Pro Football Focus (h/t, subscription required). Bill Huber of wrote about Green Bay's improved running game with him under center: 

Dietrich-Smith has provided some much-needed horsepower to the running game. They’re averaging 5.5 yards per rush on middle-left carries and 4.6 on middle-right carries compared to 3.1 and 3.2 last season, according to According to the league’s media-only stats site, the Packers are averaging a full yard per carry more up the middle compared to last year.

For a team with as many holes up front as the Giants had, finding a player like Dietrich-Smith on the market should be considered a no-brainer. Sometimes need and availability match perfectly, making for a long, prosperous marriage. 

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