3 playmakers the Giants could target in free agency

nfl: jacksonville jaguars at tampa bay buccaneers, mike evans, new york giants
Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are going to need a lot of offensive upgrades next season.

With the team coming off one of their worst offensive seasons in the history of the franchise, as well as the possibility of running back Saquon Barkley not returning next season, the Giants are in serious need of playmakers to generate offense.

They could look for those options through the draft like they did last year with Jalin Hyatt, or they could go through the free agency route as they did with signing Parris Campbell last summer, though they didn’t get much value out of either receiver, making their needs for playmaking even greater.

Three Playmakers the Giants Could Add in Free Agency

1. Mike Evans

There was some skepticism that 34-year-old star wide receiver Mike Evans would face a decline with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a quarterback change entering this past season.

However, such a decline did not happen, as he scored 13 touchdowns this season and accumulated 1,255 receiving yards, the 10th consecutive season to start his career with over 1,000 receiving yards.

The Giants have not had a true star receiver since the departure of Odell Beckham Jr., so adding Evans to the mix would undoubtedly give them that. However, there are some drawbacks that make signing him less attractive.

Evans was unable to secure a long-term extension with the Bucs prior to the 2023 season because of lofty contract demands. His age is also a factor to consider, as paying big-name receivers in their 30s has not gone well historically.

If the Giants look to sign him, they will have to ensure that the areas around him are intact, such as the quarterback position and the offensive line. While he is a fantastic receiver who could take New York’s offense to a whole new level, he is someone who will have a lot of risk involved wherever he signs.

2. Calvin Ridley

After missing the entire 2022 season while serving a suspension for sports betting, Calvin Ridley endured a bounce-back season as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ top receiving target, hauling in eight touchdown passes and logging 1,016 yards in 2023.

Pro Football Focus (PFF) projects that Ridley will be franchise-tagged by Jacksonville, though he could seek a different opportunity with a more guaranteed contract.

Ridley excels at big gains for offenses, averaging 13.5 yards per reception for his career. The Giants had just 267 total first downs this past season, which was third worst in the NFL.

Therefore, adding Ridley would give them a player who can net them a ton of yards, though his contract situation will be tricky. Talent-wise, Ridley would certainly be a solid fit.

3. Marquise Brown

A slight downgrade from the likes of Evans and Ridley, Marquise Brown would still be the Giants’ top wide receiver on the depth chart if they were to add him in free agency.

He had four touchdown receptions and 574 receiving yards in 14 games played in 2023. Oddly enough, his production declined after quarterback Kyler Murray’s return, as his target numbers dropped and the production was not great.

Brown as WR1 is probably not the most ideal of situations for the Giants to be in, though if they continue to add from the market as well as develop the in-house talent, he could be a solid secondary option that they can go to in drives.

His price tag wouldn’t be significantly high either, and the Giants can bring him in at an affordable price and further develop him into a solid receiving target.

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