With the New York Giants in secondary purgatory, finding a serviceable safety to prowl the backfield is a necessity going into the 2018 season. Third-year players Darian Thompson and Andrew Adams have struggled in previous years to remain consistent at the free safety position. Injuries have stalled Thompson’s career and Adams has lacked the ability to hold up in coverage and make open field tackles.
With Curtis Riley earning first-team reps with Thompson out with a leg injury, things seem to be “up in the air” at this point in the offseason.
Here’s one FA safety the Giants should consider:
The Bengals recently released 28 year-old safety George Iloka. At 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, Iloka is above average in size for the free safety position. He has averaged 75 tackles and 7 passes defended per season since entering the league in 2012. The decision to cut the safety was purely financial based, which poses a serious issue for the Giants who have less than $1 million in open-cap.
Big Blue would have to cut several players to make room for Iloka – let’s take a look at a few that could see the ax:
1.) WR Russell Shepard – $1 million
2.) OT Nick Becton – $705k
3.) QB Alex Tanney – $550k
4.) WR Marquis Bundy – $550k
Adding all of this allocated money up equals $2.805 million. Adding on the current cap-space would give them around $4 million to work with – this might be enough to offer Iloka a one-year deal.
Now, it’s important to realize that when the Giants begin to cut players to reach the 52 man roster, there will be cap-space available. Iloka could last until that time on the open market, but the Giants should likely consider pouncing quickly considering the lack of talent they have at the position.
Having a sizable player like Iloka would help James Bettcher monitor tight ends in coverage and allow help over the top for when linebackers are forced to drop back.
Considering the salary-cap factors and the amount of players it would take for the Giants to have a shot at signing him, is it worth taking a flier on the talented safety?