The New York Giants’ season is coming to a close and after a disappointing campaign, there is likely to be plenty of roster overturn in the offseason. Within the team’s list of impending free agents are a few key players who have played well enough this season to earn extensions with the team.
Has Xavier McKinney done enough to earn his extension?
Plenty of controversy has surrounded Giants safety Xavier McKinney this season. However, the defensive captain has risen above the outside noise and gone on a stellar run over the past few weeks of the season.
Pro Football Focus listed McKinney as one of the NFL’s pending 2024 free agents who have raised their stock the most this season. McKinney’s coverage grades in 2023 when lined up as a free safety, down in the box, and in the slot are all top-10 marks among safeties, per PFF. His 90.9 PFF coverage grade from Week 11 to Week 14 ranked first at his position.
McKinney has totaled a career-high 94 combined tackles this season to go along with eight passes defended, two fumble recoveries, and one interception. As a leader of the defense and one of the team’s best players, McKinney should be a priority for re-signing in the offseason.
Isaiah Simmons is providing excellent depth to the Giants’ linebacker corps
The emergence of Bobby Okereke and Micah McFadden has given the Giants a formidable linebacker duo this season. But behind their top two guys, Isaiah Simmons has proven his value as an excellent depth piece to round out the team’s linebacker corps.
The Giants took a chance on Simmons this season, trading a late-round draft pick to acquire him from the Arizona Cardinals. Simmons was a former first-round pick who struggled to live up to the hype in Arizona but is settling into a versatile depth role with Big Blue.
This season, Simmons has recorded 39 combined tackles, two passes defended, and one interception (a 54-yard pick-six) as he contributes to the team’s pass-defending personnel packages. It would be wise for the Giants to keep Simmons around and let him continue to develop in their defensive system, potentially expanding his role in future seasons.
Ben Bredeson gives the team consistency on the offensive line
Ben Bredeson has been a permanent fixture in the Giants’ offensive line this season. He’s made 13 starts across three different positions, contributing at both guard spots and the center position. Primarily serving as the team’s starting right guard, Bredeson has surrendered 29 pressures and four sacks this season, earning a career-low 45.2 overall PFF grade.
It hasn’t been Bredeson’s best season, but his consistent availability makes him a valuable player for Big Blue. Injuries happen frequently on the offensive line, but Bredeson is always ready to answer the call and contribute meaningful snaps in a pinch.
While Bredeson won’t prevent the team from adding talent to the offensive line, he can still contribute as a solid backup and should be retained to at least remain in that role.