The New York Giants locked in their 53-man roster on Tuesday afternoon, but keep your eyes peeled for waiver claims on Wednesday. Though the team ideally needs to bolster its offensive line and fortify weaker spots, the front office has been on its toes over the last week. They executed two trades that carry significant upside potential.
A Versatile Addition: Isaiah Simmons’ Arrival
One of the high-upside trades saw the Giants acquiring Isaiah Simmons from the Arizona Cardinals. In Simmons, the Giants see untapped potential waiting to be leveraged. During his tenure with the Cardinals, Simmons saw action at multiple positions: 1086 snaps in the box, 63 at free safety, and 645 in the slot. By moving him around on the defense, the Giants aim to extract his maximum value.
Simmons, for now, is on the roster as a linebacker. But with his athletic versatility, he’s poised for an array of roles come the 2023 season kickoff. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale is expected to get innovative with the former first-round pick, utilizing him both as a pass rusher and in coverage scenarios.
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In their quest to amp up the roster’s athletic profile this off-season, the Giants found a gem in Simmons. The cost? A seventh-round pick and shouldering $1 million of his salary. Given that Simmons is heading into a contract year, this trade is remarkably low-risk for potentially high-impact. Last season, Simmons recorded 70 tackles, a 11.7% missed tackle rate, 527 yards given up in coverage, and contributed two interceptions and three pass breakups.
While Simmons is expected to improve in coverage and run-stopping, the starting linebacker role seems slated for second-year player Micah McFadden. Known for his run-stopping abilities, McFadden’s presence means Simmons may initially be used in a more rotational role.
The Edge-Setter: The Giants Acquire Boogie Basham
Giants General Manager Joe Schoen synced up with Buffalo Bills GM Brandon Beane, resulting in the acquisition of former second-round pass rusher Boogie Basham right before the 53-man roster deadline.
Basham brings an impressive physical presence, standing at 6’3″ and weighing 274 pounds. This size advantage helps in controlling the edge and providing vital backup for the team’s primary starters. At just 25 years old and entering his third NFL season, the Wake Forest alumnus still has considerable untapped potential, and the Giants hope to be the ones unlocking it.
Last year, Basham notched 24 pressures, consisting of three sacks, four quarterback hits, and 17 hurries. His tackling stats include 11 completed tackles and five misses, translating to a 20.8% missed tackle rate. Although the sample size is small, the Giants are willing to cut him some slack. Particularly noteworthy is Basham’s early 2022 performance, where he collected seven total pressures, five quarterback hurries, two stops in the run game, and even snagged an interception against Los Angeles.
The Giants dealt their 2025 6th-round pick for Basham and received a 2025 7th-round pick in return. This suggests the Giants see solid upside in Basham, envisioning him as a scheme fit who could alleviate fatigue for key players like Leonard Williams or even transition to an outside linebacker role.