Giants possibly targeting elite pass-rusher and quality offensive guard in free agency

nfl: chicago bears at minnesota vikings, danielle hunter, new york giants
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The New York Giants need reinforcements across the board, and depending on what they do in the 2024 NFL draft, free agency will also be a critical point in this off-season strategy. Of course, free agency opens up before the draft concludes, suggesting that the Giants’ signings could give us a bit of insight into what they are hoping to do with their draft, notably the sixth overall pick.

While many reports have indicated the Giants are considering trading up for a quarterback, it is possible they stick and pick one of the blue-chip prospects available. Malik Nabers continues to be a frequently mocked player to the Giants, representing an elite prospect with the potential to be a key offensive threat for Big Blue.

Quarterback Considerations and Potential Draft Moves

However, the Giants know that Daniel Jones may be playing his last season for New York, given they can save a substantial amount of salary space by releasing him after the 2024 season. With that being a possibility, drafting a quarterback may be advisable, but there’s no telling if one of the top three teams will be willing to move out. It is possible the Giants decide to make a play for JJ McCarthy out of Michigan, but he likely needs a year of development before taking over the team, which could make sense with Jones operating as a potential bridge.

READ MORE: Giants cut veteran guard, free up $5.7 million in cap space

Giants Targeting Key Free Agents for Immediate Impact

However, the Giants are still keen on adding several players this off-season through free agency, notably a top-tier rusher and an offensive lineman. According to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News, the Giants could target Danielle Hunter out of Minnesota and Jonah Jackson from the Lions.

Hunter is coming off one of his best seasons as a professional and is preparing to turn 30 years old this year. The former third-round pick back in 2015 collected 80 pressures, including 18 sacks in 2023 over 1004 snaps. Hunter is one of the league’s best pure pass rushers and has been a consistent threat for the majority of his career.

Given his connection to defensive line coach Andre Patterson, Hunter would make a huge impact for the Giants moving forward, but general manager Joe Schoen would have to commit a substantial contract to a player of this magnitude. There are other pass-rushers, but with Hunter turning 30, he may not get a similar deal to Brian Burns or Josh Allen.

In addition, the Giants also have their eyes on a 27-year-old interior guard who’s coming off a good season with Detroit. Playing 881 snaps, Jackson is a primary left guard, giving up 27 pressures and two sacks this past season. There’s room to grow with him, and he may not be the most costly guard on the market but will certainly command a decent salary. Jackson has an evaluation of about $4 million per season, but given the demand, he could get a bit more than that per season on a long-term deal.

One thing is for sure, the Giants know they need upgrades and free agency should provide a great medium to support that goal. They currently have $32.6 million available salary space but can open up another $25 million by restructuring the contracts of Andrew Thomas and Dexter Lawrence.

Overall, the team could open up an excess of $60 million, not to mention the release of Mark Glowinski, which saves the team $5.7 million, bringing them to about $40 million in available financial freedom.

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