Giants re-sign free agent linebacker after solid first season in New York

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) is sacked by New York Giants safety Isaiah Simmons (19) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah Simmons was a first-round pick back in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Clemson, considered one of the most exciting and versatile defensive players in his draft class. After struggling in Arizona, the New York Giants would spend just a sixth-round pick to acquire his services, and after a solid first season in the Meadowlands, he’s being re-signed to a deal according to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News. Last season, the 25-year-old linebacker racked up 50 total tackles, performing well specifically in coverage situations.

He played in all 17 games for the Giants, and he should help further bolster a defense that got a massive overhaul this offseason.

Isaiah Simmons Signs Back With the Giants in Free Agency

NFL: Washington Commanders at New York Giants
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

There was quite a lot to like from what the New York Giants got out of Isaiah Simmons, especially since they traded just a sixth-round pick to acquire his services. He was targeted in coverage 21 times, allowing a 77.2 Passer Rating when targeted with a career-best 82.7 Coverage Grade according to PFF. He isn’t a star-caliber player, but he can certainly help bolster a defense on certain downs, and considering the addition of Brian Burns earlier in the offseason, the Giants could have one of the best defenses in the NFL this season.

Depth is extremely important when it comes to building a strong NFL roster, as injuries also ate the Giants alive last year amidst the chaos of a lost campaign. Simmons will re-join a linebacking group headlined by Bobby Okereke, who was remarkable last season in his debut year with New York as well. As the Giants near closer to the draft, the biggest question regarding the roster remains what they’ll do on offense, with the quarterback position under much scrutiny after years of middling performances.

nfl: combine, joe schoen, new york giants
Feb 28, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen speaks to the press at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

As the Isaiah Simmons deal pends a physical, the Giants will have to figure out how they’ll use their sixth-overall pick this upcoming draft season. They’ve held meetings with the top quarterbacks of this draft class, and they would like to select one of the top options, but who they’ll get to select is unclear. Caleb Williams is a lock to go first overall to the Chicago Bears, and it looks as if the second and third picks of the draft will also be spent on quarterbacks, with the Minnesota Vikings looming as a team that could trade up with the Arizona Cardinals/

There has been chatter about potentially trading down, although there would be some nice offensive weapons they could pick up such as Malik Nabers if they wanted to bolster their wide receiver room. The secondary could also use some help, and there are talented cornerbacks in this draft class as well. Most of the heavy lifting with this roster has been done in the free agency period, but this draft will be one of the most impactful in recent memory due to the implications it coul d have at the quarterback position.

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