The New York Giants have a free safety problem, and his name is Curtis Riley. Finding a replacement for the missed-tackle connoisseur should be a priority this offseason. There are several high profile targets that will be available, but I want to focus on one stud that could be a fantastic option for the next three years or so.
Who the New York Giants just should go after in 2019:
Earl Thomas, yes, that Earl Thomas, the one that played every game for six years straight before missing his first in 2016. Since then, he’s suffered various injuries derailing his career a bit. In 2018, he suffered a season-ending leg injury but will return and is expected to make a full recovery.
That Earl Thomas guy is pretty good. pic.twitter.com/2qvCgqn1kg
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) February 2, 2019
Thomas has only recorded less than two interceptions in a single season once in his nine-year career. He’s as consistent as they come and will likely be a highly sought after acquisition this offseason. But, coming off a serious injury will likely lower his salary-potential considerably.
The star free safety will tun 30 this year, which is concerning in terms of age and the physicality he plays with. If the Giants are interested, a two-year deal worth around $16 million makes sense. The deal would have to be focused around incentives for playing games and not suffering injuries. A $4 million guaranteed per-year with an addition $4 million bonus for playing at least 14 games seems fair.
The Giants would immediately be upgrading their secondary and have the freedom to draft a young free safety that could take over after Thomas’ contract expired.
Now, I’m not entirely against keeping Riley as a reserve option. He has a year of experience in James Bettcher’s offense and has the ability to make plays, albeit infrequently.
Bringing in an established veteran to lead the pack would be a huge boost for a young defense in need of a true leader. Thomas would be the perfect guy to come in and help aid a forward-thinking, success based culture.