New York Giants: Top Three Big-Name Free Agent Targets In 2020

The New York Giants are rebuilding their 4-12 roster this offseason. New York hired its new head coach Joe Judge and is continuing to fill out its coaching staff. Judge and general manager Dave Gettleman will work this offseason endlessly to turn this team around and build a competitive roster.

This process will begin in March with the opening of free agency. The Giants can be big spenders this year if they want to be. They are estimated by Spotrac to have over $69 million in cap space before they start trimming the fat and cutting veteran contracts.

This influx of cap space could allow the Giants to shop near the top of the free agency market. Luckily for them, this is a loaded group of free agents hitting the open market in 2020. If the Giants go after the big-names, who should their top targets be?

Yannick Ngakoue

The Jacksonville Jaguars seem destined to lose one of their best players this offseason. Edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue is due for a new contract, and the two sides do not appear anywhere close to completing a deal. Last offseason, Ngakoue held out of training camp in hopes of a contract extension.

This offseason, Ngakoue will hit the open market as one of the most highly-coveted free agents. Through 4 seasons, Ngakoue has totaled 37.5 sacks. He has not had a single season in his career with less than 8 sacks, hitting that number in all 4 seasons, including a career-high 12 sacks in 2017. Additionally, Ngakoue has totaled 122 combined tackles over 4 years.

At only 24 years-old, Yannick Ngakoue would be a vital building block for the future of the Giants’ future. However, Yannick’s talents would not come cheap. The pass-rusher has an estimated market value of $17.1 million, according to Spotrac. This would create a significant dent in the Giants’ salary cap. But at a position of such great need for the Giants, it would be worth it to pay for the upgrade with Yannick Ngakoue.

Byron Jones

Another defensive building block will be available at the top of the market this offseason. However, this next option is not a pass-rusher. Byron Jones is a versatile cornerback that makes a significant impact in pass coverage. 

Byron’s versatility prevails through his ability to play both safety and cornerback efficiently. Jones is 6 feet tall and 200 pounds, a large-bodied cornerback with peak physicality to cover larger receivers and tight ends:

The 27-year old defensive back out of Connecticut spent his first five seasons with the division-rival Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are in a bit of trouble regarding their salary cap. They just paid Ezekiel Elliot and Demarcus Lawrence, and they still have not paid Dak Prescott. New head coach Mike McCarthy will have some tough decisions to make regarding the team’s impending free agents, and he might have to let some big names walk out the door. Byron Jones could be one of those big names to depart.

According to Pro Football Focus, Jones had a forced incompletion rate of 15.1%, which ranked 22nd among corners through Week 17, and he held opponents to a 22nd-ranked 11.0 yards per reception. Jones has also tallied 20 passes defended over the last two seasons to go with 111 combined tackles in the same span.

The Giants’ youthful secondary has a lot of inexperienced cornerbacks that have yet to prove themselves as capable starters at the professional level. Throwing Byron Jones into the mix would give the Gmen a reliable cornerback to gel the defense together.

Jack Conklin

The Tennessee Titans’ former All-Pro offensive tackle Jack Conklin will be a free agent this offseason. The right tackle is 25 years old, with four years of NFL experience under his belt. Conklin will be by far the best offensive tackle available this offseason.

Offensive tackle is a significant position of need for the New York Giants. Their 2019 right tackle Mike Remmers was only committed to a one-year deal and will likely walk away in free agency this offseason. On the opposite side, left tackle Nate Solder has seen a drastic decrease in quality-of-play and is being paid top-tier money. The Giants could look to move on from Nate sooner than later.

It is not a stretch to say that Conklin would be a notable upgrade over either of the Giants’ current offensive tackles. Conklin is not an excellent pass-protector, but he is a versatile and reliable run-blocker. According to PFF, Conklin finished with the No. 6 grade on zone runs, and the No. 14 mark on gap runs.

Jack Conklin was selected as a First-Team All-Pro during his rookie season in 2016. Since then, Conklin has not been quite as good, but he has still been one of the best right tackles in the NFL. Signing Jack Conklin would instantly turn one of the Giants’ positions of need into a position of strength.

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