The New York Giants waived veteran linebacker BJ Goodson on Monday morning, which could be a pre-disposed move indicating a potential signing in the near future.
With several quality linebackers on the free-agent market, Goodson became expendable. The former Clemson product simply didn’t fit in defensive coordinators James Bettcher’s system, as he is a bigger linebacker that lacks elite athleticism.
Bettcher prefers linebackers that can fly around the field and play close to the line of scrimmage and drop back in coverage.
In addition, Goodson has been injured over the course of his three-year career with the Giants. He played in 15 games, starting 13 of them in 2018. He racked up 61 combined tackles and three quarterback hits. In 2017, he started just seven games before leaving with injury. He is a quality linebacker against the run and plays well close to the line of scrimmage, but has difficulty dropping him back into coverage. He’s essentially a poor man’s Alec Ogletree.
Here are two linebackers the New York Giants could sign:
There are two specific linebackers on the market that could be of interest to the Giants and general manager Dave Gettleman. Former Oakland Raiders linebacker Brandon Marshall could be an option. He recently stated that he used training camp with the Raiders to get back to full health after suffering a serious knee injury last season.
Marshall could be a perfect fit with the Giants, as he is one of the best coverage linebackers in football, according to Raiders coach Jon Gruden. While he might be a bit more expensive, he certainly has the attributes to be a key contributor if signed to the defense.
The second option is former Denver Broncos linebacker, Shane Ray. The former first-round pick has struggled in the NFL up to this point. However, in 2016 he recorded eight sacks and 48 combined tackles. He is fast at the line of scrimmage and can wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks. Finding a way to extract his potential in value is the hard part given his lack of productivity in recent years. He would likely be cheaper than Marshall, but his production would not be as valuable.