Should the Giants target this former All-Pro safety in free agency?

New York Giants, Justin Simmons
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 22: Justin Simmons #31 of the Denver Broncos stands on the field as he warms up before a game against the Detroit Lions at Empower Field at Mile High on December 22, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Just because the New York Giants have a steady secondary does not mean that they should not look for ways to make it an elite unit this offseason. The Giants said goodbye to safety Xavier McKinney this winter. Now, they have room for an A-list candidate to take his place.

Giants could sign former All-Pro safety Justin Simmons this spring

Former Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons is on the market. The four-time All-Pro defensive back was released by the Broncos on March 7 and is now an unrestricted free agent.

Simmons has much to offer the Giants’ defense. The 30-year-old had three interceptions and eight defended passes in 2023. His aptitude for getting his hands on the football showed.

Pro Football Focus gave the eight-year veteran a 67.9 player grade, as he also only allowed 23 receptions on the year. Simmons would give New York a competent free safety that moves his feet well and finds ways to pick off opposing quarterbacks with a great sense of timing and elusiveness.

Would a Justin Simmons signing be a wise financial move for the Giants?

Financially, the Giants would likely be looking at an eight-figure annual salary to acquire the Boston College product. Simmons was owed $18.5 million in 2024, the last year of his four-year, $61 million contract with the Broncos before he was cut. Denver wound up saving $14.5 million in cap space as a result of the move.

New York has $7.47 million at their disposal. Even if Simmons were to agree to a lower-scale deal to join the Giants, he’d likely be their final addition of the offseason. Many other teams, including the Giants’ NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles and the Los Angeles Rams, are linked to the Pro Bowler.

Giants general manager Joe Schoen would have to assess whether the team is secure enough at free safety with Jason Pinnock and Gervarrious Owens or if they’d be considerably better with Simmons in town. New York is not heading into the 2024 NFL campaign with serious playoff projections, so in a transition year that has seen the departure of Saquon Barkley and could see starting QB Daniel Jones follow him out of the door, a Simmons addition could go both ways.

Simmons’ impact goes without saying. He’d be a smart acquisition so long as the Giants can appease him in the long run and form a winning structure around him. Inside linebacker Bobby Okereke is championing for the team to add a star DB to the secondary, so Simmons could be the valued piece that solidifies their unit.

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