The New York Giants‘ defense exceeded all expectations this season. New York saw incredible performances out of multiple newly-signed free agents. Cornerback James Bradberry had an elite season, totaling 18 passes defended and linebacker Blake Martinez was phenomenal, racking up 151 combined tackles.
But the Giants’ defense was not perfect and did have a glaring weakness. The Giants’ edge rushers struggled to create consistent pressure on the quarterback and were often injured. New York could be in the market for an edge rusher this offseason, and there is a familiar name they could consider.
In Week 14, the Giants’ offensive line was terrorized by one edge rusher on the Arizona Cardinals. Haason Reddick dominated the Giants and racked up five sacks. Now, with Reddick set to become a free agent in March, he could be a name to keep in eye on as the Giants look to improve their pass-rush.
Haason Reddick stats and highlights
The Arizona Cardinals’ defense benefited from the breakout season of Haason Reddick in 2020. Reddick posted a career-high 12.5 sacks this season, breaking his previous career-high of 4 sacks in 2018. With this being Reddick’s firs time posting double-digit sacks in his career, some might be concerned that 2020 was just a fluke. But regardless, he will get paid as he has proven to be a solid pass-rusher in the NFL.
Pro Football Focus recently suggested that the New York Giants could pursue Haason Reddick in free agency this offseason. PFF pointed out that no Giants edge rusher recorded 20 or more pressures in 2020, but Haason Reddick had 56 total pressures this season on 412 pass-rushing snaps, 26 of which came in the last month of the season.
The reason for Reddick’s slow start to his career was a position change. In college, Haason played edge rusher. Once he made it to the NFL, though, the Cardinals decided to convert him to an off ball linebacker. This conversion was only mildly successful, though, and the Cardinals decided this season that it was best to move him back to his original position.
After switching back to the edge, Reddick had a slow start to the season, but really picked it up towards the end of the year. Haason totaled 7.5 sacks and 13 pressures from Weeks 14 to 17. He seemed to hit a real groove before season’s end and could be looking at an even larger breakout in 2021, his second season playing edge rusher in the NFL.
The New York Giants schemed together many pressures and sacks in 2020, but the roster could greatly benefit from having a consistent pass-rushing presence off the edge. The Giants should consider taking a chance on Haason Reddick if the price is right in free agency this offseason.