The New York Giants Should Target An Under The Radar Pass Rusher In Free Agency

The New York Giants defense was one of the worst in the NFL in 2018. One of the reasons for the defense’s failure was the lack of a pass-rush. The Giants finished 31st in the NFL with only 30 total sacks in the 2018 season.

Upgrading the defense is a priority in the 2019 offseason. Especially after the Giants traded away their best pass-rusher. While the Giants do have a potential replacement on the roster, nothing is certain at this point. The Giants are likely to add another edge defender through free agency or the draft.

With a lack of cap space, the Giants probably will not be shopping at the top of the market. Luckily, there are solid free agent options that will go under the radar, such as former Denver Broncos edge defender Shaquil Barrett.

Why The Giants Should Sign Shaquil Barrett

Edge defenders are an important position for any team trying to compete for a Super Bowl. The New York Giants’ Super Bowl runs relied on their impressive passing rushing abilities.

With great emphasis placed on the edge position, players will get paid large salaries in the 2019 free agency period. At the top of the market are Preston Smith and Za’darius Smith. The Giants are reportedly interested in the Smiths, but with less than $30 million in cap space, they are not likely to be the highest bidder.

With Preston and Za’darius expected to receive around $14 million per year, the Giants might want to sign an under-the-radar edge defender to a lesser contract.

Shaquil Barrett, formerly of the Denver Broncos, is a free agent in 2019. Barett was replaced the last offseason by the Broncos’ first-round pick, Bradley Chubb. Shaquil showed flashes in Denver but was never given an opportunity as the starter.

According to Spotrac, Shaquil Barrett has a market value of a $7,126,944 salary. This low-risk, high-reward deal could be perfect for the Giants. This deal would be half the price of a top-tier edge rusher but has the potential to provide even more productivity.

The Broncos, of course, have one of the best edge defenders in the NFL in Von Miller. It was difficult for Barrett to make his way on the field with Miller running the show. Regardless, Barett was solid when he was on the field. He posted a Pro Football Focus grade in 2018 of 75.9 and he has graded at 75.0 or higher in each of his first four NFL seasons.

Despite his lack of playing time, Shaquil Barrett proved to be a quality player for the Broncos’ defense. He did not start a single game in 2018, but he played in 13 and totaled 3 sacks, 6 tackles for loss, 28 tackles, and 7 quarterback hits. These stats do not tell the full story of Shaquil Barrett.

Barrett has the potential to be a serious force off the edge. If Barrett were to become a starter in Big Blue, he could surpass Olivier Vernon’s production levels.