Why James Daniels should be a top target for the Giants in free agency

james daniels, bears

The New York Giants are in desperate need of reinforcements along the offensive line. The Giants are strapped for cash but will need to make room for upgrades in free agency this offseason. Once they clear enough cap space, New York should head to the open market to find offensive linemen. Among their options, possibly the most compelling of the bunch is Chicago Bears offensive lineman James Daniels.

James Daniels should be one of the Giants’ top targets in the 2022 free agency period. Daniels is an offensive lineman that has experience playing all three interior positions. Additionally, he will be only 25-years-old when the 2022 season begins. Considering his positional versatility and age, James Daniels could be a long-term starter for the Giants if they sign him.

Why the Giants should target James Daniels

James Daniels started all seventeen games at right guard for the Chicago Bears in 2021. Daniels bounced back from a 2020 season that was cut short by injury with a career year this season.

James was a top-10 player from Week 4 on according to PFF’s grades. He earned a career-high 71.0 PFF grade in 2021 as he played 1,121 snaps and allowed only 3 sacks and 40 pressures on the season. The Iowa alum has peak athleticism at the guard position that makes him a perfect fit in a zone-blocking scheme. Daniels is young, athletic, and would be an instant-upgrade at guard for the Giants in pass-protection. He also has experience starting at both left and right guard, giving him the positional versatility that the Giants need.

“From Week 4 through the end of the season, Daniels’ 75.8 overall grade ranked 12th among guards. His 71.8 pass-blocking grade ranked 27th among players at the position, and his 76.3 run-blocking grade ranked 17th.” –PFF on James Daniels in 2021

Pro Football Focus projects a contract of five years, $50 million ($10M per year, $24M total guaranteed) for James Daniels in free agency. This might not be a bargain-bin option, but Daniels could be a long-term starter for the Giants. If the New York Giants are able to free up some cap space for this offseason, James Daniels might be the perfect target to help revamp their offensive line.

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