You’re GM Joe Schoen for a day. You have the final say on what Giants free agents to sign or to say “bye-bye”. We won’t consider the updated $255.4M 2024 Salary Cap in this exercise, just the players. Most everyone is focused on RB Saquon Barkley and Safety Xavier McKinney.  But there are other key players from 2023 and earlier that the Giants need to consider.  Let’s not forget about CB Adoree Jackson, LB Isaiah Simmons, and OL Ben Bredeson.  Here’s the full list with my initial decision on each:

Unrestricted Free Agents

  • RB Saquon Barkley–Sign him.  The Giants need playmakers.  He’s more versatile than the average RB
  • OL Ben Bredeson–Sign him.  Ben is a solid backup Guard as well as the backup Center.
  • RB Matt Breida–Say “bye-bye”.  With Gray and Brightwell backing up Barkley, Breida is expendable.
  • LB Cam Brown–Solid Special Teams player.  Wait and sign him late.
  • K Randy Bullock–Say “bye-bye”.  Graham Gano will return this year.
  • WR Parris Campbell–Say “bye-bye”. Campbell was a healthy scratch on game days frequently toward the end of the season.
  • LB Carter Coughlin–Say “bye-bye”.  Another solid Special Teams player.  But Giants need depth at LB.
  • LB Jarrad Davis–Say “bye-bye”.  Giants need a major upgrade at Edge/OLB depth.
  • C Sean Harlow–Say “bye-bye”.  Journeyman lineman signed for depth mid-2023 season.  Giants were his 4th team in 4 years.
  • C J.C. Hassenauer–Say “bye-bye”.  Spent 2023 on injured reserve.
  • CB Darnay Holmes–Sign him.  Darnay is a depth CB.  
  • CB Adoree’ Jackson–Sign him.  Jackson was a solid CB1 in 2023.  Tae Banks will be CB1 in 2024 with Jackson CB2.  
  • LS Casey Kreiter–Sign him.  Solid Long snapper.  Apparently, they are hard to find.
  • G Shane Lemieux–Say “bye-bye”.  The Shane experiment needs to end.  He was a turnstile in pass protection when he wasn’t hurt.
  • S Xavier McKinney–Sign him ASAP!!  He’ll be 25 years old.  He was a Captain, played every defensive snap, and is a top Safety.
  • WR Gunner Olszewski–Say “bye-bye”.  Even though he returned a punt for a TD in 2023, let a backup WR/RB do this.
  • OT Matt Peart–Say “bye-bye”. Peart was another project drafted in the Joe Judge era.  Hasn’t worked out.
  • OT Tyre Phillips–Sign him.  Phillips did a decent job taking over for Evan Neal at RT.  
  • OL Justin Pugh–Tough call.  Pugh wants to come back, but would retire if the Giants don’t sign him.  Giants need his leadership.
  • DL A’Shawn Robinson–Sign him.  Solid interior defensive lineman that played well for the Giants in 2023.
  • WR Sterling Shepard–Say “bye-bye” as a player, but sign him to be an Assistant WR Coach.  He’s a leader.
  • LB Isaiah Simmons–Sign him.  Isaiah could thrive in DC Shane Bowen’s system.
  • QB Tyrod Taylor–Say “bye-bye”.  Draft a QB that will challenge Daniel Jones.
  • OLB Jihad Ward–Say “bye-bye”.  A Wink Martindale favorite, but he’s not here anymore.

Restricted Free Agents

  • TE Lawrence Cager–Sign him.  Cager is solid depth backing up Waller and Bellinger.
  • G Wyatt Davis–Say “bye-bye”. Another late add to the 2023 roster for depth.  
  • WR Isaiah Hodgins–Sign him.  He and QB Daniel Jones had a connection in 2022.  Solid depth behind, Hyatt, Robinson, Slayton.
  • CB Nick McCloud–Sign him.  Another depth CB.  McCloud stepped up when called upon in a few games last year.

Exclusive Rights

  • QB Jacob Eason–Maybe for preseason training camp depth.  
  • OLB Benton Whitley–If the Giants upgrade EDGE and OLB positions via free agency and draft, he’ll never see the field.

So, this is my take on “Sign him or say bye-bye”.  What about you?  Which players are your keepers?

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