A few of the holes that the Giants have to address before the 2014 season will be the offensive line, wide receiver, running back and tight end. Coincidentally enough, the Packers have free agents in every area that could interest the Giants. We’ve gone into great detail and length on what the arrival of Ben McAdoo as the offensive coordinator will do for the New York Giants offense in 2014 as they will change into the West Coast style offensive scheme and allow them to be a more up-tempo and highly aggressive on the field. But, aside from the actual system of offense that will be ran, McAdoo’s new presence now in New York could be felt in the offseason — especially when the team goes to lure in potential free agents and maybe even those that know him from when he coached in Green Bay.
Free Agent Running Backs
Starting with the running back situation, what the Giants decide to do will all depend on the health of David Wilson and what happens following his neck surgery from the spinal stenosis injury he suffered back in Week 5 and ultimately, ended his season. But if Wilson can’t play in 2014, that really changes things for the Giants considering the only running back whose healthy and under contract is Michael Cox and that simply won’t cut it. James Starks is available, and while he might not have the most impressive numbers or the draw that someone like Maurice Jones-Drew or Darren McFadden might, Starks has shown that he can have success in the Packers offense that will be ran now by the Giants and could benefit from McAdoo calling it and the familiarity might be something he likes. Plus, unlike free agents like Jones-Drew, Starks likely wouldn’t break the bank.
Free Agent Wide Receivers
The wide receiver position is one that the Giants will need to figure out, especially if Hakeem Nicks isn’t retained. Many think that the team could look to the draft for a new and younger receiver for Eli Manning to target, but there are options in free agency and James Jones is one of them. He’ll be 30 by the time the season starts and isn’t a true number one receiver that the Giants may be looking for, but he can find the end zone and has been a very reliable target for Aaron Rodgers for the last two seasons. He’s hauled in 17 touchdowns over the past two seasons and had at least 785 receiving yards for Green Bay. With the possibility of Nicks’ departure, Jones could be an option if the Giants want to add a wide receiver in free agency, although if they decided to add someone, they might be better off drafting someone.
Free Agent Tight Ends
Shortly after the departure of former offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, he told the media how Brandon Myers was better off as a second tight end and wasn’t fit to be a number one tight end due to his poor ability to be a blocker. His contract after this season is voidable and considering he didn’t live up to the expectations that were placed upon his arrival, it can’t hurt for the Giants to look elsewhere for a tight end, which is where both Andrew Quarless and Jermichael Finley come into place. Quarless is the younger option who got the playing time when Finley got injured and could be seen as the Martellus Bennett type who got stuck behind a top starter and is looking to break out and be his own player in the league and could follow McAdoo to New York.
Or, if the Packers decide to hang onto Quarless, Finley might be an extremely attractive option pending that he’s healthy enough to play in 2014 after suffering a spinal injury that required surgery and ended his season after just six games in 2013. If Finley can get back onto the field, he could definitely be a tight end option for the Giants to look at and would be an upgrade to the position over Myers since Finley is a much stronger blocker than Myers ever was; something that really hurt the Giants last season. Finley could like the familiarity of McAdoo being around since he used to be his position coach and would fit into the offense that he’ll be running. Finley was able to produce in the short time he was on the field, as he put up 25 catches for 300 yards and three touchdowns before going down for the season with the injury.
Free Agent Center
The final player that could intrigue the Giants is center/guard Evan Dietrich-Smith, a veteran offensive lineman who has been with Green Bay since 2009 that started out as a guard but shifted over to the starting center role in 2013 and played all 16 games there. The offensive line may be the Giants biggest need for next season and with Kevin Boothe being a free agent, David Bass a possibility to be cut and Chris Snee potentially having to retire if he can’t recover from his injuries, the Giants could turn to Dietrich-Smith because he not only could step into the starting center role, but if they somehow decide to hang onto Baas and decide to not cut him and his salary, he can easily shift over and start at either guard position. But Dietrich-Smith’s best spot on the line is playing at center and if he were signed, that would be the best place to put him at.