By Alexander George. At the close of the 2015 NFL season, New York Giants owner John Mara accepted Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s resignation. Because of three consecutive seasons in which the team has had more losses than wins, Mara also placed General Manager (GM) Jerry Reese on notice that the 2016 season must be a successful season, especially as the Giants offense was No. 6 in scoring (26.2 PPG) in the league. Failure to improve would cause firing the GM.
Reese addressed the biggest problem the Giants had in the 2015 season, their defense. Last season, the Giants were ranked No. 30 in points allowed per game (27.6). The Giants ranked last in the NFL giving up the most yards per game (420.3) and pass yards per game (298.3). Although the Giants fared slightly better in rush yards allowed ranked twenty-fourth (121.4 YPG), the Giants still needed to improve their rush defense too.
Due to this poor defensive play, the New York Giants have since released thirteen defensive players including CB Prince Amukamara (Jaguars); D Robert Ayers (Buccaneers); DT Marcus Kuhn (Patriots); and, Cullen Jenkins (Free Agent).
To fill the void left by these former Giants, GM Jerry Reese went on a spending spree, acquiring DE Olivier Vernon from the Dolphins (5 years, $85M, $52.5M guaranteed), DT Damon Harrison from the New York Jets (5 years, $46.25M, $24M guaranteed), and CB Janoris Jenkins from the Los Angeles Rams (5 years $62.5M, $28.8M guaranteed). While Reese also added LB Kelvin Shepard (Dolphins) and Keenan Robinson (Redskins), with resigning Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul and MLB Jasper Brinkley, the Giants biggest offseason acquisitions were signing Vernon, Harrison and Jenkins to Big Blue.
By spending over $200 million signing Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison, Janoris Jenkins, and Jason Pierre Paul, with $100 million guaranteed, the most ever spent by GM Jerry Reese in free agency, Reese has clarified it money is not an issue. Reese must hope he can buy himself a defense for 2016. He is relying on the players he signed to not only help improve the defense, but ultimately, save his job.
Jerry Reese must trust his offseason defensive signings to help the Giants win. And now, we must too.
Giants Free Agency