New York Giants: GM Jerry Reese FA Options at RB
By Michael Stewart
RB-Latavius Murray (25) 6’3/230 (Oakland): Murray, along QB Derek Carr and WR Amari Cooper teamed up to be arguably the best young offensive trio in football. Murray’s talents enabled the Raiders offense to excel and create problems with opposing defenses. Murray is far from a one-dimensional RB as he is lethal as a receiver and a blocker as well as a runner in 2016.
Oakland should make it a priority to re-sign the gifted RB, however; if for any reason they fail to do so, maybe the Giants should take notice. Although Giants rookie RB Paul Perkins showed his worth in the final 4 games of the season, I’m not convinced that GM Jerry Reese and the Giants coaching staff feel that Perkins can handle more work load as a featured back by carrying the ball 20+ times per game. At 5’10/208LBs, Perkins isn’t considered a big bruising RB, but more of a slasher in his running style. Murray is big and fast; which are two ingredients that helps make for a successful RB.
RB: Eddie Lacy (26) 5’11/230 (Green Bay): The former offensive Rookie of the year was having a comeback season before his injury against the Giants averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Lacy compiled over 1,000 yards in his 1st two seasons in NFL with 20 rushing TDS and 7 receiving TDS during that stretch. Lacy has had a history of injuries; which could prevent Giants GM Jerry Reese from pursuing Lacy.
However; at only 26 years old Lacy still has enough in the tank to be viable RB and along with Perkins, give the Giants a two-headed monster at the RB position. The Giants can offer Lacy a moderate/reasonable one year deal to showcase himself for a possible contract extension in 2018. This could be a low risk/high return move that GM Jerry Reese just might consider as Lacy could regain his form from his 1st two seasons and be lethal weapon for the Giants running attack.
RB-Christine Michael (26) 5‘10/225 (Green Bay): Michael has the talent to be a very productive RB in the NFL as he showcased for the Packers when he was claimed off waivers from Seattle. Michael’s has a quick 1st step and hits the hole without hesitation. He is equally productive between the tackles as he is turning the corner and has deceptive speed. Issues with holding onto the ball and not being a reliable receiver out of the backfield has been his downfall. However; if the Giants feel that they can live with these faults, then Michael’s would be a very affordable option to pair with Perkins and give the Giants a productive backfield.
RB-Benny Cunningham (26) 5’10/217 (L.A.Rams): Cunningham has played in the shadows of Rams RB Todd Gurley and has done a good job when called upon. Cunningham’s primary asset is his ability on kick returns, where he averaged 27 yards per touch. Although the Giants already have Dwayne Harris for that role, the added depth would be a bonus. Cunningham also averaged 4.8 yards per carry during his brief playing time and also contributed with 16 catches for 91 yards. There’s a very good chance the Rams decide to bring Cunningham back as Gurley’s backup as he would be a low-cost/high return role player. However; if the Rams decide to move on and not re-sign him, GM Jerry Reese should entertain this option if the other FA options are not available.
Final Thoughts: GM Jerry Reese could also look to the Draft for a RB as there will be plenty available through all 7 rounds. I believe Reese will tap into FA and the draft to solidify the RB position, especially if he does release a combination of RB’s mentioned above. Which direction Reese will go is unclear, but one thing is crystal clear and that is the Giants running attack needs a wakeup call.