New York Giants: GM Jerry Reese Free Agent Options at DT
By Michael Stewart
GM Jerry Reese is going to make a very tough decision regarding his own free agent DT Jonathan Hankins. Last season, Reese signed Damon Harrison to a long-term contract (5 years/$46M), along Oliver Vernon (5 year/$85M). Many analyst project that Hankins will get somewhere between $7-9M per year on the open market and that might be a little too much for Reese to absorb. With that in mind, I’ve assembled a few free agent DT that could be available to the Giants should Reese pass on Hankins.
DT-Brandon Williams (27) 6’1/340 (Baltimore Ravens): Williams made $668,750 in 2016 and the market value suggests that Williams could get roughly $4-6M per year (3-5 year deal). Williams had a solid season for the Ravens with 51 tackles.
DT- Stacey McGee (26) 6’3/310 (Oakland Raiders): McGee only played in 9 games in 2016, but recorded 2.5 sacks and 17 tackles. In fact, McGee ranked as the best interior lineman on the Raiders roster in 2016 terms of production, while providing pressure on the pass rush and graded well against the run. GM Jerry Reese could very well decide to pass on DT Jonathan Hankins like he did with Linval Joseph a few years back. McGee would be less expensive than Hankins and provide suitable production.
DT-Bennie Logan (27) Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles already have DT Simon Fletcher locked into a long-term contract (2nd highest paid DT), so retaining Logan might not be in their plans. If so, GM Jerry Reese should look long and hard at Logan as a possible replacement for Hankins. At 6’2 and 315lbs, Logan has emerged as a solid DT against the run and pass; and will be highly sort after once free agency starts. Over the Cap projects Logan could get roughly a 4 year deal worth $24M ($6M per year).
DT-Abry Jones (25) 6’4/320 (Jacksonville Jaguars): Jones ranked 15th against the run among DT in the NFL in 2016 and has shown progression over the last couple of seasons. Jones would compliment Harrison nicely at the DT position and would be more affordable than Hankins.
Final Thoughts: As I mentioned earlier, GM Jerry Reese will have a tough decision to make on DT Jonathan Hankins and if history tells us anything, it’s most likely Reese will pass on Hankins, who will be in high demand this off-season; similar to when Linval Joseph was a free agent. Reese could show us his hand on what his intentions are once free agency starts; Option A : if he signs a high-profile free agent DT, don’t expect him to draft one (at least in the early rounds). However; Option B: if Reese either doesn’t sign a DT or signs one of the lower tier DT in free agency, then look for Reese to draft a DT within the 1st 3 rounds. My guest is Reese will choose option B in my scenario.