NY Giants: GM Jerry Reese Free Agent Options at LB
By Michael Stewart
If history tells us anything is that GM Jerry Reese for some strange reason doesn’t like to invest at the LBer position through free agency or even the draft. So based on this very important observation, writing an article of possible LBer options for the Giants through Free Agency is a waste of time.
However, a broken clock is right at least twice a day and maybe, just maybe GM Jerry Reese will finally break tradition and surprise us all. With that in mind, I have assembled a few LBer’s that could be available and affordable for the Giants, should Reese have interest.
LB-Zach Brown (27) 6’1/248 (Buffalo): Throughout his career in the NFL, Brown has developed into a solid middle linebacker. GM Jerry Reese could look at Brown as an upgrade over Keenan Robinson (if re-signed) or B.J Goodson (if Reese doesn’t forsee him as the future MLB) at the MLB position. Brown posted 94 solo tackles in 2016 and added 49 assisted tackles. In Browns previous 3 seasons he totaled 76, 91, and 93.
LB-Gerald Hodges (26) 6’2/236 (San Francisco): Hodges was the best LBer for the 49ers aside from Bowman. Hodges is very physical and has an endless motor from sideline to sideline. Hodges would be a solid depth LBer and give DC Steve Spagnulo options in certain defenses packages. Signing Hodges to a 1 year deal and see what he can do would be way to go.
LB-Lorenzo Alexander (33) 6’1/245 (Buffalo): Alexander is coming off arguably his best season where he posted 76 tackles and 12.5 sacks. At 33, Alexander seems to have some gas left in the tank and could be the ideal player to help mentor Goodson for another year. Despite his performance, don’t expect many NFL team to over pay for his services based on his 2016 season; which is why he would be an ideal candidate for the Giants on a one deal to provide an upgrade at MLB and allow Goodson to develop at a comfortable pace.
LB-Melvin Ingram (27) 6’2/255 (San Diego): Ingram has all the tools to be even better than he was in 2016; which he recorded 8 sacks (10.5 in 2015). Ingram is solid against the run and could be a bargain for a team in need of a playmaking LBer. Many teams will be looking to sign Ingram this off-season and his price tag could be slightly too much for GM Reese to pursue.
Final Thoughts: I don’t expect Reese to draft a linebacker within the 1st 3 rounds in this year’s draft; which is why he needs to invest in one via free agency. Currently; the Giants roster of linebackers really doesn’t possess playmakers. DC Steve Spagnuolo has high hopes for LBer Ishaq Williams in 2017, however; many view him as a DE instead of LBer. Maybe Reese will change his philosophy on LBers and surprise us all.