Giants Free Agency Report Card: Grading Dave Gettleman's newest additions

Ralph Vacchiano
SNY

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Here's a player-by-player report card for the Giants' free agent signings so far

CB James Bradberry (three years, $45 million, $31.8 million guaranteed)

The Giants needed big-time help at this spot after dumping Janoris Jenkins in December, and they got arguably the second-best corner on the market at a somewhat reasonable price.

Bradberry is big (6-foot-1, 212 pounds), fast (4.45 40-yard dash), and he'll be a big help for an otherwise young secondary that includes last year's first-rounder DeAndre Baker and Sam Beal. If they were going to spend "big" money, it had to be either at corner or pass-rusher, and once most of the top pass-rushers were tagged, they wisely got aggressive here.

GRADE: A-

LB Blake Martinez (three years, $30.75 million, $19 million guaranteed)

Gettleman knows that every defense needs a leader in the middle to pull it all together, and he sees the 26-year-old Martinez as his version of Antonio Pierce.

He's a smart player, a good leader, and an absolute tackling machine (he's averaged 147 tackles over the last three seasons). There was a big hole here after Alec Ogletree was cut, and since young Ryan Connelly is coming back from a torn ACL. There's a fair argument that there were better MLBs available, and maybe the Giants overpaid a little. But the importance of this position was rightfully not overlooked.

GRADE: B+

DT Leonard Williams (Franchise tag: one year, $16.1 million)

The Giants made the best of a bad situation here. They were backed into a corner after sending a third- and a fifth-round pick to the Jets for the 25-year-old Williams back in October. They couldn't let him walk away for nothing, and they couldn't reach an agreement on a long-term deal.

So they made this face-saving move, making sure they get a full year of him in return for the picks, and they buy a little time to reach the long-term deal they want.

GRADE: C

LB Kyler Fackrell (one-year, $4.6 million)

The Giants didn't have the desire to spend the crazy-big money on the few decent pass rushers that hit the open market. So they took a flier on this 6-foot-5, 245-pounder who had 10.5 sacks in 2018.

Yes, he only had one last year, but that's mostly because he lost his job after the Packers signed two pass-rushers in free agency last offseason. The key here is that new Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham was the Packers' linebackers coach in 2018, so he knows Fackrell's potential.

The Giants are hoping he'll have a bounce-back year like Markus Golden did when he had 10 sacks for the Giants last year.

GRADE: B+

Video: What are grades for the Giants in free agency so far?

TE Levine Toilolo (two years, $6.2 million, $3.25 million guaranteed)

The blocking of Giants tight ends over the last few years has generally ranged from below average to atrocious. As much as the offensive line has contributed to offensive struggles, the tight ends have been a big part of that.

So good for them getting this massive 6-foot-8, 268-pounder who is a strong blocker and has good-enough receiving skills, if necessary. He's basically what Howard Cross was for the Giants in the '90s, and there's a lot of value there. He'll free up to Evan Engram to concentrate on being a receiver.

GRADE: B+

OT Cam Fleming (one year, $4 million)

By the time the Giants got around to addressing their offensive line problem in free agency, they were basically out of cap room. The truth is they plan to address this deficiency more in the draft, which makes the 6-foot-5, 320-pound Fleming most likely a place-holder.

Then again, he's only 27 and the Giants coaches are very familiar with him from his days in New England and Dallas. For now, he's their starting right tackle for 2020. If it works out, he could stick around longer.

GRADE: B

ST Nate Ebner (one year, terms not available)

This was an easy call for new Giants head coach Joe Judge, who of course used to be the special teams coach in New England. He gets the guy who was his best special-teamer in New England. The former rugby star (and Olympian) can also fill in at defensive back in a pinch.

GRADE: A-

K Aldrick Rosas (Second-round RFA tender: one year, $3.3 million)

He had a down year, especially compared to his lights-out 2018, but some of that was due to a lack of action (only 17 field goal attempts, compared to 33 the year before).

He's young and has a strong leg, so keeping him made sense. Could they have done it on the original-round tender and saved $1.2 million? Sure. But then the Giants wouldn't have gotten any compensation if someone else signed him. They basically spent the extra money to scare other teams off.

GRADE: B

WR/ST Cody Core (two years, $4 million, $1 million guaranteed)

The Giants claimed the 25-year-old off waivers in September and he became their best special teams player -- and as noted, Judge understands the importance of that. Core and Ebner could be a dynamic special teams duo that could have a sneaky big impact on some games.

GRADE: B+

QB Colt McCoy (one year, $2.25 million, $1.5 million guaranteed)

The Giants had already picked up the option on backup quarterback Alex Tanney, but they were intent on bringing in some competition for him. After flirting with Matt Moore, they settled on the 33-year-old McCoy who spent the last six years with the Redskins (making three starts). He'd be an upgrade over Tanney, who has never started an NFL game, but Moore would've been better.

GRADE: C+

WR Corey Coleman (one year, terms not available)

The Giants once had hope for the former first-round pick, who is still pretty fast. He was most valuable to them as a kick returner, and figured to have that job last season. Then he tore his ACL in the summer and his season ended. He's still only 25, but likely will never be more than a returner or role player. The Giants are basically just giving him a shot to prove he's healthy and try to make the roster in camp.

GRADE: C

RB Dion Lewis (one year, terms not available)

In many ways, he's an ideal complement and backup to Saquon Barkley. He can pick up 150 carries, if necessary, as he did in New England in 2017 and Tennessee in 2018. Or he can just spell Barkley for a series or two.

He's dangerous as a receiver out of the backfield, too (59 catches for 400 yards two years ago). And obviously Joe Judge knows the former Patriot well. On a one-year deal, it's hard not to like this move.

DT Austin Johnson (terms unavailable)

The 6-4, 314-pounder never lived up to his promise as a second-round pick of the Titans in 2016. He's mostly been a backup and special teamer. The Giants have a lot of defensive linemen, so Johnson is clearly a depth player with a chance to compete for a roster spot. He does have a big booster on staff in new defensive line coach Sean Spencer, who was Johnson's D-line coach at Penn State.

GRADE: C+

What to Read Next