Who should Giants target in 2023 NFL free agency?

Sep 23, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) yells at the fans prior to the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 23, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) yells at the fans prior to the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports / Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants took care of two enormous items of off-season business when they agreed to a contract with Daniel Jones and used the franchise tag on Saquon Barkley. But Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll still have vital work to do on the roster, beginning this week in free agency.

The Giants have clear needs, including wide receiver, linebacker and cornerback. Additions on both lines would help, too. Could they seek a reunion with a certain dynamic receiver with a flair for one-handed grabs? They could use a ball-hawking corner to generate more takeaways – the Giants ranked 25th in turnovers last season.

Here’s a look at some potential free-agent targets for the Giants, starting with the position group they probably need to fortify the most. There’s lots to do, so it’s good that Schoen was recently quoted saying, “We’re not shopping for minimum players anymore.”

Who might be donning blue?

Wide Receivers

Jones got paid and it would be a shame if the Giants didn’t upgrade his receiving corps after he spent last season in a week-to-week search for competent targets. The Giants ultimately finished ranked 26th in passing offense. It’s not a star-studded free-agent group, but there is some help, including the reliable Jakobi Meyers, who some consider the best in class even without gaudy career stats. The 26-year-old has built himself into a steady contributor as an undrafted free agent out of NC State and he had 67 catches and six TDs for New England last year.

The glitziest name, of course, is Odell Beckham Jr., even if he didn’t play in 2022 because of the torn ACL he suffered in Super Bowl LVI with the Rams. Beckham was spectacular in his first go-round with the Giants, though there was drama and the ending certainly wasn’t storybook. But there’s a new coach and front office in place now and the Giants need talent – have you seen any of those videos on social media of Beckham snaring bombs one-handed at a showcase? The Giants have, since they attended his workout.

Other possibilities include JuJu Smith-Schuster (933 receiving yards with the Chiefs last season) and two-time Pro Bowler Adam Thielen, who had a 14-TD season as recently as 2020, though Thielen is 32 years old. Parris Campbell, 25, had 63 catches for the Colts last season and 26-year-old DJ Chark had 30 catches for 502 yards for Detroit and could fit, too. Whatever happens, the Giants must get better in this department and will likely have to add via the draft, as well as free agency.


In this pass-crazy league, quality corners are a must. The Giants lost one before last season in cap-casualty James Bradberry, who got a one-year deal in Philadelphia and went all the way to the Super Bowl, a nice jumping-off point for a jaunt into free agency. Getting back together would help the Giants, but Bradberry will be pricey.

Patrick Peterson turns 33 in July, but he still has a knack for creating turnovers – he had five interceptions for the Vikings last year and the future Hall-of-Famer can still provide man-to-man coverage, which might jell nicely with Wink Martindale’s usual man-to-man plans. Other intriguing cornerbacks on the market include Jamel Dean, who had 57 tackles and two interceptions for Tampa Bay last year, Byron Murphy, a versatile corner who can play inside and outside, and Cameron Sutton, who also has experience covering outside and in the slot but could be retained by Pittsburgh.


The Giants were 27th against the run last season, so it’s clear they need help at linebacker, once one of the positions that produced some of the biggest names in team history. Jarrad Davis was already re-signed, but that’s more of a depth move. So how about a bigger name? Schoen and Daboll know all about Tremaine Edmunds, who was the 16th overall pick by the Bills, their former team, in the 2018 NFL Draft. Edmunds, who will be 25 in May, has had 100-plus tackles in each of his first five seasons.

T.J. Edwards of the Eagles can also use a Super Bowl appearance as a launching pad for his free agency. He had 159 tackles, including 10 for loss, last year. David Long Jr., a versatile 26-year-old who played for the Titans, is adept against the run and can cover. Could Lavonte David, a 33-year-old who has spent all 11 seasons of his career with the Buccaneers be a fit if he doesn’t return to Tampa? He had 124 tackles and three sacks last year.

The Lines

Some depth on the defensive line seems like a definite, considering Schoen described the team’s depth at the position as “not great” while at the recent NFL Scouting Combine. And the GM knows the Giants must be better at stopping the run. Adding reliable interior talent also would help the Giants keep Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams as fresh as possible – Lawrence played 82 percent of the defensive snaps last season.

On the other side of the ball, Jon Feliciano and Nick Gates are free agents, so the Giants need to work on the offensive line, even after the emergence of Andrew Thomas as a star last season. The way the Eagles’ defensive line wreaked havoc in the Giants’ playoff loss laid bare that the Giants need to improve the line to compete at the upper levels of the league. So did giving up 49 sacks, the fifth-most in the NFL.

If Feliciano is not back at center, perhaps Garrett Bradbury, who anchored the Vikings’ line, would be appealing. Guard Ben Powers allowed zero sacks all season for the Ravens and Pro Football Focus said he allowed only one quarterback hit all year. Think Jones would like that kind of protection after years of running for his life? Taylor Lewan is a talented, big name on the o-line market, but the Titans tackle has played only 20 of a possible 49 games over the last three seasons and will be 32 in July.