With the bulk of the free agency period having concluded for the New York Giants -- they still might look top add a veteran or two after the draft, depending on needs and injuries -- the team has signed more than a dozen veteran free agents, both from other teams as well as their own, to one-year contracts, the most ever under general manager Jerry Reese's tenure.
While the one-year deals are largely believed to be a result of the Giants' fragile salary cap situation, the strategy also has created a situation in which many of these "show me" guys may or may not have a long-term future with the team, thereby creating the need for the Giants to go out and fill the holes all over again.
Despite what circumstances have dictated, Reese said the front office's approach to this year's draft has not changed.
"We go into the draft looking for the best player up there. I know I must sound like a broken record every year, but we really do go into the draft looking for the best player, and then after the draft is over, we look at the players who haven't been drafted and see what we can do there."
The notoriously tight-lipped general manager deflected questions regarding specific prospects or areas the team has its eye on, saying, "I think it's a good draft; I think there are a lot of good players at different positions. I don't see one position as being stronger than another."
But assuming they keep all eight of this year's draft picks - they were awarded a compensatory seventh round pick last month - the numbers certainly don't favor the Giants if their goal is to eventually replace some of their aging players with youth.
"There are a lot of times that guys will be cut from other teams before the season," Reese said. "Our team might not be ready to go until the week before we open up and play."
Then there would appear to be the matter of picking players who can make a contribution sooner than later, especially if one considers that most of the draft picks are under contract for four years minimum.
In an ideal scenario, draft picks would start to show some forward progress by the end of their first season so that a team could make a decision on whether to ease him into a bigger role or continue to bring him along.
However, Reese noted that teams no longer have the luxury of letting picks take their time to develop.
"The day and age of bringing your draft picks in and just sitting them for a year or two are dwindling away," he acknowledged. "I think you have to look to develop guys (quickly) and quite frankly most guys aren't ready to come in and you sometimes have to force them in there."
--General manager Jerry Reese said that there's nothing new to report regarding receiver Victor Cruz's contract situation.
"Victor's not here. He's a free agent exploring all of his options, so we'll see where it goes," said Reese.
When asked if he would assume that Cruz will be part of the Giants' roster this year, he said, "I don't assume anything. I can tell you this. When we get ready to play, we'll have 53 players out there ready to play. I'm not sure if Victor will be out there or not. I don't assume anything."
Reese pointed out that "one player doesn't make your team," and that they are not going to let his unresolved contract situation affect their plans for the draft.
"If Victor's not here, we have other receivers here. It's all about team for us," said Reese.
--Running back Andre Brown, a restricted free agent who recently changed his representation to super-agent Drew Rosenhaus, still has not signed his one-year tender, which would pay him $2.023 million for the 2013 season.
However, Brown did sign a waiver that will allow him to participate in the first phase of the Giants' offseason program which began on April 15.
Brown, who is coming off a broken leg that ended his 2012 season early, said he feels good both physically and mentally and that he's ready for a larger role on the team.
"Totally. Third-down back, pass protection, goal line, short yardage - all that. I can't wait to do it because I want to show more than what I've had," he told the team's website.
"I feel like I'm a homerun hitter, too," he added. "As long as I go out there and produce and show the world my versatility, the sky's the limit."
--Receiver Hakeem Nicks, who struggled through an injury-filled 2012 campaign for which he had offseason knee surgery, said he's looking ahead to getting back to the player he was before initially suffering a broken foot last May, an injury that also contributed to a career low 692 yards (on 53 catches) and three touchdowns.
"I don't even look at it now," he said of last year. "It is gone now, so it is what it is -- it is in the past. It is something that I learned from. Every year in your career isn't going to be what you want it to be. So it is just about you adjust to it and make the best of it. But definitely I learned a lot from it. I feel like I grew."
Nicks reported that he has been running "full speed" for a couple of weeks, adding that he has been slowly working his way back into form.
"I kept it simple because it was my first time running routes," Nicks said. "I wasn't about to go out there and - it's still early right now. So my biggest thing is that I want my presence to be felt there with Eli because it is something that I do week-to-week."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I feel like I'm kind of a traitor to Dallas, but that's behind me." - Linebacker Dan Connor, who made the jump to the Giants after being cut by the Cowboys.