3 Biggest Free Agent Decisions for Giants’ GM and Coach in 2024 NFL Offseason


The New York Giants 2023 season was a veritable disaster, considering the team made the postseason the previous year.


Recently extended quarterback Daniel Jones struggled, then landed on injured reserve. The offense lacked dependable playmakers, and the defense only occasionally played like a postseason-caliber unit

The Giants finished with only six wins and parted with defensive coordinator Don Martindale at the end of the season. However, head coach Brian Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen will both return for 2024. Their vision for the franchise will continue.

“It takes time, takes a couple of offseasons, it takes a few drafts to build it the right way,” Schoen said, per Fox Sports’ Ralph Vacchiano

It’s going to take, work, though, and the Giants have several challenging decisions in front of them

Running back Saquon Barkley was New York’s most reliable offensive player in 2023, at least when healthy. However, injuries limited him to 14 games. Injury concerns have consistently clouded Barkley’s pro career, and he’s set to turn 27 next month.


Signing Barkley to a long-term extension would come with significant risk, though letting him go could have a negative impact on Jones—who signed a four-year, $160 million extension last offseason, which he has yet to live up to.


Using the franchise tag for a second straight year would be problematic, though it doesn’t seem as if Barkley would fight it.


“They did it last year. So I’m numb to it. I don’t have any feelings toward that at all,” Barkley said, per Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.


New York is projected to have $37.9 million in cap space, but tagging Barkley would require him getting a 20-percent raise over his 2023 salary—which would eat $12.1 million in cap space.


Daboll and Schoen must figure out how to retain Barkley and whether doing so would be more logical than replacing him with a younger, cheaper option.


Giants S Isaiah Simmons Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Giants acquired safety Isaiah Simmons from the Arizona Cardinals in August for a mere seventh-round pick in the 2024 draft. Now, they have to decide whether the 25-year-old is worth keeping long-term.

On one hand, New York hasn’t invested much in Simmons. If he proves to only be a one-year rental, it won’t substantially derail the team’s organizational plans. On the other hand, he was a solid contributor in 2023

Simmons appeared in all 17 games, made four starts and finished with 50 tackles, a sack and an interception. In coverage, he allowed an opposing passer rating of only 81.9, according to Pro Football Reference.

New York isn’t in a position to simply let promising young players walk out the door, but Simmons is likely to receive a fair bit of interest on the open market. While he was largely a rotational player this past season, he’s talented, versatile and plays a premium position.

Simmons has a projected market value of $16.5 million annually. The Giants must determine if keeping him is worth that or whether the money could be better spent on areas of need, like the offensive line and wide receiver.

Bengals WR Tee Higgins Jeff Moreland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Darius Slayton remains a solid receiver, and New York did see some flashes from young wideouts Jalin Hyatt and Wan’Dale Robinson. However, the Giants still lack a true No. 1 pass-catchers, which has been a major obstacle in Jones’ growth.


Daboll and Schoen have to decide whether they can remedy the situation in free agency or whether they should again try their luck in the draft.


We’ve seen rookie receivers have instant impacts in recent years, though draft prospects are still totally unproven. Several established wideouts, including Tee Higgins, Calvin Ridley, Mike Evans and Michael Pittman Jr., are scheduled to be available in free agency.


However, veteran receivers do not come cheaply. Higgins, for example, has a projected market value of $18.6 million annually.


The cheaper route would be for New York to continue developing the receivers it has and target another early in the draft. However, a vet like Higgins or Pittman would be more of a “sure thing” when it comes to giving Jones immediate help.


At this point, Jones is a quarterback who needs help more than a signal-caller who will elevate the talent around him.


It’s a tricky situation to navigate, both because of New York’s cap situation and because the Giants still don’t know exactly what they have in their quarterback


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