Giants make opening move in Free Agency

In this Oct. 23, 2016, photo, New York Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison (98) tackles Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) during an NFL football game at Twickenham stadium in London. Defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison played right under the noses of the New York Giants, spending his first four seasons in the same stadium playing for the Jets after going undrafted out of the NAIA-level William Penn. (Matt Dunham/AP)

With the signing of Brandon Marshall by the New York Giants, Pierre Garcon going to the 49ers and the report that Tony Romo will be released by the Dallas Cowboys on March 9, free agency is finally underway. While many teams such as the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks often use the draft as a means to improve their team, free agency is a chance for teams in a win-now mode to improve and try to capture the Lombardi Trophy.

For the second straight year, the Giants once again look to improve their team through the acquisition of free agents, as they signed Marshall to a reasonable two year deal worth $12 million. After releasing Victor Cruz in order to save cap room, this is a great deal for both Marshall and the Giants, as Marshall gets to stay in New York and not move while the Giants add a 6-foot-4 wide receiver with impeccable talent. Although Marshall has not been to the playoffs, he could fill the role of Plaxico Burress of old and give Eli Manning a definitive number two receiver who could help take pressure off of Sterling Shepard in the slot, but more importantly, Odell Beckham Jr. on the right side of the field.

Before I go into more about the Giants, I want to comment on the moves of the San Francisco 49ers, the release of Tony Romo and the landing spot for Adrian Peterson. To start with the latter, a lot of the buzz about Peterson seems to be on his end as teams such as the Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks all remain consistent that he is getting up there in age and is asking for too much money.

Peterson is 31 and for a running back that is about 45, as he still sees himself as a top-tier running back, but in an age of passing, that might not matter. I do not think the Seahawks, Patriots or Raiders overspend on Peterson, as I think the front contenders for him are the Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers or back to the Minnesota Vikings. In my opinion, I think Peterson will be on the market for quite some time unless he takes a pay cut or a bottom-tier team entices him with an offer he cannot refuse.

Tony Romo is being released on March 9, as the drama never stops for Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys. The two teams being mentioned in the rumor mill are the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans. Although Romo has shown interest in the Kansas City Chiefs, KC has stayed firm saying Alex Smith is their quarterback going forward.

Romo wants to go to a team he can win right away, as the Broncos make more sense on both ends than the Texans do. The Broncos still have an elite defense and weapons on offense as a quarterback like Romo would fit Elway’s mold and system he wants implemented. The Texans still have millions of dollars invested into Brock Osweiler and I do not think they can start more controversy.

In regards to the 49ers, their two big moves right now are the signing of Brian Hoyer and the massive contract of Pierre Garcon. Paying Garcon $16 million for the first year seems to be a bit much but he provides the 49ers with a good weapon for whoever is being center next year. That could be Hoyer, who somehow still has a job in this league despite having a 16-15 record. The 49ers signed Hoyer to a multi-year deal as a trade for Kirk Cousins, which was in the works but fell through, and would have been a big move that could have brought some winning back to the Bay Area.

Back to the Giants real quick, I think the Marshall deal is going to turn out to be a massive plus going forward as this will be a make or break for Eli going forward. With two Super Bowl rings, one would think he would be a lock for the MVP, but his inconsistent play and high turnover margin have stained Manning’s resume. If he can lead the Giants to a division title and a run to the playoffs, he might do just enough to get him into the Hall of Fame in a few years.

With a lot more free agency ahead, I am excited to see who goes where and how teams position themselves to make the playoffs. The Giants still have more moves to go in order to win, but anything is possible with Manning, because you can’t spell ELIte without ELI.


Matt Kren is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering women’s basketball. He can be reached via email at matthew.kren@uconn.edu.