The New York Giants made their first big free agent splash on Monday evening when they agreed to a four-year, $40 million contract with linebacker Bobby Okereke. The deal will reportedly pay the 26-year-old linebacker $22 million dollars guaranteed.
Okereke was drafted in the third round of the 2019 draft by the Indianapolis Colts (89th) overall and recorded 420 tackles, four forced fumbles, three interceptions, and two sacks in his four seasons.
Last year, he set a career-high with 151 tackles.
Upgrading the linebacker position was one of general manager Joe Schoen’s priorities this offseason as New York had the 27th-ranked run defense in the league (144.2 yards per game).
This certainly won’t be Schoen’s last splash in free agency. Here are three more moves he needs to make next.
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Sign guard Isaac Seumalo
New York addressed one area of weakness in the signing of Okereke, and now they need to address another one, which is the interior offensive line. Isaac Seumalo is believed to be the best guard in free agency. The 29-year-old offensive lineman has spent his first seven seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and started all 17 games last year.
He has an aggressive demeanor which is always a plus for an offensive lineman, and he will help open holes for Saquon Barkley and keep Daniel Jones upright. Addressing the interior line is an even bigger priority now since Nick Gates signed a three-year deal with the Washington Commanders. It would behoove Schoen to sign Seumalo in the first week of free agency before another team grabs him.
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Sign speedster receiver Mecole Hardman
The Giants brought back Sterling Shepard on a one-year contract earlier this week, but now they need to acquire some speed on the outside. The best way to do that would be to sign Mecole Hardman who is one of the fastest receivers in the league. He’ll be the depth threat that New York has been sorely missing for years.
With a speedster such as Hardman on the outside, this will give Daniel Jones a chance to maximize his potential by having a receiver whose speed puts fear in opposing defenses.
Acquiring Hardman would also reunite him with offensive coordinator Mike Kafka who was with the Kansas City Chiefs as their quarterback coach and passing game coordinator for Hardman’s first three seasons. He’ll look to get explosive plays from the 25-year-old receiver as he did in his rookie season when he averaged 20.7 yards per reception.
There’s been wide speculation that the Giants may seek a reunion with Odell Beckham Jr, but it’s been reported that he’s seeking a deal that will pay him around $20 million a season. Hardman would not have that hefty of a price tag and is five years younger than OBJ.
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Sign cornerback Rock Ya-Sin
The Giants definitely need help at the cornerback position, as the team struggled mightily last season when Adoree Jackson missed seven games due to a sprained knee. One of the cornerbacks available includes Rock Ya-Sin, who will be entering his fifth year.
Ya-Sin played his first three seasons with the Colts before being traded to the Las Vegas Raiders in March of last year. He appeared in 11 games, starting nine for the Raiders last season, and registered 45 tackles and seven passes defended. He was targeted 69 times last season and gave up only one touchdown.
Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale loves to blitz, so he needs quality corners in his scheme. Ya-Sin will turn 27 in May and has several prime years ahead of him.