NFL Free Agency: Devin McCourty Should Be No. 1 Priority For New York Giants


NFL Free Agency: New York Giants Need To Aggressively Go After Free Agent Free Safety Devin McCourty

The New York Giants got their offseason off to an expected start, placing the franchise tag on defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. With the free agency window now open for teams to begin negotiating with other team’s free agents, things are bound to heat up. The Giants have a glaring need at safety, and should place their focus there in the early going, namely on New England Patriots free agent safety Devin McCourty.

Currently on the roster, the Giants only have late round draft picks Nat Berhe and Cooper Taylor, neither have which have started a game in the NFL. That is what happens when three players, Antrel Rolle, Stevie Brown and Quintin Demps, are all free agents from the same position. That makes the Giants interest in McCourty an easy one to connect, as he would bring starting experience and a lot of playoff experience as well. It was also confirmed by someone with knowledge of the situation, as the Giants were one of a number of teams to make a call to McCourty Saturday once the legal tampering period opened that afternoon.

From a comfortability standpoint, It would be a homecoming of sorts for McCourty. McCourty is a Nyack, New York native, and played his college ball at nearby Rutgers. Coming home is something that will appeal to any player, but the Giants will still have to pony up a monster sized contract to secure the services of McCourty, as he will not have a shortage of suitors.

Even though they used their franchise tag on kicker Stephen Gostkowski, the Patriots could still bring McCourty back with a big contract offer of their own. The Philadelphia Eagles are also in the mix, as they have a big need at safety as well, and are armed with a boatload of cap space, even after supposedly agreeing to a contract with cornerback Byron Maxwell and potentially running back Frank Gore.

For the Giants, this is not something they are unfamiliar with. Safety, and defensive back in general, is a position they aren’t afraid of putting resources into. They used a first round pick on Prince Amukamara in 2011, signed Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie away from the Jets last season, and gave Rolle a historic contract in 2010 as a free agent from the Arizona Cardinals. They should use the same blueprint in reeling Rolle in to bring McCourty back home as the two are very similar players.

Both Rolle and McCourty became free agents at the same age, 27, and will be 28 once the season starts. They also took very similar paths to being great safeties, as both were drafted as cornerbacks out of college before making the transition to free safety. Both are also very durable players, as McCourty has missed only three games in his career while Rolle played and started every game during his five seasons with Big Blue.

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The historic contract the Giants gave Rolle was five years, $37 million. That should be where the Giants start negotiations with McCourty, but with the suitors they are going against, the price will more than likely rise a little bit. A contract of five years and between $42-45 million should get the deal done; it would make McCourty one of the top paid safeties in the NFL, but just under what Earl Thomas makes at $10 million annually.

The negotiations with McCourty will be very similar to what they were with Rolle, giving the Giants a distinct advantage over the other teams involved. Safety is arguably the Giants top priority in free agency because the draft this season does not have a player worth drafting at number nine it looks like, while a good offensive or defensive lineman could be had at that spot. That makes McCourty the top priority for the Giants in the early going of NFL Free agency.

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