The New York Giants‘ offseason got started a lot sooner than most teams after the team decided to fire head coach Pat Shurmur shortly after the conclusion of the 2019 regular season. First-year head coach Joe Judge will make the jump from New England Patriots special teams coordinator to Giants head coach, but to the surprise of many, he will do it under the watch of general manager Dave Gettleman. This development came as a surprise to some because Gettleman was hired at the same time as Shurmur. However, if you dig back through ownership’s original plan after hiring Gettleman, and the complete roster turnover the team has undergone in the first two years (Giants should have approximately $85 million in 2020 cap space after early offseason cuts), it’s easier to understand why the oft-criticized general manager will get another chance.
However, the transformation of the Giants’ roster for the 2020 season (and beyond) hasn’t gotten started just yet. Between the upcoming 2020 NFL Combine, the free agency period soon after, and the 2020 NFL Draft, the Giants roster will look a lot different than it does now. As we move through the entire offseason, this hub — offseason central — will aim to serve as a landing point for all things related to the Giants offseason. We will have all the key upcoming dates, free agency scorecards, draft content, the latest rumors, reports, news and more. Let’s kick things off by looking at the key upcoming dates on the Giants’ offseason schedule.
Key upcoming dates
- February 25 through March 2: The NFL Combine takes place. The Giants plan to send their entire staff and will maximize their allotted individual interviews (30) with 2020 draft prospects.
- March 10: Deadline for NFL teams to designate a franchise or transition tag player. This is important for the Giants because they would be wise to use the transition tag on Leonard Williams after trading for him during the 2019 regular season prior to the trade deadline. Williams is reported to be seeking top dollar (at his position) on a long-term deal. The transition tag is a way for the Giants to make Williams prove his worth as a fit in new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s system.
- March 16: The NFL’s tampering period begins. Although free agency and the new league year isn’t official for another couple of days at this point, NFL teams are permitted to contact and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents.
- March 18: The new league year begins and NFL free agency is officially underway at 4 p.m. ET. Free agent signings around the NFL will be reported prior to this, but they won’t become official until 4 p.m. ET on March 18.
- March 29 through April 1: The NFL’s Annual League Meeting in Palm Beach, Florida takes place. This will likely provide an opportunity for fans to hear from their new head coach and potentially also Gettleman as well.
- April 6: Clubs that have hired a new head coach may begin their offseason workout programs (one week earlier than those teams with a returning coach). Based on Judge’s introductory press conference, you can be sure the Giants will take advantage of this.
- Mid-April: The NFL will release the 2020 regular season schedule.
- April 23 through April 25: The NFL draft takes place. The Giants are missing their third-round pick as part of the Williams trade, but they are projected to receive a compensatory draft pick in the third-round range as a result of former New York safety Landon Collins signing a lucrative long-term contract with the Washington Redskins last offseason.
- May 1 through May 4: Teams may elect to hold their three-day rookie minicamp and the Giants are expected to host it during this time frame.
*The Giants will also hold OTAs and one mandatory minicamp during several weeks in June followed by a roughly six-week break in the action before the start of training camp in late July. Final dates to be determined.
Free Agent Scorecard
Restricted free agents:
Jon Halapio, offensive center
Aldrick Rosas, kicker
Eli Penny, fullback
The Giants have an interesting group of restricted free agents this offseason. Halapio was the Giants’ Week 1 starter at center and played the vast majority of snaps at the position during the 2019 season. Halapio was overwhelmed at the point of attack and his play strength is concerning — especially as the team moves from Pat Shurmur’s zone-heavy blocking to a blocking scheme under first-year offensive coordinator Jason Garrett that is expected to feature more power and gap blocking. Rosas was a First Team All-Pro in 2018 and arguably one of the NFL’s least reliable kickers in 2019. You can try to make sense of it, but making sense of the kicker position is not an easy thing to do. Penny served as the team’s starting fullback but was not often utilized.
*Restricted free agents will have to be tendered by the Giants in order for them to be on the roster in 2020. The Giants can assign a number of different tenders on their restricted free agents (original round tender, second-round tender, first-round tender, etc). Each tender comes with a higher 2020 salary. Those numbers have not yet been determined by the NFL.
Unrestricted in-house free agents
Leonard Williams, defensive lineman
Markus Golden, outside linebacker/defensive end
Mike Remmers, offensive tackle
David Mayo, inside linebacker
Michael Thomas, safety
Cody Latimer, wide receiver
Cody Core, wide receiver
Corey Coleman, wide receiver
Antonio Hamilton, defensive back
The key name for the Giants among their unrestricted free agents is Williams. After sending their 2020 third-round draft pick — a top 70 pick overall — in an already lost season — for a contract-year defensive lineman — all eyes will be on the next step for New York. Will Gettleman re-sign Williams to a long-term contract as one of the highest-paid defensive linemen in the NFL? Will the Giants assign Williams the transition tag (or franchise tag) and make him prove it in a new defensive system? Will they let him walk for nothing in free agency? We expect them to re-sign him long term, but the most prudent option would be to assign Williams the transition tag for the 2020 season.
Next up after Williams, the Giants must decide what to do with Golden. If you just look at the box score — and specifically the sack statistic — Golden had a breakout 2019 season and should be paid like one of the top pass rushers in the NFL. Unfortunately, a deeper dive into the All-22 game film shows a player whose sacks came from play design, hustle, and against weaker offensive linemen more times than not. Golden bet on himself when he signed a one-year prove it deal with the Giants last offseason and he will now leverage his high 2019 sack count on an open market desperate for pass rushers.
Unrestricted free agent signings from other teams
Free agents signings for players cut by other teams
*It’s important to differentiate between the players signed as unrestricted free agents and those signed after being cut by another team. This is true because players who are signed after being released by another team do not count in the compensatory draft pick formula for the team who signs them.
2020 NFL Draft picks:
- Round 1: N.Y. Giants
- Round 2: N.Y. Giants
- Round 3: None
- Round 4: N.Y. Giants
- Round 5: N.Y. Giants
- Round 6: N.Y. Giants
- Round 7: N.Y. Giants, New Orleans
*The Giants are projected to receive a third-round compensatory draft pick (for losing Collins in free agency 2019). That has not been announced yet.
Rumors, reports, and updates
Could Witten reunite with Garrett on the Giants?
Tuesday, February 18: Although some expected future Hall of Fame tight end Jason Witten to retire this offseason, it doesn’t appear that he’s ready to hang up his cleats just yet. As , Witten realizes that his time with the Cowboys might be over, but that doesn’t mean the end of his career. The next question people might ask is where Witten might play and we can’t think of an easier transition for him than to reunite with his champion — the man partially responsible for talking him out of retirement — Jason Garrett. In 2020, Garrett will serve as the Giants’ offensive coordinator. The team has been searching (and failing; see: Rhett Ellison) to find an inline tight end to compliment move tight end Evan Engram for a while now. Witten could be a short-term solution.
Leonard Williams reaches out to Richard Seymour
Tuesday, February 18: Williams and NFL legend Richard Seymour have in common the fact that they are both interior defensive linemen who were tasked by their respective teams with more pass-rushing responsibilities than your normal interior defensive lineman. The difference? Seymour did an excellent job of actually getting to the quarterback and converting pressure (hits, hurries) into sacks during his career and Williams has struggled in that regard.this offseason to help him alter the trajectory of his career. Williams is still just 25 years old.