June 24, 2024

After a 6-11 campaign, the New York Giants still have a lot of work ahead of them, but these three unrestricted free agents ought to return in 2024.

There are very few, if any, players from a 6-11 club that just have to be re-signed, and that should be made clear from the beginning. There was a reason why the 2023 New York Giants went through three separate losing streaks of three games or more. Talent was lacking on the roster.

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It’s just a matter of shaking hands and waving farewell when players from that squad become free agents, isn’t that right? Alright, no.

The Giants should give priority to bringing back three players from the squad from the previous season who are set to enter unrestricted free agency. Since these players are in varying phases of their careers, their roles on the squad for the upcoming season won’t all be the same.

However, the Giants should welcome these free agents back to MetLife Stadium based on their performance in the previous season and the not too distant past. I apologize to Adoree’ Jackson and Sterling Shepard, but let’s go into why each of these guys should sign a new contract with New York.

This past season, one of the NFL’s finest safeties was the Alabama product selected in the second round. Even though McKinney saw the most targets in coverage of his career, rate metrics like yards per completion, yards per target, and quarterback rating against all showed improvement from the previous campaign.

While the Giants’ switch from Wink Martindale to a different defensive scheme may raise questions about McKinney’s suitability for the upcoming campaign, the franchise should aim to have him return. Taking care of its own players enhances a team’s reputation inside the league and sends a message to other recruited players that talent and production are recognized in New York.

For a player who has only played two full seasons in four attempts, durability is undoubtedly a worry, but it may help the Giants keep the cost of a new contract low. Although McKinney is not a great player, he is unquestionably among the elite echelon of NFL safeties. He need to be kept on staff.

The year 2023 could be remembered as The Year of the Backup Quarterback. Despite starting several quarterbacks during the regular season, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns have both advanced to the postseason.

With strong QB2s, the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals were able to compete for a postseason spot all the way to the very end. Conversely, the New York Jets provided a good example of what occurs when a team completely neglects to fill the backup quarterback position on the depth chart.

All of that to say, the Giants ought to do their hardest to get Tyrod Taylor back in 2024.

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