The New York Giants are serious about fixing their weakness at linebacker. That’s according to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, who named several free-agent linebackers as potential targets, but Philadelphia Eagles’ starter T.J. Edwards is a “name to watch closely.”

Raanan also named others, including “Washington’s Cole Holcomb, Cincinnati’s Germaine Pratt, Dallas’ Leighton Vander Esch, Detroit’s Alex Anzalone and the Chargers’ Drue Tranquill.” They are all intriguing options, but the biggest takeaway from Raanan’s report is this note the Giants are “expected to add an inside linebacker in both free agency and the draft.”

The expectation is welcome news at a position where the Giants have just been getting by in recent seasons. Recycled veterans, late-round draft picks and conversion projects from the secondary have all tried to carry the load at the heart of the linebacker corps with only middling results.

Signing a starter as accomplished as Edwards would be the first necessary step toward changing that narrative.

Eagles’ Starter the Active Presence Giants Need

Edwards was a durable thumper during the Eagles’ march to Super Bowl LVII last season. The 6’1″, 242-pounder started every game and was active against the run, making 159 tackles, including 99 solo stops and 10 tackles for loss, per Pro Football Reference.

Every 3-4 defense needs a big body at the linebacker level who can take on guards if necessary. Edwards fits the bill as a more disruptive force than Jarrad Davis, even though the Giants recently re-signed the latter.

Another part of Edwards’ game the Giants are sure to love is his effectiveness on the blitz. The four-year pro blitzed 23 times last season and logged two sacks, three knockdowns, 10 quarterback hits and nine pressures.

By the time the 2022 season was 10 games old, Edwards stood alone among linebackers making an impact in all three phases of defense, per Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports:

Players with 95+ tackles, 2+ sacks, and 5+ passes defensed in the #NFL this season.

T.J. Edwards

That’s the list. #Eagles #FlyEaglesFly

— Jeff Kerr (@JeffKerrCBS) November 25, 2022

Giants’ defensive coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale would make creative use of the full range of Edwards’ skills, but the play-caller and his assistants would also need to clean up a few things. Notably, Edwards needs to be more consistent wrapping up ball-carriers after missing …read more



Eagles’ Starter a ‘Name to Watch Closely’ for the Giants in Free Agency

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