The New York Giants have made their first signing in 2023 NFL free agency by “agreeing terms” with a Super Bowl winner who will bolster depth on one side of the trenches.
Big Blue agreed a deal with defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches on Monday, March 13, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero:
The #Giants agreed to terms with veteran DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches, per sources.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 13, 2023
Nunez-Roches last played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whom he helped win Super Bowl LV to cap the 2020 season. He played 13 snaps when the Bucs beat his former team the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 to lift the Lombardi Trophy.
Former Bucs analyst Jon Ledyard let Giants fans know what to expect from a “huge trash talker” who was “popular in the locker room.”
#Giants fans, Nacho is huge trash talker, popular in locker room. Tough as nails. Good vs run, non factor against the pass. Good depth signing https://t.co/YInJwhlhHT
— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) March 13, 2023
Now, Nunez-Roches will join a Giants’ defensive line loaded at the starter level, but lacking credible talent in reserve. It’s a problem general manager Joe Schoen has identified and moved quickly to address.
Giants Make Smart Signing to Fix Underrated Problem
The lack of depth along the front is an underrated problem when Justin Ellis and Nick Williams are both free agents. Williams and Ellis are big bodies who can step in to play over center, occupy double teams and fill rushing lanes on early downs.
They are also supposed to offer a breather to more dynamic starters Leonard Williams and All-Pro nose tackle Dexter Lawrence II. The latter is set to play on the fifth year option of his rookie deal but is in line for a contract extension after a breakout campaign.
As for Williams, he carries a hefty salary cap hit worth $32,260,000 for this year, according to Spotrac.com. Schoen will want to trim that number, but his first priority has been replacing Ellis and Williams after having “obsessively mentioned” line depth as an issue, per ESPN’s Jordan Raanan.
Nunez-Roches won’t supplant Williams in the starting lineup, but he will help address Schoen’s pet peeve.
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