The Giants’ first outside free agent signings of 2023 addressed their lack of speed and run-stopping on defense.
They agreed with Indianapolis Colts inside linebacker Bobby Okereke on a reported four-year, $40 million contract with $22 million guaranteed. And they secured Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches on a reported three-year, $12 million deal with $7.5 million guaranteed.
Okereke now tops Wink Martindale’s inside linebacker depth chart that includes veteran Jarrad Davis, who is back on a one-year deal, and second-year pro Darrian Beavers, who is coming back from a torn left ACL.
The former Colts third-round pick out of Stanford made 132 tackles in 2021 and 151 tackles in 2022. The terms of his contract were first reported by NFL Network.
The Giants gave Okereke a lot of money at a devalued position. On a day when the inside linebacker market exploded, he received the second-biggest contract of all ILBs behind only the Buffalo Bills’ Tremaine Edmunds, who agreed to a four-year, $72 million deal with the Chicago Bears that includes $50 million guaranteed.
Chicago also added the Philadelphia Eagles’ T.J. Edwards for three years and $19.5 million, including $12 million guaranteed).
The Bengals’ Germaine Pratt stayed in Cincinnati on a three-year, $21 million contract with $15.15 million over the first two years. Alex Anzalone re-upped with the Detroit Lions on a three-year, $18.75 million deal. The Jets re-signed Quincy Williams to a three-year, $18 million deal that maxes out at $21 million.
And the Dolphins got the Tennessee Titans’ David Long for two years and $11 million.
The Giants’ run defense was a huge problem last season, though, so they attacked it on the first day of free agent negotiations. That included addressing a lack of interior defensive line depth behind second-team All-Pro tackle Dexter Lawrence.
They added Nunez-Roches, a veteran run-stopper with a Super Bowl ring. He had 33 tackles, five for loss and two sacks last season in Tampa. The terms of his deal were reported by NFL insider Adam Caplan.
Leonard Williams is still under contract with the Giants, but his $32.2 million 2023 cap hit is unsustainable ahead of a 2024 void year. And it’s not clear how the Giants will resolve that or what Williams’ long-term future with the team will ultimately look like.
They still haven’t signed a corner, which is a major area of need. That could be addressed in April’s NFL Draft, too. Jamel Dean opted to …read more
Source:: The Mercury News