The New York Giants will enter free agency with an obvious need at a multitude of positions. And assuming they re-sign both quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley, they will shift their focus to wide receiver and linebacker.
Landing a top-end receiver is the more obvious of the two, but they’re also desperately thin and lacking talent at inside linebacker.
There will be a few options at that position come March 15 and Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report believes the Giants should eye T.J. Edwards, assuming the Philadelphia Eagles let him hit the open market.
The Giants took a major step forward in 2022 and made the postseason, but the run defense was a major liability. New York was 27th in the league in run defense, largely because the Giants’ linebacker corps was maybe the weakest in the entire NFL.
As Nick Falato wrote for Big Blue View, Edwards would be a durable and capable upgrade that wouldn’t break the bank.
“Edwards is an instinctual defender with excellent discipline and processing ability,” he said. “He’s tough and dependable as well, only missing some time in 2020 with a hamstring injury. In his four years as an Eagle, he’s compiled 389 tackles, 20 for a loss, 5 sacks, 13 passes defended, 2 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles. He only has a missed tackle rate of 8.6 percent in his career.”
Bringing back Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley might be the two biggest priorities for the Giants this year, but upgrading at linebacker isn’t far behind.
Edwards would be a great fit in that regard.
Davenport projects a contract of four years for $49 million with $30 million guaranteed.
That’s a pretty solid contract but one that would be entirely worth it for Edwards. Not only can he command a defense, but he’s also a quality all-around player who can cover, tackle and stop the run.
Edwards can also rush the passer, which is something defensive coordinator Wink Martindale would welcome from the inside.