A breakdown of the New York Giants' 2018 free-agent signings.
Patrick Omameh, OG
The Giants signed Patrick Omameh, who played the past two years for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Here's a closer look at the signing:
Grade: B. Throw another starting-caliber lineman into the mix. The Giants are trying to accumulate as many quality linemen as possible to overhaul their line. Omameh has starting experience.
What it means: Expect competition all over the offensive line. Add Omameh, who has 45 career starts with three teams, to the muddle of guards currently on New York's roster. He joins John Jerry, Jon Halapio, John Greco (think they have enough Johns?) and maybe even Ereck Flowers as potential starting options. New general manager Dave Gettleman isn’t messing around. He wants a new-look offensive line, and this probably won’t even be the last move. One scout who reached out Wednesday thought Omameh was an underrated move and could surprise as an above-average left guard.
What’s the risk: Depends on the money. If Omameh is paid the going rate for a starting guard, it might not be worth the investment. He has missed at least two games in each of the past three seasons because of injury. He also hasn’t played well enough to convince the Buccaneers, Bears and Jaguars to keep him around long term.
Teddy Williams, CB
The Giants signed Teddy Williams, who played the past two seasons with the Carolina Panthers. Here's a closer look at the signing:
Grade: C-plus. Another Gettleman signing who spent time with him in Carolina. Williams was out of football last year after being injured in the preseason finale. Maybe he can be a contributor.
What it means: Gettleman continues to stack the roster and building with his guys. The Giants offensive coordinator is from Carolina, their new pro personnel guy is from the Panthers and they signed a pair of former players in the past couple days -- running back Jonathan Stewart and Williams -- as Gettleman tries to create a new culture. Williams has a chance to provide the Giants with depth at cornerback and a quality special teams player. The former collegiate sprinter served primarily as a gunner on the punt team in 36 career games.
What’s the risk: Williams hasn’t played in an NFL game since early in the 2016 season. He spent most of that campaign on injured reserve and was cut last season after a shoulder injury in the preseason finale. There is a chance Williams can’t play and won’t make the final roster. The journeyman who has spent time with the Panthers, Cowboys, Colts, Cardinals, Bears and Jaguars doesn’t come at an expensive price though.
The Giants made their big splash by agreeing to terms with former Patriots tackle Nate Solder on a four-year deal that could be worth up to $62 million, according to a source. They also added a defensive piece in outside linebacker Kareem Martin. Here’s a closer look at the moves:
Nate Solder, OL
What it means: The Giants have a proven left tackle and filled a massive need after unsuccessfully trying Ereck Flowers at the position for three season. Solder is a proven, quality tackle with a winning pedigree. It instantly provides stability to a unit that has struggled for years. Solder also should be an asset in the locker room, which is a theme developing here Gettleman and the Giants. Solder's considered a top-notch character.
What's the risk: It's going to be costly. Very costly. It's a four-year deal that could be worth as much as $62 million, which would be a touch over $15 million per season. Quality left tackles don't come cheap in free agency, and Solder was undoubtedly the best on the market. He's going to be 30 years old, so will this deal be a problem down the road? Will his play drop off before the end of the contract? Are the Giants going to really be ready to compete before it happens? They're in win-now mode. He needs to play at a high level immediately and have that last throughout his contract.
Kareem Martin, OLB
What it means: New defensive coordinator James Bettcher has one of his guys in the building to help with the transition. Martin comes from the Arizona Cardinals, where he started 10 games last season. He's 26 years old and flashed at times. He provides much-needed depth to the Giants defense. He can play either defensive end in 4-3 fronts or outside linebacker in 3-4 fronts. Martin provides the Giants some flexibility with how they use Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul in their new defensive scheme.
What's the risk: Not much. He's young and has upside. He provides depth. He know what Bettcher wants and understands the scheme. The only downside may be that he doesn't add much to the Giants' pass-rushing depth, which is a need. He had one sack in 10 starts in Bettcher's blitz-happy defense last season. He has just 4.5 sacks in his career.
Jonathan Stewart, RB
The Giants will sign veteran running back Jonathan Stewart, according to Adam Schefter.
What it means: The Giants wanted to add a running back on the cheap. Stewart -- with his previous relationship with Gettleman and offensive coordinator Mike Shula from their time together in Carolina -- was the choice. It also puts Orleans Darkwa out of the picture and keeps open the possibility of landing Penn State running back Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL draft. Stewart is simply a veteran option to throw into the mix with Wayne Gallman and Paul Perkins, for now.
What is the risk: It's possible Stewart is done. Stewart, who turns 31 next week, has been on the decline each of the past three seasons. He averaged just 3.4 yards per carry last year behind an offensive line that was considerably better than what the Giants had to offer. Darkwa averaged 4.4 yards per carry. The only positive is Stewart won't be costly.
Mark Herzlich, LB
The New York Giants re-signed both Herzlich and Jon Halapio on Monday. Herzlich was an unrestricted free agent and Halapio an exclusive-rights free agent. Here's a closer look at the signings:
What it means: Herzlich is coming back for his eighth season, even after missing all of last year with a stinger suffered during training camp that landed him on injured reserve. Herzlich, 30, is a special-teams player and a quality figure in the locker room. It helps that he knows Gettleman from his time with the Giants in the pro personnel department. Gettleman likely views Herzlich as a quality locker room presence. If he proves capable of still contributing at a high level on special teams, he could make the final roster.
What's the risk: Not much. It's expected to be a minimum-salary deal and the Giants can likely cut bait any time they please. The only downside is Herzlich counts more against the salary cap with the veteran minimum salary of $915K than a rookie or second-year player. That is likely outweighed by his ability to help stabilize a locker room that needs an overhaul. The Giants' defense had three players suspended last year, and Gettleman has preached needing to change the culture.
Jon Halapio, OL
What it means: This has a chance to be a sneaky-good move. Halapio proved last year that he can be successful at the NFL level. He started the final six games and you hardly heard his name. That is a positive for an offensive lineman. He also played especially well in the season finale -- earning a game ball -- when Orleans Darkwa rushed for 154 yards. Halapio at the very least showed he is a quality reserve who can start for a stretch if necessary. It's not out of the question to see him growing into a starting-caliber player. He's only 26 years old.
What's the risk: Very little. As an exclusive-rights free agent, he re-signs for the minimum for a player with his experience. There is a high upside and minimal risk because the Giants could still cut him if he plays poorly or something happens this spring or summer. It was a no-brainer for the Giants.