The New York Giants are set to embark on their most important offseason in recent memory. The decisions made by general manager Dave Gettleman this spring will be critical in determining whether Big Blue can continue confidently on their current path, or if they’ll have to press the reset button once again. With that in mind, let’s examine the potential free agents that could propel this team to playoff contention.
Next on the list is Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Haason Reddick.
Reddick, 26-years old, has four years of NFL experience with Arizona. Drafted 13th overall in 2017, the former Temple Owl underwhelmed playing predominantly off-ball linebacker for his first three seasons. Over that span, Reddick averaged just 64 tackles and two and a half sacks per year. It was in his fourth season, when the Cardinals moved him back to the edge rusher role he played in college, when he finally demonstrated his first-round talent. In 2020, Reddick exploded for 12.5 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, and six forced fumbles. Giants fans will surely remember when he tortured BIg Blue with five sacks and three forced fumbles in Week 13.
The former college walk-on has been incredibly durable thus far. Reddick has yet to miss a single game in his career due to injury.
The idea of Reddick on the Giants makes plenty of sense. As a pass rushing outside linebacker, he would fit comfortably in coordinator Patrick Graham’s 3-4 scheme. New York doesn’t currently have any proven starters on the edge, so Reddick would immediately become their best player at the position. His experience playing inside and off the ball should be appealing to a Giants coaching staff that values versatility in the front seven. At 6’1 and 235 pounds, he isn’t great against the run, but his solid coverage chops (he played cornerback early in college) should provide Big Blue with more than enough scheme flexibility.
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The concern is whether Reddick’s one season of high-end production is truly replicable. His position switch that precipitated it suggests that it could be, but signing him to a multi-year contract still carries risk. Also, nearly half his production came in that one game against New York, which implies he wasn’t as consistently impactful as his final counting stats indicate.
Spotrac estimates Reddick’s market value at $11.6 million annually. That’s a reasonable sounding number, especially on a shorter-term deal to make sure his 2020 production wasn’t a fluke. The Giants could afford to bring him in as one of a couple of mid-cost additions in free agency.
Should the Giants be Interested?
Yes. Reddick’s fit in Big Blue’s defense is a natural. He has the potential to take a mid-career star turn, much in the way Shaq Barrett did with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. New York shouldn’t overextend themselves by offering Reddick a four or five-year deal. But a two or three-year contract at modest money should be a strong possibility.