Here are the moves the New York Giants should consider when free agency opens at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, March 14:
Secure a stud lineman: The Giants need to upgrade their offensive line, and guard Andrew Norwell was the best option on the market. That didn't work out though. Norwell is expected to land with the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to Adam Schefter. That leaves the Giants on Plan B, which could include two second-tier players with Justin Pugh and even D.J. Fluker back in the mix. Maybe Josh Sitton or Josh Kline are options. The Giants need something significant for their offensive line, which has struggled badly in recent years. No matter what, it will be costly.
Add an offensive tackle: The offensive line overhaul isn't done simply with a guard -- it's just beginning. The Giants don't have much under contract at this point on the line, and they desperately need help at tackle. Pittsburgh's Chris Hubbard is one of the best options on the market. He's proved to be capable as a starting right tackle during his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Signing Nate Solder, the only true starting left tackle on the market, and a top guard isn't realistic for the Giants. Pugh will probably be too costly as well. Signing a player like Hubbard, who at 26 has the potential to blossom in an even bigger role, might be the best route to take.
Re-sign RB Orleans Darkwa: Finally given a bigger role last season, Darkwa proved capable of being a valuable piece to a backfield-by-committee. He led the Giants in rushing and averaged a very respectable 4.4 yards per carry. Bringing Darkwa back would give the Giants options. They can get by with Darkwa and Wayne Gallman, but still have room to add a top talent like Saquon Barkley or a young-pass catching option later in the draft. Re-signing Darkwa would be the kind of move that would give GM Dave Gettleman the flexibility he desires entering this year's draft.
Restock the pass-rushers: The Giants are more likely to address this with an under-the-radar move for a veteran. The Giants need to add pass-rushers to the stable. If the Philadelphia Eagles proved anything this past season it's that you need a bevy of pass-rushers to remain fresh and productive late in games. The Giants haven't had that in recent years and the addition of a veteran like Connor Barwin would help. The veteran won't break the bank but has a track record of success. He could also help ease the transition for Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul into more 3-4 fronts. Barwin's leadership ability would be an additional benefit.