As general manager Jerry Reese likes to say, the New York Giants always keep their options open. They're always trying to improve.
They might on Thursday when they add depth to an already strong defense with the signings of defensive end Devin Taylor and safety Duke Ihenacho. Both were starters last season with the Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins, respectively. Neither are expected to fill similar roles with the Giants, where they will battle for jobs this spring and summer.
Their signings likely aren't game-changing, although Taylor could fill a more significant role. He seems to be a better bet to make an impact in 2017. Ihenacho seems the more likely of the two not to be on the Week 1 roster.
As for now, here's how they should fit in with the Giants:
Taylor: He's a long, rangy edge player who started all 16 games last season for the Lions. He's what the Giants like to call a true defensive end. He's listed at 6-foot-7, 275 pounds, and can probably even add some weight to his frame. His problem with the Lions was consistency, not talent.
Taylor will likely receive a long, hard look as an interior rusher on passing downs. It's something he did with the Lions in 2015, when he finished with a career-high seven sacks. He didn't do it much last season.
The Giants didn't receive much pass rush from the interior last season. That was the weak spot on the defensive line and, after Johnathan Hankins (3.0 sacks) left in free agency, it remains an unknown heading into this season.
Taylor might be able to help. It could come at the expense of some playing time or roster spots for defensive ends Romeo Okwara, Kerry Wynn and Owa Odighizuwa. They were options on the interior last season. They now could be fighting for jobs more than ever. Taylor is a proven player with versatility.
Ihenacho: He started 10 games last season as a favorite of former Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, now a defensive backs coach for the Washington Redskins. He's considered an in-the-box strong safety who lacks cover skills.
The Giants already have Landon Collins as their strong safety. That isn't going to change. They have Darian Thompson and Andrew Adams at free safety. Ihenacho is battling for a backup role, likely with Nat Berhe. This move could be a sign that the Giants aren't sold on Berhe remaining healthy. He missed the final six games of last season with a concussion. Ihenacho is their contingency plan.
There have also been rumblings about Mykkele Thompson playing some cornerback. The young safety has also had trouble remaining on the field. He missed all of last season with a knee injury. Ihenacho gives them strength in numbers.
But he is far from guaranteed a roster spot. He missed all but 12 snaps in 2014 and 2015 because of injuries. He also struggled to finish plays last season with the Redskins, which likely contributed to a team in need of safeties allowing him to walk this offseason.
Ihenacho will need to win a roster spot if he intends to stick with the Giants. Nothing will be given to him upon his signing.