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Pierre-Paul, Rolle Among Giants’ Top Free Agents

The New York Giants have plenty to consider this offseason, especially when it comes to free agents. In 2014, GM Jerry Reese attempted to rebuild the ailing franchise by spending a whopping $115 million, which led to a disappointing 6-10 finish. With little room to play with under the cap this year and five star players about to become free agents, Big Blue needs to proceed carefully.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul

Although the sixth-year player Pierre-Paul finished the 2014 season with 12.5 sacks, he has struggled with nagging back problems and has not performed anywhere near the level he did during the 2011 Super Bowl run. The Giants put the franchise tag on him in order to keep him around. While no long-term deal has been hammered out, coach Tom Coughlin stated he would like to see Pierre-Paul retire in Giants blue.

S Antrel Rolle

Antrel Rolle, 32, has been vocal in his desire to stay with the Giants, both directly with the organization and on social media. Coughlin places a lot of value on Rolle, as there are only two other safeties available for the upcoming season, both of them inexperienced. To ensure his return, Rolle would need to accept a substantial pay cut, as there is a limited market for safteties in his age group.

CB Walter Thurmond

This bargain cornerback is expected to return to the Giants, even though he played in only two games last season before suffering a pectoral tear. Thurmond could be even more affordable now, as the Giants do not have anyone else skilled enough to cover the position.

LB Jaquian Williams

The often-injured Williams has been trying to prove himself for the last four years but has racked up only five recovered fumbles and two sacks. In his favor, Williams has extreme athletic ability and the skill set to play against receiving tight ends. The Giants might want to let him loose on the free agent market and sign him back at a lower cost, if there are no takers.

DT Mike Patterson

At 31-years-old, Patterson earned a paltry $855,000 in 2014. While he is good with the run, he is not effective in the pass rush, which is a big need for Big Blue this season. Patterson does know the Giants’ system, which could be an advantage to signing him at a low price.

How successfully the Giants can pull of a free agent period will have multiple ramifications on the team. The team’s fan base is paying close attention to this situation, including those fans who enjoy betting on NFL football. Success here may put them back on the map as an integral segment in the NFL betting lines. Most USA residents are confused about whether or not online sports betting is legal.  You can find out if online sports betting is legal in New York Here and learn more about the betting laws regarding sports wagering.

Other pending maneuvers include restructuring LB Job Beason’s contract and signing QB Eli Manning to an extension, which would give the franchise more breathing room under the salary cap. The Giants have missed the playoffs for three straight seasons, while rivals Dallas and Philadelphia have improved and moved back into prominence in the NFC East. The 2015 season will be a test for the club and a coach that some feel is past his prime. With the addition of super-athletic Odell Beckham, Jr. and the expected return of star receiver Victor Cruz, the Giants have the offensive talent to make a statement, but they must have a productive free agency period first.

About KC Downey - @kc_downey

KC is the "head coach" of the Sports of Boston, LLC blog network. Follow him on Twitter: @kc_downey

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