John Fennelly, Lead WriterThe Giants had a solid start to their offseason yesterday, putting to bed some questions at RB and OL with the signings of RB Rashad Jennings and OL Geoff Schwartz. They also brought in DE/LB O’Brien Schofield, an interesting player that could help in the DE rotation and on special teams.
They also shored up their roster by signing back some of their own UFAs: S Stevie Brown, RB Peyton Hillis, QB Curtis Painter, CB Trumaine McBride and K Josh Brown.
The losses included DT Linval Joseph (Vikings), TE Brandon Myers (Buccaneers) and S Ryan Mundy (Bears). Of the three, only the loss of Joseph will hurt most. The Giants will have to look for a replacement for him either in the draft or in free agency.
As for how much money the Giants spent Tuesday and how much they have left to spend is unknown, since many of the contracts have not been finalized yet.
It is being discussed that Schwartz may be moved to tackle and either Justin Pugh or Will Beatty will move over to guard. Beatty isn’t a guard, nor is he a LT, so he will likely land at RT and Pugh will shift to guard.
This is all contingent on several variables: Chris Snee’s health, the signing of a new center, and if the Giants can land a top lineman in the draft. Most fans would like to see the Giants sign either Evan Dietrich-Smith or Brian De La Puente to play center and draft either Michigan OT Taylor Lewan or Notre Dame’s Zack Martin in Round One of the draft. All options are still in play at this time.
The Schofield signing is a mystery to most, but if you follow the Giants closely, you shouldn’t be shocked. They shelled out $8 million dollars for this player, who has done very little at the pro level but hold his knee. They know something. They likely had him on their radar when he was wreaking havoc at Wisconsin and kept tabs on him the past several years.
How do we know that? Simple. Just like the Keith Rivers signing. The Giants loved Rivers coming out of USC, but had just won the Super Bowl and were drafting at the end of the round. Cincinnati grabbed Rivers with the ninth overall pick. When Rivers ran his course in Cincy and became available, the Giants immediately made a trade to get him. It seems they may have the same opinion of Schofield.
We know the Giants had scouts covering the Badgers in ’08 because Wisconsin TE Travis Beckum was their third round pick the next year. They obviously knew about Schofield, who went on to become a star in’09, but chose not to draft him after he tore up his knee at the Senior Bowl.
On Tuesday, they had a chance to bring him into the fold and they did. Let’s hope he pans out better than Rivers did for them.