For the third year in a row, the Giants will be in a search of a tight end, and they clearly have one in sights.
It was clear in 2013 that it didn’t work out with Brandon Myers at the tight end position after being signed to a four-year, $14.25 million deal and luring him away from the Oakland Raiders, and with his contract being voided this past Friday, the New York Giants have to fill that void now vacated by Myers.
The team knows this, and apparently, veteran safety Antrel Rolle has been playing the role of veteran recruiter and tried to land one of the top free agent tight ends on the market to New Jersey, as he has been doing a bit of recruiting to land Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley for the Giants.
Aside from Rolle trying to recruit him, it was also reported that the Giants are expected to heavily pursue Finley and make a strong pitch to land the long-time Packers tight end once the free agency period kicks off next month, thus making him an early free agent target they’d like to acquire for 2014.
Finley suffered a spinal cord injury that allowed him to play in just six games for Green Bay before he was placed on season-ending injured reserve and had Andrew Quarless take over for Finley, but Finley is expected to be cleared for contact and should be ready to go for the 2014 season and makes him a very possible candidate for the Giants to sign.
While Finley has stated that he would love to remain a Packer, he understands the business side of things and if he needed to go elsewhere to play, he would, and with Rolle saying that Finley would love to become a Giant, especially given the fact that former Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo is the new offensive coordinator and bringing the Packers West Coast offense with him, Finley would be even more of a fit for the team that in the past, has relied heavily on the tight end.
In his limited time with Green Bay last year, Finley was still very productive, netting in 25 catches for 300 yards and three touchdowns while playing with Aaron Rodgers, who utilizes his options and every single receiver on the field. With McAdoo now running the offense and calling the plays for Eli Manning, who again, has used the tight end in the past as a security blanket for when he needs a big catch, Finley can again thrive playing in the Giants system and rebound from a tough 2013 in Green Bay.
Finley’s average production with the Packers has been anywhere between 55-60 catches for 650-750 yards and two-eight touchdowns given on the season; something the Giants got nowhere close with in Myers last season, who came over from a 79 catch, 806 yard season with the Raiders. But Myers biggest failure on the field wasn’t his pass-catching ability, it was his blocking; something that Myers never did well and it showed in run protection and pass protection. Previous tight ends like Jeremy Shockey, Kevin Boss, Jake Ballard and Martellus Bennett, all thrived and played well because they were both able to block well to go along with catching the football from Manning; just like Finley could and would if he were signed.
The Giants will have about a month to wait until the March 11 starting date to sign players, but can actually negotiate with pending free agents starting on March 8, so if these recruitment talks with Rolle to Finley went well and Finley is being truthful about wanting to play in New York, then it’s quite possible that Giants general manager Jerry Reese could have an easy job in attempting to sign Finley and add him to the offense that needs a boost and upgrade at the position.