The New York Giants will head into next season with a duo of Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul leading the way for their pass rush – one of the better combinations in the game.
But what we forget is the amount of pressure the Giants put on these guys on an every snap basis.
Last season, Vernon led the league in snaps from the edge rusher position which is something Pierre-Paul was destined for as well prior to getting injured.
New York needs more options beyond relying on those two getting to the quarterback.
According to Pro Football Focus, New York’s pressure percentage was 28th in the league and their quick pressure rate was 29th in the league.
The Giants also allowed opposing quarterbacks more time in the pocket before pressure than any other team (2.59 seconds).
As a result, PFF has put together a list of pass rushers available in free agency the team could target to give Vernon and JPP a little help.
Here they are.
3. Calais Campbell
Out of the three options PFF listed, Calais Campbell is unquestionably the most unrealistic.
With the Giants currently sitting at $13 million in available cap space it seems highly unlikely they lure in Campbell, who was listed as their second-best interior defender last season.
PFF’s Take: Campbell would be a huge splash for this defense. In 2016 Campbell was great at rushing the passer and was our second-highest-graded DI when rushing the passer. He notched 56 total pressures and 9 sacks.
2. Chris Baker
Spending all five of his NFL seasons with the Washington Redskins, Chris Baker has really shined over the last two seasons.
As a defensive end in a 3-4 scheme, he sacked the quarterback 9.5 times over the last two seasons, posting a PFF grade of 82 in each season.
With Johnathan Hankins hitting free agency, a spot for Baker on the team’s defensive line is there.
But, similar to Campbell, he could be out of the Giants’ price range.
PFF’s Take: Baker would likely be a cheaper option than Campbell, and would still provide a nice improvement as an interior pass rusher. In 2016 Baker put up 42 total pressures including 6 sacks.
1. Chris Long
Easily the most likely option on this list, Chris Long would be a solid veteran pass rusher off the bench.
Long spent last season with the New England Patriots, sacking the quarterback four times and registering a PFF grade of 70.3 which was significantly better than his two seasons prior with the
St. Louis Rams.
He signed for less than $2.5 million last year with the Pats which certainly puts him on the short list of players the Giants could afford at the moment.
PFF’s Take: With starting edge defenders in place, the Giants could look to improve their bench. Long would be a huge improvement as a third edge rusher. In 2016 Long put up 57 total pressures including four sacks.