ZMI ALPHA:The New York Giants could target one undervalued pass rusher in free agency

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ZMI ALPHA:The New York Giants could target one undervalued pass rusher in free agency

The pass rush market is flush with the options this off-season, and with free agency starting on March 17, the New York Giants are still trying to clear a bit of salary space to work with.

On Saturday, it was reported that Nate Solder will restructure his contract, hopefully lowering his cap hit for the 2021 season significantly. This will give the Giants a bit more space to work with and also allow them to retain the OT, providing a solid option at right tackle moving forward.

However, the Giants still have plenty of holes they need to fill, and as they continue to restructure deals and make cuts, there are a few solid targets to explore. The pass rush market consists of players like Bud Dupree, Carl Lawson, Jadeveon Clowney, Matthew Judon, and Haason Reddick.

Most of these names will command solid contracts, but one player stands out to me and how the Giants have constructed their roster since Joe Judge took over as head coach.

A good fit for the New York Giants:

Haason Reddick, currently coming off his best season to date, is hitting the market looking for a new deal. Last season, he tallied  12.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, and 43 solo tackles. As a former first-round pick in 2017, he made the transition back to pass rusher after playing off-ball linebacker with the Cardinals the past few seasons. His primary strength has always been rushing the passer, and the Giants could lock him into a three-year deal with a low cap hit for 2021.

If they can sign him for a three-year deal paying him $30 million total, they can push a majority of the hit to next season, taking on a $5 million cap hit this year and $15 million next season with minimal dead money for 2023. This scenario makes a lot of sense, injecting a proven pass rusher into the team with significant upside.

Also, considering the fact the Giants don’t have much financial flexibility, he is a bargain with a market full of options, so he will likely have to settle for a more cost-efficient contract. This ultimately benefits the Giants, but expect free agency to move a bit slower than in recent years, based on teams still needing to clear money and get creative with the salary cap.

Big Blue still has Lorenzo Carter, Oshane Ximines, and Carter Coughlin as options, but considering two of them missed a majority of the 2020 season, bringing in a more productive option to spur competition is a beneficial move. Reddick would fit Patrick Graham’s scheme well as a multiple player who brings versatility. In case of injury, he can move back to regular linebacker and also rush the passer adequately at the OLB position.

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