Mike Remmers at right tackle? Ziggy Ansah for the pass rush?
Tuesday is an important day on the NFL calendar. That’s because free agents signed from now on will not count against the 2020 compensatory draft pick formula. With the draft and the fear of losing a compensatory pick in the rearview mirror, there might soon be a flurry of free agent activity as players still without jobs find new teams.
There are still a couple of positions where the New York Giants could use help — most obviously right tackle on offense and edge rusher on defense. Let’s look at a few players who be able to offer what the Giants need.
This is an easy one. Remmers has been connected to the Giants ever since he was released by the Minnesota Vikings two months ago. A seven-year veteran, Remmers has played both right tackle and guard and is considered a better fit at tackle. There is a connection to the Giants. Dave Gettleman signed him in Carolina in 2014, and he gave the Panthers three seasons as a starter. Pat Shurmur coached him in Minnesota.
The Giants did not address the right tackle spot early in the draft. It would seem unlikely they would want to leave that spot to incumbent Chad Wheeler, seventh-round pick George Asafo-Adjei or undrafted free agent Paul Adams.
Remmers, who has been rehabbing after back surgery. visited the Giants in March. After the draft, Gettleman indicated the Giants still have interest.
“He’s still rehabbing, and we’re continuing to talk with him, so we’ll see,” Gettleman said. “Time will tell. Got to rehab. Going to bring him in and take another look eventually.”
Once he can pass a physical, you have to believe Remmers is a strong candidate to end up as a Giant.
Jared Veldheer, a nine-year veteran, could be an option. He started 12 games for the Denver Broncos last season. Eight-year veteran Joe Barksdale remains on the market, as does former Dallas Cowboys and Jacksonville Jaguars right tackle Jermey Parnell
The most accomplished pass rusher still on the market. Ansah, 30, has 48 sacks in a six-year career with the Detroit Lions, including two double-digit sack seasons. There are two concerns with Ansah — injuries and fit in the Giants’ defense.
Ansah has not played a full season since 2015, and shoulder issues limited him to just seven games (4.0 sacks) last season.
As for fit, Ansah has always been a traditional 4-3 defensive end for Detroit. The Giants use both 3-4 and 4-3 front depending on down and distance. Could the 30-year-old fit as a 3-4 end or outside linebacker, or would he be just a pass-rush specialist for the Giants in their sub packages?
Here is Jeremy Reisman of SB Nation’s Lions website, Pride of Detroit, on both of those questions:
“He’s pretty much been a 4-3 DE his entire career, but I think he has the versatility to play in a 3-4 system. When at his best, the Lions threw Ziggy all around the defensive line, leading me to believe he has position and scheme versatility,” Reisman said.
“The injury thing is a tough question to answer. In the past, it really seems like his recovery time is longer than most, but I’m of the personal believe that the “injury prone” label is thrown around a little haphazardly. He’s been really really unlucky with injuries in the past, and there’s certainly a chance that continues. The torn labrum and subsequent surgery will certainly make it so he has a late start on whatever team he signs with, but there’s always a chance of recovery. I would just be a little tentative with him at this point in his career.”
A pass rush role on a one-year “prove it” deal might be a good move for both Ansah and the Giants.
A 2015 first-round pick by the Denver Broncos, Ray has clearly had a disappointing career. He has just 14.0 sacks in four seasons, including only one in each of the past two seasons. Injuries have limited him to just 19 games over those last two years.
Still, Ray turns just 26 later this month. HIs best year was 2016, when he had 8.0 sacks, 45 total pressures and 32 tackles. Perhaps a change of scenery would help him recapture that type of productivity.