So I am really mad at the Giants, still, and I even wanted to just skip this post. But, the 49ers play them next season, so we here at NN must soldier on in acquiring suitable knowledge of our opponents!
Let's be honest: the Giants are one of the historically weaker teams to win the Super Bowl. If they weren't on the East Coast and if they weren't a team named "New York Giants" I am sure we would have seen this a bit more in the media. Bitter? Of course I am, but the Giants have a few holes to fill if they want to defend their title next year.
The Giants have two huge strengths going their way and are major contributors in their success this last season: an excellent pass game and pass rush. For the most part, Giants fans can expect these strengths to remain intact next season.
On the offensive side of the ball, the only change is that Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham is a FA. During the regular season, however, he was not that big of a guy for them and is a tossup for being re-signed (though I would love it if the 49ers gave him a look...). Defensively, their pass rush pretty much comes from their ferocious d-line. They are scary and good.
That said, the Giants could still look to FA for some serious needs. By some statistical measures, they have one of the worst running games in the NFL. If you have Eli Manning, Victor Cruz, and an offense set to throw the ball, I'm not sure how much you worry about the run game (especially in the modern NFL), but man, they really should spend some time trying to get better on the ground.
On the flip side, the Giant's defense could be improved as well. Obviously the pass rush is a huge strength for them, and with Prince Amukamara getting healthy, their pass defense should improve. They may want to look to FA, though, for some help, depending on how well Terrell Thomas recovers from his ACL injury. He is also a Free Agent.
Really, though, the Giants could get some help at the linebacker position. Stopping the run is not something the Giants are too consistent at, and even though they are designed to win shoot-outs and low-scoring games (look at the playoffs), adding LB depth would make them much more multi-dimensional.
Exclusive Rights Free Agents: TE Jake Ballard, TE Bear Pascoe.
Restricted Free Agents: CB Bruce Johnson.
Unrestricted Free Agents: QB David Carr, WR Michael Clayton, WR Domenik Hixon, WR Mario Manningham, WR Devin Thomas, OT Stacy Andrews, OT Kareem McKenzie, OT Tony Ugoh, DE Dave Tollefson, DT Rocky Bernard, DT Jimmy Kennedy, LB Chase Blackburn, LB Jonathan Goff, CB Will Blackmon, CB Michael Coe, CB Aaron Ross, CB Terrell Thomas, CB Justin Tryon, S Deon Grant, S Derrick Martin, P Steve Weatherford.