By Jeff Moeller, The New York Extra/thenyextra.com
There hasn’t been any Shaq Barrett. No JuJu Smith-Shuster. No Patrick Peterson.
The Jets and Giants haven’t made the big splashes in free agency, but they have added enough players to make steady waves.
For the Giants, Lions All-Pro wide receiver Kenny Golladay is still in the running, and most sucttlebutt has the Giants as a favorite.
As from Golladay, it has been a streamline effort by both teams that has steadily streamlined their cap space.
They both have shrewdly and methodically done their homework, and seemingly have gotten the most bang for their buck.
As of Friday evening, Jets’ GM Joe Douglas has roughly $8 million left in cap space, saving approximately $15 million for his draft picks.
He had just made another smart move by bringing on Bills tight end Kyle Croft, who emerged as a late-season hero.
Douglas’ first primary signing was Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis, who will fill the middle, and Bengals’ edge rusher Carl Lawson. Davis will be a welcome addition, but the Jets need to sing Newville Hewitt, who was a MVP candidate defensively.
Brett Perriman left to sign with the Lions, and Douglas has added former Titan Cory Davis and Jaguar Keeland Cole to bolster the duo of Denzel Mims and Jamison Crowder.
The offensive line still has some holes, but steady Chargers’ guard Dan Feeney should help fill a void, or he could easily grab a job from incumbents Alex Lewis and Greg Van Roten,
Former Raider Lamarcus Joyner will join Marcus Maye and Ashton Davis for playing time at safety. Brad McDougald, who was there last year, likely will move to corner.
Ex-Saint special teams mercenary Justin Hardee will help.
Thomas likely will sift through some more piles over the next few weeks, and he does have the draft as well.
As for the Giants, defensive end and franchise tagee Leonard Williams agreed to a three-year, $63 million pact.
The Giants surprisingly decided to bring back tackle Nate Solder and restricted his deal. They have about $3.5 million in cap space left and will need to do more restructuring to sign Golladay.
They recently added Vikings veteran Kyle Rudolph as a nice depth piece at eight end. He is a former Pro Bowler who should be an invaluable tool.
GM Dave Gettleman again worked his magic to sign former Lions linebacker Reggie Ragland, former Vikings pass rusher Ifeadi Odenigbo, former Bengals wide receiver John Ross, and former Jaguar quarterback Mike Glennon to thrifty, low-year deals. Glennon was once highly perceived as the Jets’ quarterback solution.
Former Raider Devontae Booker was signed as a backup to Saquon Barkley, signaling the probable end of Wayne Gallman, who rose to his potential last season.
Most of Thomas’ and Gettleman’s signing were under the radar and based on a string of consistent success that is expected to continue. If it happens, both teams will be credited with successful basic bargain basement shopping.
There still will be some question marks ahead, but the Jets and Giants have taken the first steps to solidify toward September.