New York Giants 2024 free agency tracker: Stoll, Manhertz add depth to TE room

This is a running analysis of the New York Giants’ moves and key departures during free agency. The legal tampering window begins Monday at noon ET and the NFL’s new league year, when teams can formally sign free agents who played elsewhere in 2023, begins Wednesday.

The Giants entered free agency with about $38.4 million in cap space, the 15th-most in the league, and plenty of work to do.

Live updates: Free-agent news from across the NFL
Best available players: Who’s still on the market?
Free agency grades: The Athletic’s Mike Jones grades all the signings
Does free agency work?: Best and worst signings of the last four years

March 15: As the Giants’ free agency focus shifts to low-cost options, they signed a pair of veteran offensive linemen on Friday. The Giants signed 30-year-old Aaron Stinnie, who started 11 games at left guard for the Buccaneers last season, and 28-year-old Austin Schlottmann, who has been a backup at all three interior offensive line positions during his five seasons with the Vikings and Broncos.

The Giants need to fortify their offensive line depth, especially after Ben Bredeson, who started 16 games at all three interior positions last season, left to sign with the Bucs on Friday. The Giants signed Jon Runyan to a three-year, $30 million contract, so he’ll start at one guard spot. John Michael-Schmitz, who was a second-round pick last year, returns at center. That leaves one starting guard spot open, so Stinnie and Schlottmann will enter the competition for that role.

March 15: The Giants keep adding to their tight end room, signing Chris Manhertz, his agent Sean Stellato confirmed to The Athletic on Friday.

The Giants also added former Eagles tight end Jack Stoll this week as veteran Darren Waller contemplates retirement. The room also features Daniel Bellinger.

Manhertz went undrafted in 2015 and has played for four teams over his career, most recently spending 2023 with the Denver Broncos. He has a career 26 receptions for 271 yards and two touchdowns. The soon to be 32-year-old is noted for his blocking skills.

TE Jack Stoll

March 14: The Giants agreed to a one-year deal with former Eagles tight end Jack Stoll, ESPN reported Thursday. The move comes amid some uncertainty in the Giants’ tight end room with Darren Waller uncertain if he will retire or continue his career.

Either way, the Giants needed to add some depth to the roster.

The Giants already have tight end Daniel Bellinger buy beyond him, little is certain. Stoll went undrafted out of Nebraska in 2021 and spent three seasons with the Eagles. He’s started 26 times in 50 appearances with 20 receptions for 183 yards.

March 13: Wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins will hit the open market after not being tendered as a restricted free agent. Hodgins joined the Giants midway through the 2022 season, providing steady production, particularly in the red zone.

The 25-year-old recorded just 21 catches for 230 yards last season, however, as the Giants started to deploy Darius Slayton, Wan’Dale Robinson and Jalin Hyatt as their top three receivers late last year. This is also considered a high quality draft for wide receivers, meaning the Giants could use their No. 6 selection on a top option or elect to pick one deeper in the draft.

March 13: The Giants tendered cornerback Nick McCloud. The team is short on cornerbacks with veteran Adoree’ Jackson a free agent and not expected to return. McCloud is a versatile 25-year-old who’s been good on special teams. He’ll add depth to the corner spot as well with Deonte Banks, who is coming off a solid rookie season, the CB 1 for now. McCloud was undrafted in the 2021 draft but spent time with the Bengals and Bills before landing in New York in 2022.

The Giants are determined to avoid another returner debacle. Last season, the Giants tried to shoehorn rookie running back Eric Gray into the return role, and it was a disaster. Gray had two fumbles and was shaky fielding numerous punts before losing the job midway through the season. In 2022, the Giants used No. 1 cornerback Adoree’ Jackson as a punt returner for one game and he promptly suffered a knee injury that sidelined him for seven games.

The Giants added Gunner Olszewski midway through last season and he thrived as the returner in the final 10 games. Olszewski agreed to a deal Monday and the Giants reached a deal with Isaiah McKenzie on Tuesday to add more depth at the position.

McKenzie is a familiar face, as he spent four seasons in Buffalo with general manager Joe Schoen and coach Brian Daboll. McKenzie has averaged 8.9 yards on 81 punts returns in his seven-year career.

McKenzie and Olszewski fill the same role as a backup slot receiver and returner, so they’ll likely battle for one roster spot. Having two capable returners is two more than the Giants had for most of the past two seasons.

March 12: After losing safety Xavier McKinney on Monday to a mega deal with the Green Bay Packers, the Giants added a new veteran defensive back, agreeing to a one-year deal with safety Jalen Mills, per The Athletic’s Jeff Howe. The 29-year-old Mills was drafted by the Eagles in 2016 and played five seasons for Philadelphia — where he was nicknamed the “Green Goblin” for his bright green-dyed hair — before moving on to New England for the past three seasons.

Mills started his career as an outside corner but has become a versatile secondary component. The Giants need the boost with McKinney’s departure. Only Dane Belton and Jason Pinnock have started consistently while Gervarrius Owens is coming off a quiet rookie year. The Giants corner situation is also in flux with veteran Adoree’ Jackson a free agent. Deonte Banks, the franchise’s first-round selection last year, has proven a capable starter but the Giants still need a veteran opposite him.

March 12: A’Shawn Robinson earned himself a payday after spending the 2023 season with the Giants on a one-year, $5 million prove-it deal. Now he is cashing in with a three-year, $22.5 million deal with the Carolina Panthers, a league source confirmed to The Athletic.

Robinson will reunite with Panthers DC Ejiro Evero, who was with the defensive tackle previously in Los Angeles.
After a handful of starts with the Giants, the soon to be 29-year-old Robinson’s role increased dramatically following the Leonard Williams trade. He was a starter the remainder of the year and finished with 34 solo tackles along with nine pressures and nine QB hurries in 17 games, per TrueMedia.

Robinson was drafted in the second round of the 2016 draft by the Detroit Lions before being signed by the Rams in 2020.

March 12: GM Joe Schoen made no secret of his plan to add a quarterback this offseason and he followed through by agreeing to sign Drew Lock to a one-year contract worth $5 million, a league source confirmed to The Athletic on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old Lock has made 23 career starts, providing an experienced insurance policy for starting quarterback Daniel Jones, who is recovering from a torn ACL. He spent the past two seasons as Geno Smith’s backup in Seattle. Lock didn’t play a snap in 2022, but he made four appearances last season. He led a touchdown drive against the Giants in place of Smith during the Seahawks’ 24-3 win in Week 4 and orchestrated a dramatic win against the Eagles in Week 15.

Lock is a gunslinger, tying for second in average air yards per attempt in his last season as a starter in 2020 for the Broncos. He has 28 touchdown passes and 23 interceptions in his career, which illustrates his willingness to take risks.

March 11: Tyrod Taylor is leaving the Giants, but he isn’t going far. After backing up Daniel Jones for the past two seasons, Taylor is switching locker rooms at MetLife Stadium to back-up Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, a league source confirmed to The Athletic.

The Giants were interested in re-signing Taylor, who played well in five starts last season. Terms of the deal with Jets haven’t been reported, but it’s not surprising Taylor chose to leave the Giants. The veteran wasn’t happy when he didn’t immediately reclaim the starting job from undrafted rookie Tommy DeVito after missing four games with broken ribs. The Giants will be in the market for an experienced backup QB as Jones recovers from a torn ACL.

March 11: The Giants continued to beef up their offensive line on Monday. Not long after signing Jon Runyan, the team agreed to a two-year $14 million contract with tackle Jermaine Eluemunor. Eluemunor, who was No. 16 on The Athletic’s list of the top 150 available free agents, started 31 games over the past two seasons at both tackle spots for the Raiders. It was vital for the Giants to add an alternative to Evan Neal, who has struggled at right tackle since being drafted with the seventh pick in 2022.

March 13: After being traded to the Giants, edge Brian Burns told members of the media Wednesday, it’s still a little “surreal.”

Burns landed in New York after a blockbuster agreement sent the No. 39 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft and a 2025 fifth-round pick to the Carolina Panthers in exchange. The Panthers will also have an additional fifth-round pick swap.

“I’m kind of overtaken with a lot of emotions,” the 25-year-old Burns told reporters Wednesday after the deal became official with the start of the new league year. “But once I’m done processing — I’m super excited to be here — but once I’m done processing, then everything will come back down, and I’ll really sit in fruition. Right now, I’m kind of all over the place, I’m just a little giddy.”

March 11: The Giants landed an impact pass rusher in a blockbuster trade Monday. New York sent Carolina its second-round pick (No. 39 pick) and a 2025 fifth-round pick for star edge rusher Brian Burns, league sources told The Athletic. The deal also included a 2024 fifth-round pick swap.

The Giants then handed Burns, who had been franchise-tagged by the Panthers, a five-year contract worth up to $150 million.

The Giants are giving up basically what they got for defensive lineman Leonard Williams in his trade to Seattle last season. In that deal, they picked up a 2024 second-round pick and a 2025 fifth-round pick. The Giants still have a 2024 second-round pick from the Williams trade (No. 47).

Burns, who will be 26 years old in April, has been a stalwart for the Panthers since he was drafted by the franchise in 2019 with the No. 16 pick. Over 80 games in five seasons, Burns has recorded 46 sacks, including a career-high 12.5 in 2022. He earned Pro Bowl nominations in 2021 and 2022. He will form a fearsome tandem with fellow pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux and should give the Giants pass rush a lot of juice with All-Pro Dexter Lawrence wreaking havoc up the middle.

March 11: After losing star running back Saquon Barkley to the Eagles earlier in the day, the Giants found his replacement by agreeing to sign the former Bills and Texans running back to a three-year $16.5 million deal. Singletary is coming off a career season in Houston, rushing for 898 yards on 216 attempts (4.2 yards per carry) and four touchdowns. He also caught 30 passes for 193 yards.


NFL free-agency takeaways: What to make of the Day 1 run on running backs

Singletary has been remarkably durable for a player at his position, playing in either 16 or 17 games in each of the past four seasons. He spent the first four seasons of his career in Buffalo before joining the Texans last year.

The Bills selected him in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. At that time, current Giants GM Joe Schoen was Buffalo’s assistant GM, while current head coach Brian Daboll was the Bills’ OC, so they’re very familiar with Singletary’s game.

March 14: Singletary says he plans to wear No. 26 with the Giants.

March 11: Runyan and the Giants agreed to a three-year, $30 million contract worth $17 million guaranteed on Monday, a source confirmed to The Athletic. Runyan, who was No. 11 on The Athletic’s list of the top 150 available free agents, spent the past four seasons with the Packers after being a sixth-round pick in the 2020 draft. The 6-foot-4, 307-pounder is the son of former Eagles offensive tackle Jon Runyan, who squared off with the Giants from 2000-08.

The Giants had glaring holes at both guard spots, so Runyan will step into one of those openings. He made 16 starts at left guard in 2021 before shifting to right guard the past two seasons.

The Giants have been trying to build an adequate offensive line for over a decade. Runyan is the latest attempt to address the perennial weakness. He doesn’t project as a Pro Bowl-level player, but the Giants just need solid pieces to complement star left tackle Andrew Thomas. The hope is that Runyan can meet that standard and provide an upgrade for an offense amid a transition.

March 14: Runyan meets the Giants media and talks about his long history with the storied franchise.

March 11: McKinney is getting the big pay day he was looking for — just not with the team that drafted him. McKinney and the Green Bay Packers agreed to a four-year, $68 million deal ($17M APY) on Monday league sources confirmed to The Athletic.

The 24-year-old McKinney is now among the top-five paid safeties in the NFL. McKinney said last week on “Up and Adams” that he and the Giants were talking about a new deal and hoped they’d get something done.

“I do want to be (in New York) but at the end of the day, it has to make sense,” McKinney said.

For him, what made the most sense was going to Green Bay. The Giants will now need to dramatically boost their safety room with just Dane Belton and Jason Pinnock offering starter stability while Gervarrius Owens comes off a redshirt rookie season.

March 11: It’s the end of the Saquon Barkley era in New York. The Giants’ No. 2 overall pick in 2018 is leaving for the division foe Philadelphia Eagles, per The Athletic’s Dianna Russini.

They’ve agreed to a three-year, $37.75 million deal, $26 million guaranteed, that could be worth up to $46.75 million with incentives, according to Russini.

Eagles executive VP and GM Howie Roseman touched on the running back market at the NFL Scouting Combine.

“I think there are talented players on the free agent market,” Roseman said. “Obviously, we got a couple guys there from our team that are going to be free agents. I think that, at the end of the day, talented players end up getting paid. So, I think everyone will kind of have value on players just like any other position. Obviously, those guys handle the ball a lot, and they’re important players.”

Barkley has long said he wanted to be a Giant for life but after being franchise tagged last offseason and signing a one-year deal ahead of training camp, the running back was once again set to become a free agent. At the end of last season, he said he was open to getting a long-term deal worked out, but acknowledged that might take him to a new team.

“I just want something that’s fair and that makes sense,” Barkley said. “That’s really it. … If it’s not here, hopefully it’s some other place.”

Once the Giants elected not to franchise tag Barkley again, the odds of him leaving increased significantly and he hit the open market for the first time in his career.

It’s a big blow for the Giants, whose offense largely centered around Barkley since his arrival. He tallied 5,211 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns in his six seasons in New York. He also caught 288 passes for 2,100 yards and 12 touchdowns.

March 14: Barkley is introduced in Philadelphia at a press conference in which he explains the tampering allegations against GM Howie Roseman and the Eagles were blown out of proportion.

March 11: The Giants are bringing back Coughlin, who was a seventh-round selection by the team in 2020, per Coughlin’s Instagram. Coughlin has been a core special teamer under previous coordinator Thomas McGaughey. Even though McGaughey’s was fired at the start of the offseason, Coughlin will be sticking around under new special teams coordinator Michael Ghobrial.

WR/KR Gunner Olszewski

March 11: After years of searching, the Giants finally found their punt returner and aren’t letting him go. The team re-signed wide receiver/returner Gunner Olszewski on Monday, per ESPN.

After using rookie running back Eric Gray as their primary returner, which GM Joe Schoen later admitted was not a prudent move, the Giants signed Olszewski midseason after he was cut by Pittsburgh. In 10 games in New York, Olszewski averaged 11.9 yards per return, also adding a touchdown. He’s a key player to lock down for a roster that still has plenty more needs.

March 11: The Giants reportedly re-signed Kreiter on Sunday. Entering this NFL season, Kreiter had signed eight straight one-year contracts, including the last four with the Giants. At some point, the Giants will need to find a new long snapper, but the 33-year-old Kreiter is still getting the job done.

March 11: Do the Giants have another huge hole to fill on their roster? We’ll find out. Tight end Darren Waller told Dan Duggan he remains undecided about what his future holds.

“I’m undecided at the moment,” Waller told The Athletic. “It’s really the idea of signing up for another journey. It’s tough, it’s long, it requires a lot. And if you’re not fully bought into every single thing of the process, it’s going to be tough. I feel like at the end of the day, you’re doing guys a disservice if you’re not all the way in. So those are the kinds of things I’m taking into account.”

If Waller decides to walk away, the Giants will need to restock the position behind Daniel Bellinger. A weak draft class at the position may prompt the Giants to invest in a quality No. 3 tight end who could play a bigger role if Waller retires. Free agents Colby Parkinson or Adam Trautman could fit that bill.

 (Photo of Jack Stoll: Ryan Kang / Getty Images)

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