By midnight Thursday, the Giants' free agent gameplan will be set and put into motion. Rumors, some founded, others unfounded, will start flying, and there might even be some concrete news of a quick signing come Friday morning or afternoon.
The question here is, what are the possibilities that the Giants will sign a big-name free agent fast? They tried it last season when they reached out to big Albert Haynesworth with a reported $80 million in hand, only to be trumped by the Redskins. Instead, they wound up getting Michael Boley, Chris Canty, and Rocky Bernard over four days for a total of $83 million. We all know how that turned out.
This time around, one rumor spouted by an all-sports talk show has Jerry Reese preparing a $100 million offer to Julius Peppers, to be thrown on the table at one minute after midnight tomorrow. Though it shouldn't be dismissed out of hand, it does seem like a lot to throw at a player who tends to disappear in big spots, especially since it's the middle of the defense that really needs bulking up.
Still, he is the premier defensive lineman out there, now that all the major defensive tackles wear the franchise tag. So it's not impossible that such an offer would be made.
The question is, if they throw that much at Peppers, how much more will the Giants be willing to spend on free agents? In an uncapped year, teams are going to want to spend carefully in view of future salary cap ramifications. Once a new collective bargaining agreement is struck at some point down the road, it's likely there could be retroactive taxes for roster salaries this year. Besides, the Giants are traditionally careful about where and how they spend their money, and the lack of a salary cap come Friday is not expected to change that significantly.
It's all going to be quite interesting to see if the Giants change their behavior.