Despite landing one of the marquee receivers with 2014 first-rounder Odell Beckham, Giants GM Jerry Reese intends to invest further in that spot this offseason.
“We’ll upgrade receiver,” Reese told Connor Orr of NFL.com on a decision that has more to do with slot bastion Victor Cruz, who suffered a ruptured patellar tendon midway through last season. Cruz is signed through 2018 and carries an $8.2MM cap number — the second-highest figure on the team behind Eli Manning, according to OverTheCap — as by far the Giants’ highest-paid receiver but regaining his top form after a gruesome ailment isn’t a lock. Beckham and Rueben Randle remain on their rookie deals.
Cruz hasn’t come close to replicating his 1,500-yard 2011 season, but the Giants have yet to see him team up much with Beckham, as the two played just one full game together last season. Although this is the team that took Jason Pierre-Paul in 2011 with Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck on their roster at the time, seeing the Giants go receiver at No. 8 overall or allocate significant funds to the spot via free agency would surprise, considering their other needs.
- Occupying one of the tightest salary cap situations with less than $5MM of room (OverTheCap), the Chiefs have a slew of decisions to make to become active in this season’s free agent market. But one they must exercise by May 3 is whether to pick up their fifth-year option on nose tackle Dontari Poe, their Pro Bowl nose tackle, and GM John Dorsey is putting that decision on the back burner, writes the Kansas City Star’s Terez A. Paylor. If Kansas City picks up this option, Poe’s salary in 2016 will be an average of the league’s DTs paid between third- and 25th-most at the position. Poe’s been a regular who’s played high snap counts in the middle of the Chiefs’ defense since being selected in the first round of the 2012 draft, but their decision isn’t open and shut considering the statuses of high-priced players Tamba Hali, Dwayne Bowe and Eric Berry, who saw his fifth-year option picked up last spring. Poe graded out as the 11th-best defensive tackle in a breakout 2013 season, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), but didn’t crack the site’s top 40 in his other two seasons.
- The Bills were probably going to take current Lions tight end Eric Ebron before trading up for Sammy Watkins last May and may not deviate from a tight end-based plan this time around, writes Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. Carucci picks out Charles Clay, one of the top free agents at the position this offseason after being a steady performer with the Dolphins the past two years, as a possible upgrade on the Scott Chandler-led corps. Clay’s ability to work as a fullback in Rex Ryan‘s offense would be key here, Carucci said. The Bills haven’t had much of note, receiving-wise, at this spot in the modern era after deploying the likes of Chandler, Robert Royal and Jay Riemersma over the past 15 years.
- Clay, who caught 58 and 69 passes the past two years, respectively, may not be a fit for the Super Bowl champion Patriots, tweets the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe, however. Clay’s price may be out of the range of a team that employs the second-highest-paid player, by seasonal value, in Rob Gronkowski.