3 2025 free agents NY Giants should already be monitoring

The New York Giants need to keep their head on a swivel and their eyes on these three 2025 free agents who should already be on their radar.

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll inherited a roster bereft of talent and financial resources when taking over for the previous regime in 2022, yet somehow guided the team to a pleasantly surprising NFC Divisional Round appearance in their first season at the helm.

However, the G-Men fell flat on their face in 2023, finishing 6-11, and now find themselves in a position to pick near the top of the 2024 NFL Draft board after their disappointing campaign.

Schoen and Daboll have used this offseason to step back and assess the state of their team after an uneven first two seasons. Their actions this offseason have suggested that they view the 2024 league year as an opportunity to reset, re-calibrate, and transition to a long-term rebuild, parting ways with several key players from 2023.

The Giants are seemingly focused on the future, meaning they should already have these three 2025 free agents on their radar.

3. Antoine Winfield Jr., S

After losing jack-of-all-trades safety Xavier McKinney to the Green Bay Packers in free agency, the Giants have done little to address the gaping hole created in their secondary by the departure of their 2020 second-round pick. They signed veteran safety Jalen Mills this offseason, but he isn’t the long-term solution at this stage in his career, as evidenced by the one-year deal he agreed to.

Antoine Winfield Jr. would give New York a foundational piece in the back end of their defensive unit, more than making up for the departure of McKinney.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers elected to place the franchise tag on their All-Pro safety, which is reportedly only serving as a “placeholder until the two sides can hammer out a long-term deal,” per ESPN’s Senior NFL insider Adam Schefter. But after signing Pro Bowl receiver Mike Evans and quarterback Baker Mayfield to lucrative multi-year contract extensions, the team may be hard-pressed to reset the market to retain Winfield, which is what it will likely cost after his breakout campaign this past season.

Winfield set career-highs in combined tackles (122), pass deflections (12), sacks (6.0), forced fumbles (six), fumble recoveries (four), and interceptions (three), finishing as PFF’s highest-graded safety in 2023.

Until Winfield and the Bucs officially work out a deal, he will be playing out the 2024 season under the tag, making him someone worth monitoring ahead of 2025 free agency.

2. Charvarius Ward, CB

New York’s secondary woes go beyond their concerns at the safety position. Their thin cornerback room from 2023 has been reduced even further this offseason following the voided contract of veteran Adoree’ Jackson, and not re-signing him yet suggests the team is ready to move on.

2023 first-round pick Deonte Banks has a starting outside role locked up, but who will be his running mate on the other side of the field? Or in the slot? Look no further than Pro Bowler Charvarius Ward, who has operated as a shutdown corner for the San Francisco 49ers since joining the team in 2022. 

After Banks, the Giants have plenty of unanswered questions surrounding young players like Cor’Dale Flott, Aaron Robinson, and Darnay Holmes (who agreed to a one-year contract extension on Wednesday). But bringing in a respected and accomplished veteran like Ward could have monumental implications on the positional group.

Ward enjoyed a career year in 2023, logging 72 combined tackles, 23 pass deflections (which led the NFL), five interceptions (one touchdown), a forced fumble, and an 83.3 PFF coverage grade, starting all 17 games for the 49ers en route to earning All-Pro Second Team honors.

With the looming contract situations of quarterback Brock Purdy (who is extension eligible after the 2024 campaign and in line to become one of the highest-paid signal-callers in the league) and star wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, Ward could become expendable when he enters free agency in 2025. The Giants would be wise to capitalize on San Francisco’s misfortunes.

1. Chris Godwin, WR

Like Winfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers star wideout Chris Godwin could find himself on the outside looking in after seeing the team pay an extreme price to retain Mayfield and Evans on long-term contract extensions.

Godwin has emerged as a model of consistency since taking on a full-time starting role in 2019, hauling in at least 80 receptions and reaching the 1,000-yard mark in four of five seasons. His ability to thrive in the short-to-intermediate passing game as a safety valve while possessing the big-play juice to keep defenses honest has turned him into arguably the most dangerous No. 2 receiver in the NFL.

But Godwin has the talent to be a top receiving option for several teams in the league, including the Giants, who have boasted quite possibly the worst receiver groups in football over the past few seasons. New York could desperately use an infusion of talent at the position, which the 2017 third-round pick offers.

Barring the G-Men selecting a pass-catcher with the No. 6 overall pick in this year’s draft, Godwin would instantly become their primary target in 2025.  

Moreover, New York is reportedly “contemplating moving on” from quarterback Daniel Jones in 2025, which means they could bring in a young signal-caller to replace him, making the presence of a talented veteran wide receiver even more essential.