Giants signing linebacker Bobby Okereke in NFL free agency splash

They wished one. They were given one. There changed into no mystery the Giants entered NFL unfastened enterprise decided to discover an interior linebacker to begin and patrol the center of coordinator Wink Martindale`s protection.

That function changed into a weakness in 2022. It must now no longer be a weakness in 2023. The Giants on Monday wasted no time, agreeing to phrases with Bobby Okereke on a 4-yr deal worth $forty million, with $22 million in assured money, on the primary day they have been formally allowed to talk with unfastened dealers from different teams.

This may be the biggest-price price tag participant the Giants signal from the open market. This changed into a concern for standard supervisor Joe Schoen, who checked out the run protection his group performed closing season and knew essential upgrades have been wished.

This is what Okereke can carry to the Giants: He generated seventy-five protecting stops in 2022, tied for 10th-maximum amongst NFL linebackers, in step with NextGen Stats.

Giants linebackers closing season as a set mixed for 87 protecting stops. That changed into 19 fewer than another protection. Okereke, 26, fills numerous holes. He is durable, having performed in 16, 14, 17, and 17 video games the beyond 4 seasons for the Colts.

He is productive, with 132 tackles in 2021 and a career-excessive 151 tackles in 2022. Okereke changed into a 2019 0.33 spherical choose out of Stanford and after 4 years in Indianapolis performed his manner right into a robust deal.

Before the settlement changed into reached, 3 different interior linebackers got here off the board. T.J. Edwards left the Eagles for the Bears for a 3-yr agreement worth $19.five million ($12 million in assured money).

Germaine Pratt remained with the Bengals with a 3-yr, $21 million deal. Alex Anzalone stayed with the Lions with a 3-yr deal worth $18.seventy five million.

The Giants upped the ante with a agreement for Okereke that passed maximum of the opposite interior linebackers that went on Day 1. Another interior linebacker — one of the great of the bunch — modified teams, with Tremaine Edmunds going from the Bills to the Bears.

Schoen and head train Brian Daboll understand all approximately Edmunds from their time spent collectively in Buffalo, however the expectation changed into Edmundsrate tag could upward push above the Giants spending restrict for the function.

That changed into certainly the case, as Edmunds were given a giant 4-yr, $seventy two million deal. The Giants in Week 17 closing season thrashed the Colts 38-10 to clinch a playoff spot at Metlife Stadium and Okereke changed into one of the few shiny spots for the travelling group.