Last week, the New York Giants made a "modest" offer to free-agent safety Kenny Phillips in an attempt to keep him off the open market when the league year begins on March 12. However, today, Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reports that Phillips was not satisfied with Big Blue's attempt to lock him into a contract for next season and is determined to test free agency.
The Giants have a decision to make on Phillips, who has established himself as one of the best over-the-top defenders in the NFL. Although he's just 26-years old and is entering his prime, Phillips has dealt with a multitude of injuries over the last several seasons. In 2009, Phillips underwent microfracture knee surgery. In 2012, he missed nine game with a sprained MCL in his right knee. Phillips has been productive throughout his career; however, he's had issues staying on the field.
As a team with limited salary cap space, the Giants have to be frugal with their offseason spending in 2013. With Stevie Brown emerging as a cheaper alternative, it may make sense to let Phillips walk and insert Brown into the starting lineup. Brown is not as experienced or as physically talented as Phillips, but he was at the right place at the right time on eight separate occasions in 2012 and broke the Giants franchise record for interception return yards. Brown can likely be retained for half the price that Phillips will cost on the free-agent market and does not have a significant injury history. The Giants are likely going to have to choose one or the other, and Brown likely presents better value for 2013.
The Giants are not going to get into a bidding war for Phillips on the open market, and it's possible the market value for his services falls within the team's price range. In a top heavy safety market, it's not likely there will be many general managers willing to overpay for a guy with a history of serious injuries. However, with Phillips determined to hit free agency, the liklihood that the Giants re-sign him decreases dramatically.
In other news, the Giants are still in contract talks with offensive guard Kevin Boothe. Boothe was a pleasant surprise last season; however, the team may not have the salary cap room to retain him. If Boothe hits the free-agent market, it's likely the Giants will lose in a bidding war for his services.Tags: contract, Football, Kenny Phillips, Kevin Boothe, New York, New York Daily News, New York Giants, NFL, Ralph Vacchiano, Stevie Brown