Jerry Reese outlines 'significant changes' to roster

Giants defensive end Justin Tuck (no. 91) looks

Giants defensive end Justin Tuck (no. 91) looks on from the bench during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles. (Oct. 6, 2013) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Indianapolis – Promising that there will be “significant differences” on the roster in 2014, Giants general manager Jerry Reese spoke about some of the veteran players who are in one way or another on the verge of becoming former Giants. Among them are some mainstays on the team – Justin Tuck and Chris Snee – along with others such as Hakeem Nicks, Jon Beason and David Baas.

“It’s a big puzzle,” Reese said of the many factors that will go into weighing who comes back and who doesn’t. “We’ll figure it out.”

As for the pending free agents – Tuck, Nicks and Beason – Reese said they deserve the opportunity to test the market.

“I have talks with all of those guys and free agency means free agency,” Reese said. “It means you go out and try to get as much money as you can. I’m always in favor of guys getting as much money as they can. Justin deserves to see what the market is. We’d love to have him back, but we’ll see where it goes. Beason as well. We’ve had some talks with him and hopefully we’ll be able to get him back as well. Who knows? If we can get something done maybe neither one of those guys will go, but we’ll leave our options open and I’m sure they’ll do the same.”

In the last few years, many players have found a depressed market when they went into free agency. That could work to the Giants’ advantage.

“The last couple of years it’s been a pretty saturated market,” Reese said. “If there are guys you like and you have the money, you can go get them. But if you can hold your water there will probably be some guys available in the second and third wave (of free agency).”

The Giants have wrapped up some free agents in recent years just before they hit the market. Terrell Thomas two years ago. Will Beatty last year.

“It’s a guessing game,” Reese said. “If you have the funds available to extend guys and tie them up, we’ve done that a lot in the past. We think right now it’s best to see what the market is and make our move from there.”

More complicated, in some ways, are the situations with Snee and Baas. Both are under contract for 2014 but both are coming off injuries and both have high cap numbers.

“The number one factor is who is going to be healthy,” Reese said. “We have to see if Chris, David Baas … those guys went down pretty early in the season for us and if they’re going to be healthy, that’s the number one concern. Are these guys healthy enough to come back and be contributors? Everything else will take care of itself after that … Both of those guys want to play. I’ve talked to them and I believe they want to play. But they had significant injuries. I think right now they’re on the right track to recovery and we’ll see where it goes.”

The situation with Snee could get touchy. He and Eli Manning are currently the longest-tenured Giants.

“All of it will come out in the wash,” Reese said. “Is he going to be healthy? That’s the number one thing. Obviously he’s got a big contract. That’s an issue as well. All of that will get hashed out when we figure out if he’s going to be healthy or not.”

There had been speculation that Snee was mulling retirement.

“I talked to Chris Snee and he definitely wants to play,” Reese said. “He has significant injuries and he’s not a baby at this point in his career. That always factors in, your age. With injuries, it’s tough. David Wilson is a young kid so … if David Wilson was 33 it’d be pretty tough for him to come back from his injury. But he’s 23.”

The Giants may need to figure out what their plan is with Snee and Baas before they approach free agency so they know what money they’ll have available. But Reese would not elaborate on any timeline for decisions to be made (assuming they have not been made already).

“We’ll take care of it when we need to take care of it,” he said.

Tags: giants , jerry reese , justin tuck , hakeem nicks , chris snee

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