If the Giants are looking for an experienced middle linebacker in free agency without having to break the bank (or the draft), they'll probably take a long look at Kirk Morrison. The Raiders linebacker is one of the couple of hundred guys who will go from a prospective unrestricted free agent to a restriced one in a matter of 20-something hours, and today we learned that the Raiders only put a third-round tender on him.
Essentially they're asking someone to take him off their hands.
That probably raises some red flags on its own, but Morrison would be an interesting choice if the Giants decide to go down the restricted free agency path to find their new man in the middle. He'd certainly be the cheapest in terms of draft picks. A few others whom the Giants might consider would be D'Qwell Jackson of the Browns who has not heard his tender offer from the Browns yet but is expected to get at least a first-round offer, and Barrett Ruud of the Bucs who was given a first- and third-round tender that makes him basically untouchable.
Jackson is clearly unhappy with the way the Browns are handling things and thought he would be locked up in a long-term deal by the team by now. On Twitter just a few minutes ago he showed this frustration: "Do what's best for both parties, either pay me or let me go somewhere else!"
It'll be very interesting to see how this plays out, especially with ground rules no one is really familiar with.
By the way, an old-fashioned unrestricted free agent has made the news: It seems that the Arizona Republic has reported that the Cardinals are interested in signing David Carr. That might be a good more for Carr. He'd certainly have a much better shot at playing if he goes into a season as the backup to Matt Leinart than going in as Eli Manning's backup. The Giants do want Carr back and would probably offer him whatever money the Cardinals are putting on the table. The one thing they can't offer him is playing time. And that's probably what Carr is looking for.