Giants Can Add 3-Time Pro Bowler at Position ‘Screaming Out for an Upgrade’

Melvin Ingram

Getty The New York Giants can still sign a three-time Pro Bowler to strengthen a position "screaming out for an upgrade."

Pressure is key to the New York Giants’ blitz-happy defense, but coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale’s unit is lacking numbers in the pass rush department. It’s a problem the Giants can solve by adding a three-time Pro Bowler who’s still a free agent.

Melvin Ingram III has a proven pedigree for getting to the quarterback, but the 34-year-old has had trouble finding a new team since being let go by the Miami Dolphins. His market may have stalled, but Ingram is one of the “quality veterans” the Giants can still pursue, according to Dan Duggan of The Athletic.

Duggan also mentioned Ingram’s fellow 34-year-old, Justin Houston, as a possible option. Houston played for Martindale with the Baltimore Ravens in 2021 and has already been named a fit for the Giants this offseason.

Whether it’s Houston or Ingram, Duggan believes the position of edge-rusher is “screaming out for an upgrade” to help starters Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari.

Veteran Still Creates Splash Plays

Ingram hasn’t lost the knack for putting heat on the pocket, nor is he ever short of a few splash plays. One of his best was this scoop and score against the New England Patriots in Week 1.

This was one of two fumbles Ingram recovered last season. He also generated 18 pressures, 10 QB hits and nine hurries to go with six sacks, per Pro Football Reference.

Ingram still boasts a deep repertoire of moves for beating blockers and getting into the backfield. His inside move proved particularly effective against Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills in Week 3, yielding a sack highlighted by Matt Waldman of Football Guys.

Skills like these belong in Martindale’s defense. The Dolphins blitzed Ingram 41 times last season, a number the Giants’ play-caller would likely increase by deploying the proven pass-rusher in a vital situational and sub-package role.

Smart and selective use of Ingram’s talents would be the best way for Martindale to ease the burden on Thibodeaux and Ojulari.

Giants Need Help for Starting Edge Defenders

Big Blue’s primary edge-rushers have the potential to dominate, provided they can stay healthy. The problem is “both players were injured last season, with Ojulari missing 10 games,” according to Duggan’s colleague Charlotte Carroll.

Thibodeaux also dealt with knee and ankle injuries, but he still produced enough to increase expectations for his second season. Giants’ franchise sack leader Michael Strahan is already predicting greatness for Thibodeaux, per Duggan: “He had a great rookie year and I think he’s going to spring board off that to Year 2.”

Thibodeaux’s chances of meeting expectations will be better with an established game-wrecker like Ingram able to take blockers away from No. 5 and also ease his workload.

Signing a well-travelled QB hunter, who’s played for the Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers since 2020, to a team-friendly contract shouldn’t be a problem for the Giants. Not when notes general manager Joe Schoen still has $4,184,387 available under the salary cap.

Agreeing a one or two-year deal for a pass-rusher with Ingram’s credentials will not only give Martindale another pressure specialist. It can also safeguard the Giants from risking suspect depth behind Thibodeaux, where only returning duo Jihad Ward and Oshane Ximines, who combined for just five sacks in 2022, are the obvious candidates.