Back in March of 2005, Burress’ agent tried to make an arms race between the Giants and a few other teams. Burress shows up at Giants Stadium. The agent does not accompany him, meaning that a deal is not likely to get done. This maneuver by the agent pissed the Giants off big time. The Giants told his agent that once Burress left them their interest was done. In an unusual move, the Giants then went out of their way to tell the media and the world that they no longer had interest in Burress. This was a way of telling the agent that they were not letting him shop their interest. It served to tell other teams that they should be wary of the agent’s gaming tactics. And lastly, it directly undermined the player’s value. After Burress went to look at the Vikings, he fired his agent, got Drew Rosenhaus and got a deal done with the Giants. The date was March 17, 2005, and Plaxico Burress took jersey #17 for the day of the contract. Three years later he is a Super Bowl champion wearing Giant blue.
The story reminds us that the Giants will not be leveraged. They go one and one, but once you leave you are done. And as they have shown so many times, they will go the cheaper route if they have to. It is interesting to note that Accorsi signed THREE BIG PLAYERS that month: Antonio Pierce, Kareem McKenzie and Plaxico Burress. Nice haul. ALL THREE WERE A BIG FOUNDATION FOR THE 2007 YEAR AND SUPER BOWL WIN. Reese still must respect that element of the front office. He is a scout, and wants to win with the players he drafts. That is great, but you need to go after a special player once in a while because he is a proven source who can help a need and win you a championship. Reese is not Accorsi, but he has to respect that Accorsi was a part of his success last year when he did not chase the next round of free agents. He had others from Accorsi’s years to fall back on.
Summary- using cheap replenishments in free agency exclusively only works when you already have a great deal of talent and are very successful in the draft. There is too much talent lost in free agency for a team to reasonably assume that it will not need to use this player pool to improve the roster.