Kenny Phillips ready to test free-agent market

The Giants made an offer to safety Kenny Phillips in the hopes of keeping him off the open market. But it wasn’t nearly enough, according to an NFL source, and any chance of Phillips re-signing in the next few days appear gone.

Phillips, according to the source, will become an unrestricted free agent when the market opens on March 12, barring a last-ditch effort from the Giants. He would still prefer to re-sign with the Giants, the source said, and it appears the Giants would like to keep him.

But the price, so far, has not been right.

It wasn’t immediately clear what Phillips is looking for in a new contract, but the Giants are apparently being cautious with the 26-year-old who missed nine games last season with a sprained right MCL. He also had major surgery on his left knee back in 2009 and hasn’t really been the same player since.

Still, the Giants value the player they took in the first round of the 2009 draft and believe he’s young enough that he can still fulfill his potential. They hoped he’d return and join veteran Antrel Rolle and restricted free agent Stevie Brown as part of a strong, three-safety rotation.

With Phillips now likely heading elsewhere, that explains why the Giants have reportedly reached out to veteran defensive back Charles Woodson, a 36-year-old who was recently cut by the Packers and now plays safety. According to ESPN, the Giants are one of four teams that have called to express an interest in him – joining the Seahawks, Dolphins and Jets.

The Giants likely wouldn’t be interested in Woodson for much more than a minimum-salaried deal. He would add depth and experience to a defensive backfield that is young and struggled often last season.

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