The New York Giants have essentially lacked a legitimate pass-rush ever since the Jason Pierre Paul fireworks fiasco, and arguably even before then.
While Markus Golden proved to be a diamond in the rough of a find last offseason, registering the first double-sack season by a Giant since 2014, the team still struggled mightily to get after the quarterback.
New York racked up just 36 sacks as a team in 2019, 22nd-most in the NFL. Over the past two seasons, Big Blue has averaged the seventh-fewest sacks in the league.
Good news for the Giants, New York is projected to have an abundance of salary cap heading into the offseason, and they’ll likely be looking to lure big-name edge defenders to the Meadowlands.
Could Jadeveon Clowney Land With the Giants?
The Giants are one of the most stout teams in football when it comes to the interior of their defensive line. Last year’s first round-pick Dexter Lawrence finished 2019 as Pro Football Focus’ fourth-ranked rookie defender. New York has made it clear they hope to ink Leonard Williams to a long-term contract. While BJ Hill and Dalvin Tomlinson continue to be vastly underrated on a national level.
However, despite the presence of Markus Golden, the Giants are lacking drastically in the talent department when it comes to edge defenders. If Around the NFL’s Nick Shook had his way, he knows exactly how he’d fill the Giants’ needs.
Shook recently played NFL free agency matchmaker, where he explored “fun free agency fit for each NFC team.” When it came to the Giants, he saw it as the perfect landing spot for former first-overall draft pick and three-time pro-bowler Jadeveon Clowney.
“The Giants are young and need help in a variety of areas, but with nearly $62 million in projected cap space, New York has the room to sign a big-time player at edge rusher.” Shook continued, “the Giants will likely first try to keep Leonard Williams at a lower number, but if they want to aim for the big catch, Clowney would fit the bill and provide an instant impact at a position of need.”
How Realistic is Clowney to the Giants?
While Shook makes solid points for Clowney joining the front-seven of the Giants, it may be a bit far fetched. Clowney notably stated following the Seahawks’ playoff loss this past season that his main goal in free agency was to land with a winner.
“I’m trying to get to the Super Bowl by any means. That’s what I’m looking for: Who’s going to get me there? I ain’t looking to get on no sorry team for no money. That ain’t going to fly. I ain’t gonna put my body through all of that just to lose no 16 games, go home with my check. I’d hate that, so that ain’t what I’m doing. So if I can’t win no Super Bowl, I ain’t going to no team that can’t win.”
As much as Giants fans may not want to admit, a team that has just one winning campaign under their belt over the past seven years does not likely check off the majority of Clowney’s offseason wish list.
Plus, while Clowney would undoubtedly be a welcomed addition to the defense, is he truly the type of player the Giants need at the moment? In Clowney’s six years as a pro, he’s yet to reach double-digit sacks and is coming off a year where he recorded just three sacks in 13 regular-season games.