When the New York Giants entered the 2020 NFL Free Agency this offseason, they came in with an abundance of cash, a glaring hole on the edge of their defense and a player on the open-market in Jadeveon Clowney, with the potential to fill said hole.
Fast forward some four odd months and Clowney still, somewhat shockingly, remains team-less. The Giants, even after their prolonged game of retaining Markus Golden came to fruition, still have question marks in the pass-rushing department.
Now, after a wild week for New York which culminated in the release of Pro Bowl kicker Aldrick Rosas and an opt-out decision made by starting left tackle Nate Solder, Big Blue is now once again supplied with loads of spending money. In return, leaving many to connect the dots on a potential Giants-Clowney marriage that was much hyped back in March.
Clowney to the Giants? The Money Says Yes
It certainly appears more plausible now than ever, mainly from a financial standpoint. While Solder’s opt-out decision may have left Big Blue down a starter on their o-line, it’s also handed New York a sizeable cap savings worth $16.05 million, per ESPN’s Jordan Raanan. This, along with the $3M-plus they saved from their decision to release Rosas, has left the Giants more financially well endowed than nearly every team in football.
According to Over the Cap, New York’s current $25.9M-plus salary cap space is only outpaced by four other teams in football. Interestingly enough, two of those teams, the Redskins and Eagles, also happen to reign from the NFC East, with the latter having been connected to Clowney in the past.
With all that said, plus the abundance of Giants fans taking to social media in light of New York’s newfound cash flow to plead to their team to sign Clowney, the Giants don’t appear pressed to make any rash decision at the moment.
“We don’t feel right now like we have money burning a hole in our pocket,” head coach Joe Judge stated while speaking to media at training camp on Friday. “We just know that there is a little bit more in the cap space for us right now.”
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Clowney is Just What New York Needs
Kudos to the Giants for retaining a double-digit sack artist in Markus Golden for pennies on the dollar. The insertion of Golden back into the team’s lineup drastically elevates Big Blue’s hopes of getting after the passer this season.
However, the whirlwind offseason revolving around the Golden contract fiasco showed two things. For starters, Big Blue’s decision not to reward the edge defender despite the fact that he accumulated the first 10+ sack season by a Giants defender since 2014, shows his standing within the organization. Second, the fact that Golden received essentially no bites on the open market to deter him from re-upping up with the Giants on a measly one-year, $4.125M deal shows how he’s viewed around the league.
Essentially, despite what his 2019 stats may say, Golden’s a Robin, who’d prefer to be paid like a Batman. Clowney, on the other hand, is a Batman whose stats look more like a Robin’s, likely explaining why he remains unsigned at the moment.
Yet, while he may not always show up in the stat sheet, Clowney is a full-blown game wrecker. He’s a physical specimen that is just as effective in the run game as he is in the pass game, and warrants the offenses’ full attention on a play-by-play basis.
The potential addition of Clowney may not guarantee the addition of another 10+ sack player in New York’s lineup, but it doesn’t need to. Adding the former No. 1 overall draft pick would give the Giants the most talented edge defender they’ve had since the Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora days. Playing opposite Clowney would more than likely also lead to yet another productive campaign for Golden, who in return would see less double-teams than ever before.
It’s Now or Never for GM Dave Gettleman
If you’re the Giants, there’s no need to sit on extra money. General Manager Dave Gettleman is on the “hottest hot seat” and needs to start racking up the wins, which means improving his roster. One of the best edge defenders is out there for the taking, go get him.