Dalvin Tomlinson Sounds Off on Giants Future

Dalvin Tomlinson talks potential Giants return

Getty Dalvin Tomlinson #94 of the New York Giants celebrates his third quarter tackled against the Chicago Bears.

The New York Giants “love” Dalvin Tomlinson, according to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News, and who could blame them. Thrust into the starting lineup from the moment the team used a second-round pick on him back in 2017, the Alabama product has started 64 consecutive games (the longest-active streak amongst Giants players).

The 6-foot-3-inch, 318-pound Tomlinson has solidified himself as a mainstay along the Giants’ defensive line, and by the sound of it, he’d like things to remain that way — although he’s aware that the prospect of a return to East Rutherford could prove difficult.

“When you get drafted by a team, you always see yourself back there because that’s your home,” Tomlinson told Sports Illustrated’s Pat Ragazzo. “So of course, I can see myself back there and I would be more than happy to stay. But it’s a business and with the cap space (situation), I just have to take it one day at a time. But I always see it as a possibility for me to be a New York Giant for life.”

“Everyone wants to be a part of something they helped start. It would be a blessing to be back in New York with the Giants to say the least,” he claimed. “What we are building reminds me of old school Giants football.”

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Dalvin Tomlinson a ‘Priority’ for the Giants

Joining the Giants Huddle podcast, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport detailed the strong interest Tomlinson is expected to garner on the open market, as well as how crucial he is to the Giants’ success – on and off the field.

“It sounds like he is a priority (to the Giants),” the NFL Network insider proclaimed. “Now I know he’s going to be coveted. If you’re a team like the Giants, you draft well enough where a mid-rounder becomes a really coveted free agent, that’s someone you’d like to keep. I think for Dalvin Tomlinson, the interesting thing for the Giants is not that he’s a very good player, he is a very good player, but he’s also a leader. You rarely have leaders on the defensive line. It just doesn’t always happen that way.”


Tomlinson to be ‘Coveted’ in Free Agency

Tomlinson is coming off arguably the most prolific season of his four-year tenure in East Rutherford. Known for his run-stuffing prowess, the Georgia native developed as a pass rusher in 2020, earning a career-best 74.7 pass-rush grade, per PFF. For the season, Tomlinson finished with 49 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 10 quarterback hits and eight tackles for loss. That type of production, at just 27 years old, is bound to pique the interest of NFL clubs.

“His value is great on the free agent market,” Rapoport said of Tomlinson. “It might be greater with the Giants because of how he leads the team and how the players interact with him. He’s important. I don’t know if they’ll be able to keep him, but he is very important to this team.”

Retaining Tomlinson won’t come cheap. PFF predicts the defensive lineman to ink a four-year, $52.5 million deal in free agency – $26.5 million of which is guaranteed. That type of financial commitment could prove difficult for the cash-strapped Giants, who at this moment have just north of $2.4 million in salary cap space, per Over the Cap.

In other words, the Giants need to find money if they have any hope of retaining Tomlinson. One way to add some more cash to their pockets would be to come to terms on a long-term deal with star defensive lineman Leonard Williams. The team placed the franchise tag on their leading-sack artist early this week. Due to this being the second consecutive season that Williams has been tagged, his cap number checks in at a hefty $19,351,000, a 120% bump from his 2020 salary.

If the Giants can manage to pull off a long-term deal with Williams, it would most likely lower his cap hit significantly for the coming season. In return, making a potential Tomlinson signing far more likely, while helping solidify the team’s front-seven for years to come.

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