While Odell Beckham Jr. is one game away from a Super Bowl berth, the New York Giants are watching the postseason from home for the fifth consecutive season. Of course, Beckham’s performance in Los Angeles has been far superior to that of his production from his tenure in Cleveland, making the winner of the 2019 trade between the Giants and Browns a bit cloudy.
Many have chalked up the trade as the quintessential lose-lose — which has its merits. From Big Blue’s perspective, Kevin Zeitler (added to the deal via the Olivier Vernon trade) now resides in Baltimore. Oshane Ximines has become a non-factor after an impressive rookie campaign. While Dexter Lawrence is extremely talented, he’s coming off a season where he earned a career-worst 68.7 overall PFF grade. In reality, you could make the argument that out of all the players involved in the deal, safety Jabrill Peppers has had the biggest positive impact on the Giants.
While at times spotty in coverage, Peppers has served as an extremely versatile defender during his time in Patrick Graham’s multi-look defense. He’s also an effective return specialist and is widely respected in the locker room — named a captain in back-to-back seasons. However, the former Michigan standout is coming off a ruptured ACL and plays a position that the Giants actually boast quality depth at. Add in the fact that he saw a decrease in defensive snaps even before his injury, and was readily floated as a trade candidate this past year, the likelihood that Peppers re-ups in East Rutherford this offseason is shaping up to be a long shot.
Peppers Done in New York?
On one hand, Peppers is a productive safety who wears many hats on gameday, and more importantly, is a true leader on and off the field. But he’s still a safety who will want to get paid, as he should, this offseason. And the Giants actually have depth at that position, which isn’t something they can say for others.
So, as much as I’d love the Jersey native to remain in his home state, I think Peppers is going to go somewhere else. If his number is around $12.5 million, the Giants just can’t do it. They already paid Leonard Williams in a big way, and Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley may follow.
I know we said this in the [Evan] Engram piece as well, but it’s even more apparent with Peppers. The Giants just can’t afford him even though he has been an anchor on defense these past few years.
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Head Coach Search: Giants Interview Bengals DC
While Peppers will be one of the many difficult decisions new general manager Joe Schoen will have to make this offseason, first on the docket will be finding a head coach. The former Bills assistant GM has hit the ground running, completing three interviews for the vacancy since being hired on January 21.
On January 23, the team interviewed Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo. Under Anarumo’s watchful eye, Cincinnati picked off Tennesee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill three times in the Divisional Round. During the regular season, Anarumo’s defense finished fifth in the NFL against the run (102.5 yards per game).
Bills coordinators Brian Daboll and Leslie Frazier are the other two coaches to interview for the gig thus far.