he New York Giants are paying a lot of money for their wide receivers. In fact, they’re paying more than any other team in the NFL.
The Giants currently have 12 wide receivers on their roster, and according to Warren Sharp on Twitter, they’re owed a combined $40,152,615. Sharp also points out in his April 12 tweet that Giants wide receivers produced only five receiving touchdowns last season, which was the fewest by any wide receiver unit since 2017.
Leading the way in terms of 2022 cap hit among Giants wide receivers is Kenny Golladay, who’s slated to count $21,150,00 million against the salary cap this season (per Spotrac). Golladay signed a four-year, $72 million contract with the Giants in free agency last spring and did not score a single touchdown last season.
In 2019, Golladay led the NFL in touchdown receptions with 11.
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Sterling Shepard has the next highest 2022 cap hit among Giants wide receivers at $6,303,823, according to Spotrac. Shepard scored only one touchdown last season and hasn’t scored more than four touchdowns since his rookie season (2016), when he scored eight.
New York’s next most expensive receiver is Kadarius Toney, who’s expected to count $3,118,070 against the salary cap this season. Toney joined the team as a first-round draft pick last offseason and, like Golladay, did not score a single touchdown in 2021.
The only other wide receivers on the Giants roster with a cap hit north of a million dollars this season are Darius Slayton ($2,598,497) and Richie James ($1,065,000), according to Spotrac. James was signed in free agency this offseason, while Slayton is returning for his fourth season with the team.
Slayton, for what it’s worth, led all Giants wide receivers with two touchdown receptions last season. That total is down 75% from the career-high eight touchdowns he scored for the Giants as a rookie back in 2019.
Tight end Evan Engram, who doesn’t factor into the wide receiver room, actually led the team with three touchdown catches last season. Running back Saquon Barkley was right behind him with two.
Brian Daboll’s Plan to Fix the Problem
Head coach Brian Daboll knows that the wide receiver problem is one he needs to fix in his first year with the Giants. He says he’s been watching old game film of Golladay and Toney, in particular, to find out what works for them.
“I went back and watched the Detroit [Lions] seasons and [Golladay] had some good seasons, just like when I went back and watched KT at Florida,” Daboll said in early April, per the Giants’ official website. “You try to do as much work as you can on these guys before they get there to see what have they been successful at and figure out a way to use them in things they’ve excelled at.
“You’ve for to see them do the things that you’re going to ask them to do in the offense. There’s plays that we’re going through right now, heck, if those guys want to turn inside on this route, let’s figure it out when they get here and ask them.”
Daboll does have a history of getting the most out of a star wide receiver. While serving as the offensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills, Daboll’s system helped Stefon Diggs make his first two Pro Bowls. Diggs led the NFL in both receptions (127) and receiving yards (1,535) in 2020, then set a new career high for receiving touchdowns (10) in 2021.
The Giants’ Best TD Catch in 2021 Came From a Lineman
If the wide receivers fail to produce again this season, at least the Giants know they have an absolutely lethal receiving option in left tackle Andrew Thomas.
This play was a work of art, but it’s embarrassing that Thomas finished the 2021 season with the same amount of touchdown catches as New York’s top three wide receivers combined.