Giants WR Testifies in Legal Battle After Pursuit of ‘Monster Deal’

Kenny Golladay

Getty New York Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay lives at the center of controversy.

Kenny Golladay lives at the center of controversy. Not only is the New York Giants receiver under the microscope for his play on the field, he also recently provided deposition testimony for a lawsuit involving his current and former agencies.

The root of the conflict goes back to 2019, when Golladay was approaching free agency and switched agencies from Clarity Sports International to Creative Artists Agency. According to a report from Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic, a federal appeals court recently ruled that NFL agent Todd France (formerly of CAA) lied under oath about poaching Golladay, which is against NFLPA rules.

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Per The Athletic’s report, the lawsuit filed by Clarity’s Jason Bernstein alleges that a CAA-organized 2019 autograph signing — for which Golladay was paid over $7,000 — was a “financial inducement” for the star wideout to switch agencies.

Here’s the portion of Kaplan’s reporting for The Athletic that includes Golladay’s testimony, via recently uncovered court filings (emphasis added):

In deposition testimony from the CAA lawsuit brought by Bernstein, Golladay described himself as insulted at the argument that he would switch agents over the money earned from signing items over three hours (he cites the figure of $7,000 but the actual payment according to the judge’s decision was $7,750).

“You can’t bribe me with 7,000 bucks,” Golladay said at his Aug. 30, 2021, deposition, exerpts of which were included in court filings. “Yeah, that’s kind of disrespectful.”

The wide receiver testified he switched agents because he felt he needed a big agency.

“I knew I wanted the total package, and that comes with everything, and I wanted a monster deal,” he said in the filings. “I felt like I was worthy for a monster deal, and to be honest — no hard feelings to Jason — I didn’t feel like he would be able to do that for me, and I found an agent that was able to do that and I thought would be able to do it, and Todd France was the guy. And, I mean, $72 million later, here we are.

France, who is currently with an agency called Athlete’s First, is now in some hot water for all of this. Golladay isn’t in any trouble, but it does shed an interesting light on his pursuit of a “monster deal” that he ultimately found with the Giants.

Was Kenny Golladay Ever Really Worth $72 Million?

Every NFL player wants to get paid in free agency, so it’s tough to criticize Golladay for seeking a big payday in the spring of 2021. As a former third-round draft pick out of Northern Illinois, he knew he needed join a bigger agency to make that happen.

Golladay had his first 1,000-yard season in 2018, and according to The Athletic’s report, that’s when he had his first conversations with Todd France about switching agencies. A year later, he led the NFL with 11 touchdown receptions and made his first Pro Bowl. That’s also when he made the jump to CAA, per the report.

Golladay only played in five games for the Detroit Lions in 2020, but his stock remained high heading into the 2021 offseason. With the help of France, he ultimately signed a four-year deal worth $72 million with the Giants.

The return on investment since then has not been great. Golladay caught just 37 passes for 521 yards (and zero touchdowns) in 14 games with the Giants last season. After a shaky summer under a new coaching staff and front office, his arrow still appears to be pointing down.

Will the Giants Restructure Kenny Golladay’s Contract?

Despite having the highest 2022 salary cap hit of all NFL wide receivers ($21.15 million) and hardly any statistical output to justify it, there is very little the Giants can do about Kenny Gollladay’s contract. According to Dan Duggan of The Athletic, there’s “no chance” the Giants try to restructure the deal he describes as “disastrous.”

All the Giants can do is hope that Golladay improves in 2022, and then try to fix some of the financial damage next year.

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