As has been the case in eight of the past nine seasons, the New York Giants‘ 2020 campaign came to a screeching conclusion at the end of Week 17. Furthermore, they finished the year with the league’s No. 31 ranked offense and have not completed a season ranked within the top-half of total offenses since 2015.
Do these two facts coincide? Almost certainly. Do the Giants themselves share this opinion? Most likely.
This is why both co-owner John Mara and general manager Dave Gettleman went out of their ways to acknowledge their team’s offensive shortcomings during their year-end press conference on Wednesday. It’s also why during the season, with hopes of making a potential playoff push, the team reportedly snooped around the possibility of bringing Pro Bowl wideout Kenny Golladay to New York via a trade.
While a deal ultimately never materialized the first time around, the folks at Pro Football Focus don’t believe the Giants would let the big-bodied playmaker slip through their fingers a second time around.
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Kenny Golladay to Sign With Giants?
Golladay’s 2020 campaign didn’t go the way he, nor the Detroit Lions expected. Fresh off an NFL-leading 11 receiving touchdowns the season prior, the former third-round pick was plagued by a strained hip flexor muscle which limited him to just five games this season.
Golladay’s inability to show out in a contract year and Detroit’s inability to lock him up long-term prior to this season has led many to believe that the two are headed for a crash course to a franchise tag. This includes PFF, who pegged Golladay, their No. 4 overall ranked impending free agent, as “probably the most likely franchise tag recipient in the NFL at this point.”
However, if the Lions do decide to let the 27-year-old walk this offseason, the analytics powerhouse sees Golladay trading in his Honolulu blue threads for Giants’ royal blue ones.
We don’t think the rumors of him to the Giants through trade were by accident; Golladay’s representation was probably trying to help him land on a team more interested in giving him the long-term contract he deserves.
Golladay has the size and athleticism required to be a big target on the outside, along with that contested-catch prowess, but he also possesses enough nuance in his route running to function well in any system. The NFC North has featured some great receivers in recent seasons, and Golladay is up there with the best of them.
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Salary Implications of a Golladay Deal
At the moment, the Giants currently own the 19th-most cap space in football (per Over the Cap). Yet, that number is bound to improve with potential contract restructuring and cap casualties (Golden Tate, Nate Solder, etc). This is good news considering PFF has the G-Men backing up the Brink’s truck in order to secure a bonafide wide receiver-one for quarterback Daniel Jones.
Giants sign Golladay for four years, $85 million ($21.25M APY): $57.5 million total guaranteed, $37.5 million fully guaranteed.
Golladay and the Lions had periodically discussed a new contract this past fall, yet no true progress was ever made. As mentioned above, Detroit could slap him with the franchise tag which would cost the Lions approximately $15.5 million, per The Detroit Free Press.
Golladay is Open to a Fresh Start
The four-year pro is very appreciative towards the franchise that took a chance on him as a mid-round prospect out of Northern Illinois. With that said, he’s aware that the NFL is a business and for that reason, he’s preparing himself for anything.
“Kinda just gotta put it like they drafted me here, so I just want to show my loyalty,” Golladay told reporters on his desire to remain with the Lions, per The Detroit News. “You know, they believed in me. … If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. Then I go somewhere else and ball out and play. But like I said, I’m a loyal person and of course I want to be here. I started my career here.”
In 47 career games (39 starts) with the Lions, Golladay has amassed 183 receptions for 3,068 yards and 21 touchdowns. Prior to his injury-riddled 2020 showing, Golladay had been riding back-to-back 1,000-plus yard campaigns.
The Giants haven’t had a wide receiver eclipse the 1,000-yard barrier since Odell Beckham Jr. accomplished the feat in 2018, totaling 1,052 receiving yards.
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