Trade Scenario Has Giants Acquire ‘Elite Pass-Catcher’ for Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones

Getty A New York Giants trade scenario could land an "elite pass-catcher" for quarterback Daniel Jones.

A feeble offensive line wasn’t Daniel Jones’ only problem in Week 1. The New York Giants’ quarterback also looked like a passer missing a truly “elite pass-catcher” among his wide receivers.

The Giants can solve Jones’ issue by trading for Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ wideout Mike Evans. He’s somebody the Giants “could use,” according to Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox, who thinks Evans would keep Big Blue “playoff relevant. They reloaded their receiving corps in the offseason but still struggled to generate big plays during their shutout loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1.”

Evans has been on the trading block and he’d instantly upgrade the Giants’ wide receiver corps. The 30-year-old has nine-straight 1,000-yard seasons on his CV and he’s also the kind of size and speed mismatch this Jones-led passing game still lacks on the outside.

Giants Could Acquire Transformative Receiver on the Cheap

There’s a lot to like about the Giants trading for Evans, notably the potential bargain price. As Knox put it, the veteran will be a free agent in 2024, one who won’t fetch much compensation if he hits the open market: “Under the collective bargaining agreement, Tampa can receive no higher than a fifth-round compensatory pick for him, since he’ll be a 10-year veteran at the end of the season.”

Faced with losing a franchise stalwart for next to nothing in return, the Bucs might be tempted to offload Evans ahead of schedule, despite general manager Jason Licht wanting to hold firm, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

If Licht felt pressured to accept a third or even a fourth-round draft pick, Evans would be a bargain the Giants can’t ignore. Especially since he’s worth a higher price for an offense lacking a towering target who can stretch the field.

Evans is still a marquee vertical threat who has averaged 15.2 yards per catch during his prolific career. A reminder of Evans’ big-play skills came on this 28-yard touchdown catch against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1.

Plays like this would transform a pedestrian Giants’ passing game that generated a league-low 28 completions of 20-plus yards last season. Things were supposed to be different this year after Jones was given a host of new targets, but the new-look air attack never got going against Dallas.

Giants Still Need a Boost in the Passing Game

The new options include Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller, slot receiver Parris Campbell and rookie deep threat Jalin Hyatt, a trio that mustered just four catches and 48 yards against the Cowboys.

Waller’s 22-yard connection with Jones offered an exciting glimpse of what’s possible, but this was only a fleeting and isolated highlight. Part of the problem was Jones was under siege, with the QB1 taking seven sacks and a further six hits, per Pro Football Reference.

The Cowboys felt comfortable rushing Jones and playing man coverage because the Giants lack a scary pass-catcher on the perimeter. Evans, by contrast, is somebody defenses have to account for with deep and double coverage.

Put Evans into an offense featuring Waller and running back Saquon Barkley, and Jones will find himself with more time to throw and multiple mismatches to exploit. Those things are worth the Giants trying to find room to accommodate Evans’ salary.

It wouldn’t be easy with just $6,718,235 of salary cap space, per Yet, crafting a way to make it happen would go a long way toward ensuring Jones lives up to the lucrative contract he signed this offseason.

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