It seemed as if before the New York Giants 2020 season had even come to an end, the organization had been readily linked to a specific handful of impending free-agent wide receivers. Thus has remained the case with the 2021 league year on the horizon.
There is of course the cream of the crop, Pro Bowlers Allen Robinson and Kenny Golladay. You also have Curtis Samuel, a former Dave Gettleman draft pick from the Panthers. Yet, more times than not, it’s been Titans big-play threat Corey Davis who has been commonly looked at as the most realistic addition for the Giants this offseason.
However, Bleacher Reports Kristopher Knox is here to warn the G-Men against taking a swing at the former top-five pick in free agency, dubbing the 26-year-old the one player the team should avoid this offseason.
Tennessee Titans wideout Corey Davis—who racked up 984 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games this season—could be a potential new No. 1 for New York. He’s just 25 years old and should have the bulk of his playing career ahead of him.
The issues with targeting Davis are twofold. For one, he has yet to experience a true breakout season and struggled with consistency before Ryan Tannehill’s arrival. There’s no guarantee that he’d be a functional top target for the uneven Daniel Jones.
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Davis’ Projected Contract & Risk of Signing Him
Widely recognized as the leader of the second-tier free-agent options at the position, Davis is somewhat of an enigma. His draft status, age and improving statistical output points to a player worthy of inheriting a No. 1 receiver gig. On the other hand, he’s never topped five touchdowns in any of his four NFL seasons. He was also shutout in three separate games this past year and, before the arrival of A.J. Brown in Tennessee, was perceived as a bust.
Teams have time and time again been burnt for handing WR1 money to a WR2 talent in free agency. Considering Pro Football Focus projects Davis to net a four-year, $65 million contract this spring, it’s more than likely that a team will once again be willing to take that risk.
With that said, it could be somewhat of a calculated risk. PFF’s projections also place a $32 million guaranteed price tag on Davis, which would currently rank as the 15th-highest guaranteed money in the NFL for a wideout, expensive, but not earth-shattering. A contract such as this would give Davis an earnings ceiling to prove his worth as a top wideout in the league, or be fairly compensated were he to settle in as a top-level second-option in a team’s passing game.
The biggest drawback of Davis from our perspective is his aforementioned lack of production before A.J. Brown surpassed him as the Titans’ go-to-target. Over his first three seasons, Davis averaged just 622 yards receiving and 47 receptions. In 2020, with Brown cemented as the team’s No. 1 wideout, Davis enjoyed a breakout campaign either tying or recording new career bests in receptions (65), yards (984), yards per reception (15.1) and touchdowns (five).
Yet, those who are pro-Davis could also point towards Brown’s arrival coinciding with Ryan Tannehill’s insertion into the starting lineup, therefore elevating the team’s passing game altogether.
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Davis’ Fit With the Giants
The question is, will Daniel Jones have a Tannehill effect on Davis’ game? While the Giants quarterback did make strides over the latter part of 2020, Tannehill has been a top-10 signal-caller in the NFL since taking over for Marcus Mariota in Tennessee.
There’s also the matter of New York’s current slew of wideouts. While Darius Slayton’s long-speed should theoretically draw coverage his way and Sterling Shepard remains a highly adequate option out of the slot, no Giants receiver will shift coverages their way quite like A.J. Brown does in Tennessee.
Davis remains an intriguing possibility for the Giants, especially at a fraction of the price that fellow free agents such as Allen Robinson and Kenny Golladay will warrant on the open market (if they even get there). However, even if Davis’ 2020 output proves not to be a fluke, it’s still not top-end receiver production. And the last thing the Giants need is yet another No. 2 wide receiver.
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