With the 2020 season officially in the books for the New York Giants, the franchise has shifted their focus onto the offseason. More specifically, ways of improving upon a 6-10 roster for a team that has missed the playoffs in eight of the last nine seasons.
One of Big Blue’s most glaring needs is a legitimate top-tier receiving weapon for soon-to-be third-year signal-caller Daniel Jones to grow alongside with. Thankfully, if you’re in the market for a wide receiver, this is the offseason for you. The 2021 draft class is littered with talent led by Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith and LSU’s Ja’marr Chase. The 2021 free agency market may be even more tantalizing, as top-level playmakers such as Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson and Kenny Golladay could all be on the move this spring.
There’s a strong likelihood that New York will do their due diligence on all the aforementioned players this offseason. However, the price tags for the top free agents at the position could prove to be a tad out of their range, which is why The Athletic’s Dan Duggan has Big Blue dropping down a tier, yet still finding a player he views as potentially “the best fit” for the team.
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Giants Predicted to Sign Titans WR Corey Davis
Corey Davis enjoyed a breakout 2020 campaign with the Tennessee Titans. The No. 5 overall pick in the 2017 draft and NCAA’s all-time leader in receiving yards, Davis was dubbed by many a bust early on in his career, averaging just 622 yards and 47 receptions per season over his first three seasons. That all changed this season.
While he may still be miles away from living up to a lofty pre-draft Terrell Owens comparison, Davis redirected his career path this season, either tying or notching new all-time bests in receptions (65), yards (984), yards per reception (15.1) and touchdowns (five).
That type of production is likely to land Davis a sizeable contract this offseason and Duggan projects that it will be the Giants signing the check, inserting the wideout in his “early snapshot of what the roster could look like entering next season.”
Starters: Corey Davis, Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard
This wide receiver free agent class is loaded, but the franchise tag could prevent some of the top options from reaching the market. That makes it difficult to project who the Giants could land from a class that is headlined by Allen Robinson, Kenny Golladay, Chris Godwin and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Robinson is the most attractive option, but he’ll likely cost $20 million per year. The Giants may not be able to spend that much if they’re also planning to re-sign defensive lineman Leonard Williams.
Davis could be the best fit since his asking price will likely be a notch below Robinson and Golladay. Davis is big (6-3, 209 pounds), young (25) and productive (65 catches, 984 yards, five touchdowns this season). Another factor that makes Davis attractive is that unlike some of the other top receivers on the market, he primarily plays outside, so he’d allow Shepard to get back into the slot where he’s at his best.
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Giants Cap Situation & Wide Receiver Outlook
The Giants are currently projected to have approximately $4,145,500 in spending money this offseason, (per Over the Cap). With that said, potential salary cap dumps such as Golden Tate and Nate Soldier could certainly give that number a sizeable boost.
As for New York’s current arsenal of receivers, they undoubtedly have talent, but lack that true go-to-guy to take their offense to new heights. Sterling Shepard is the Giants’ most reliable and consistent contributor at the position. Chances are, the addition of a big-bodied receiver outside would only elevate his game, allowing him to return to a more slot-dominant role.
Darius Slayton has led the Giants in receiving yards in each of his first two seasons in the league. Dante Pettis also flashed during the latter part of the year and could prove to be a contributor in 2021.
We’ve all heard it before, the Giants have a bunch of No. 2 wide receivers but don’t have a No. 1. Question is, would Davis simply add to that collection of second-tier receiving options? Davis faltered early in his career when called upon to serve as Tennessee’s top receiving threat. It wasn’t until the arrival of fellow wideout A.J. Brown (and the insertion of quarterback Ryan Tannehill) that Davis began to live up to his pre-draft hype.
So, is Davis entering the ascension of his career, or is the 25-year-old nothing more than a really good second option in the passing game? That’s up for the Giants to decide.
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