It’s no secret that the New York Giants will be looking to supply quarterback Daniel Jones with offensive weapons this offseason, namely at the wideout position.
Many have linked the Giants to top-tier level impending free agents such as Detroit’s Kenny Golladay and Chicago’s Allen Robinson. However, the two may prove a tad pricey for a franchise nearly $12.5 million over the cap for 2021, per Spotrac.
While that number is bound to improve with a number of reconstructed contracts and salary cap casualties, the Giants may be best served to be a bit stingy with their spending money when it comes to one addition, especially with numerous needs across the roster and a likely desire to re-sign standouts such as Leonard Williams.
So how can the team avoid paying upwards of $20 million per year for a top-end wideout, yet still improve upon the league’s 29th-ranked pass offense? A common name surfacing in Giants circles is former top-five draft pick, Corey Davis. Yet, his disappearing act in the playoffs matched with his underwhelming career output as a whole leaves reason for pause.
A potentially even more intriguing option up for grabs is Carolina’s do-it-all weapon, Curtis Samuel, who has ties to New York in more ways than one.
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Curtis Samuel Returning Home to New York?
Pro Football Focus believes so, as they projected the Giants to ink the Brooklyn native and their No. 43 ranked free agent to a three-year, $25 million deal, with $15 million guaranteed.
Here’s PFF’s entire breakdown of the contract:
Prediction: Giants sign Samuel for three years, $25 million ($8.33M APY): $15 million total guaranteed, $10 million fully guaranteed at signing.
The predicted signing would not only return Samuel back to his New York roots, but also reunite him with the man who helped usher him into the league. Current Giants GM Dave Gettleman, who served in the same role with the Panthers for five years (2013-17), drafted Samuel in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
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Samuel’s Do-It-All Skillset
Samuel, a former second-round pick out of Ohio State, enjoyed a breakout season in 2020 under new head coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady. Originally perceived as an afterthought and potential trade piece after the acquisition of speedster Robby Anderson last offseason, Samuel emerged as Carolina’s most dynamic ball-handler with All-Pro Christian McCaffrey sidelined for the majority of the year.
Closing out the season with back-to-back 100-plus yard performances, Samuel ended the season with career highs in both receptions (77) and receiving yards (851). While both numbers were only good enough to rank third amongst Panthers receivers in 2020, they outpaced the Giants’ leaders in each category (Sterling Shepard – 66 receptions, Darius Slayton – 751 yards).
Furthermore, Samuel’s role as a runner grew exponentially this season. He rushed the ball at least once in every game of 2020, while his 41 total carries on the year are 10 more than he had combined over his first three NFL seasons. Samuel would go on to average a healthy 4.9 ypc on his 41 carries, amassing 200 yards on the ground.
His usage in the run game is something to keep an eye on moving forward. The former New York Gatorade Player of the Year, Samuel is no stranger to toting the rock. Following his senior year at Erasmus Hall high school, Samuel was dubbed a four-star recruit as a running back by 247Sports.
Upon arriving at Ohio State, Samuel would continue to be featured as a runner, operating in a hybrid role for the majority of his career. In fact, he actually had more rushing attempts (172) than receptions (107) over his three-year run with the Buckeyes and remains the only player in program history to gain 1,000-plus career yards in both rushing (1,286) and receiving (1,249).
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