Massive Former 1st-Round ’Space-Eater’ Dubbed a ‘Realistic’ Giants Addition

Danny Shelton rumored as Giants trade target

Getty Danny Shelton #71 of the New England Patriots.

The New York Giants have their fair share of decisions to make this offseason. From potentially cutting bait with veterans such as Kevin Zeitler and Golden Tate, to possibly breaking the bank to acquire some legitimate offensive weapons for quarterback Daniel Jones in free agency, the roster will certainly look different.

However, all of these decisions likely pale in comparison to the No. 1 thing on Big Blue’s to-do list retaining their in-house talent namely impending free agents Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson. With that said, New York is currently strapped for cash and projected to be north of $2 million over the salary cap in 2021 (per Spotrac). While the aforementioned potential cap casualties would ultimately free up spending money, holding on to both Williams and Tomlinson may prove too tall of a task for two players who will definitely be in demand once the new season opens.

If one of these players were to walk come March, it would free up finances to put towards acquiring talent on the offensive end. Yet, it would also leave a sizeable hole along New York’s front-seven. Fittingly enough, Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox has zeroed in on one of the league’s larger defenders to help fill that void.

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Danny Shelton Highlighted as a Top Trade Target for the Giants

Much of the trade chatter surrounding the Giants these past weeks have included the Houston Texans, from unlikely J.J. Watt rumors to unreasonable Deshaun Watson trade packages. Knox believes Shelton, 27, is a far more “realistic option” for the G-Men. One that fills a potential need and would likely be had for a reasonable price.

Here’s what the B/R columnist had to say:

While defensive tackle Danny Shelton isn’t as spicy of a trade target as either [Deshaun] Watson or [J.J.] Watt, he’s a much more realistic option. He’s set to carry a cap hit of just over $5 million in 2021. That’s not a huge number, but the Detroit Lions could still save $4 million by parting with him.

Following the Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff trade, the Lions are projected to be nearly $11 million over the cap.

Trading for Shelton could provide New York with insurance along the defensive line. There’s a good chance that the Giants cannot keep both Williams and Tomlinson, and Williams may be the team’s priority. Shelton could step in and help bolster the run defense in Tomlinson’s absence. The 27-year-old former first-round pick amassed 37 tackles and a sack in 12 games last season and had a whopping 61 tackles the previous year.

Shelton might not create many headlines in New York, but he’s a capable space-eater who could potentially help the Giants defense for years to come.

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What Shelton Would Bring to New York

Shelton, a former top-15 pick of the Cleveland Browns back in 2015, has not lived up to the lofty draft hype that surrounded him coming out of Washington. Still, he’s a space-eater (6-foot-2-inches, 335 pounds) with a respectable motor that would fit well in a rotation alongside Dexter Lawrence, B.J. Hill and the unheralded Austin Johnson.

Shelton spent his first three years in Cleveland before being dealt to the New England Patriots ahead of the 2018 season. He would go on to play two seasons in Foxborough, helping the Pats knock off the Los Angeles Rams, 13-3, in Super Bowl LIII.

The defensive tackle inked a two-year, $8 million contract with the Detroit Lions last season, but spent the latter part of the year hobbled by injuries. Shelton missed four games with a knee injury which he suffered in the team’s Thanksgiving day loss to the Texans. He ultimately returned for Detroit’s Week 17 finale against the Vikings, but later revealed that he underwent successful triceps surgery shortly after the conclusion of the season.

Over his six NFL seasons, Shelton has appeared in 87 games (72 starts), registering 247 total tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and 18 QB hits.


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