‘Absurd’ Trade Proposal Sends 3-Time All-Pro, ‘Generational Talent’ to Giants 

Quenton Nelson trade proposal sends Colts star to Giants

Getty Colts Pro Bowl guard Quenton Nelson.

When the New York Giants used their first two selections in the 2018 NFL draft on Saquon Barkley and Will Hernandez, the team believed they had come away with the cream of the crop running back-offensive lineman tandem of the class. The idea was that pairing a generational talent at running back with a mauling guard in Hernandez would help pave the way for prolonged offensive success — of course, that’s proven to be anything but the case.

Barkley has been hampered by injuries for a large chunk of the past three seasons, looking like a shell of his once-blue-chip form. As for Hernandez, the 26-year-old is an impending free agent this offseason, and considering he graded out as one of football’s worst guards in 2021 (earned an overall 55.9 mark per Pro Football Focus) it’s difficult to envision a scenario where he is offered a second contract under a new regime with no prior ties to the UTEP product.

With the hype surrounding Barkley seemingly fizzling out and Hernandez failing to solidify himself as a legitimate starting-caliber player, the Giants have been continuously reminded (and mocked) for their draft-day misfire. Instead of coming away with the running back-guard pairing of Barkley (No. 2 overall) and Hernandez (No. 34 overall), the organization could have used their first two selections on the likes of All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson (No. 6 overall) and perennial Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb (No. 35 overall). Thankfully, Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski believes he may have found a scenario where the Giants can at least reconcile half of their draft blunder.

B/R Trade Proposal Sends Nelson to Giants

Taking the “it never hurts to ask” approach, Sobleski — albeit admittedly a bit absurd — proposes the Giants dangle their two top-10 selections in April’s upcoming NFL draft in a trade offer to pry Nelson away from Indianapolis. In return, the Colts could then turn around and use those added draft picks to address their spotty quarterback situation.

“The Giants can right this mistake [of not drafting Nelson] by making a move for the New Jersey native,” wrote Sobleski. “New York is already poised to spend significant assets on the offensive line after fielding one of the league’s worst units in 2021. New general manager Joe Schoen claims a pair of top-10 picks that can be used to entice a Colts franchise in serious need of a quarterback upgrade since Carson Wentz’s future with the organization is “bleak,” according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen (h/t Pro Football Focus’ Ari Meirov).”

Wishful Thinking

Offering multiple early-round picks for a guard would typically come off as outrageous. However, if there was a player at the position ever deserving of boasting such a lofty trade value it would be Nelson. At 25 years old, the Notre Dame product has been named an All-Pro and a Pro Bowler in each of his four seasons in the NFL. Over his 4,027 snaps, Nelson has surrendered a total of just four sacks (per Jeff Kerr of CBS). For reference, Hernandez allowed seven sacks just in 2021.

The Colts do have a looming decision to make on Nelson’s contract extension, one that is expected to pay him north of $20 million annually, per Joel A. Erickson of Indianapolis Star.

“By trading him, the Colts wouldn’t have to make Nelson the game’s highest-paid guard and could invest more money into the quarterback position,” noted Sobleski. “The Giants would have to surrender a quarterback’s ransom to land Nelson, including this year’s fifth overall pick and a future first-rounder with a couple of later-round picks thrown into the mix.”

With that said, the Colts organization sounds more than willing to pay Nelson whatever it takes to keep the superstar offensive lineman in Indy for the long haul.

“Quenton’s a Colt,” general manager Chris Ballard said back in January. “We want him to be a Colt long-term. When we do the contract, we’ll work through that.”

The latest Giants news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Giants newsletter here!

Sign up for the Heavy on Giants Newsletter!


Read More