There’s still plenty of football left in the season, but for New York Giants fans, not all of it is meaningful. While the team technically isn’t eliminated from the playoffs at the time of this article, it’s already a foregone conclusion that the most exciting time for fans won’t be the games coming up near the end of the year but rather the 2020 offseason, a chance for the Giants to make some progress – something they’ve largely failed to do on the field this year.
Trades will be one part of that. The current roster hasn’t worked out, as everyone has been able to see, and changes are going to be needed to get back to a winning level. But what changes should the Giants make in specific?
Solder hasn’t been what the Giants thought he would be when they signed him. If he was getting paid less, his performance would be less of a problem. That isn’t the case, however. Solder is the third highest paid player on the team, and if you remove Eli Manning from the equation due to his move out of a starting role and likely retirement, he’s the second highest paid. He hasn’t performed like one of the best players, however, and that’s where the problem lies.
This offseason, the Giants should free up some cap space and move Solder while he still has some value – there’s a lot of teams that would take a chance on a left tackle that they think can perform solidly for them. The Giants may as well cash in on that need and continue to look for their long term left tackle. They’re going to be in a rebuilding phase next year anyway.
Other than Eli Manning, the only player paid more than Solder is Jenkins. Jenkins came into the season with the role of leader for a cornerback group that for the most part is much younger than he is, but with the secondary drawing much criticism this season, that role may just end up given to someone else – probably someone else acquired in the offseason for cheaper.
Jenkins hasn’t justified his pay in the eyes of many fans, and with the Giants fully rebuilding, it may be smart for them to drop the old leader of the cornerback spot and invest in the new. And the team has already flirted with shopping Jenkins. At the trade deadline, most in the winder NFL assumed Jenkins was as good as traded… But nothing happened.
Not many want Jenkins to remain the top corner long term. The Giants should, at this point, pull the trigger and look for a deal.
Engram still has a lot of potential, and that can’t be denied – but so far, it looks like his career has a low floor. He could recover from his injury problems over the past recent years and become a star for the Giants for years to come, using his receiving talents to burn opposing defenses while stretching the field by adding an extra threat at the tight end position. He could also spend a lot of time hurt and on the bench, and only show flashes of his potential when fully healthy.
It looks like the latter path is more likely, even if Engram hasn’t been stricken from the list of promising prospects just yet. Some other team will almost certainly be willing to offer a decent amount to take on that potential, and risk, for themselves.
If the Giants want to add more sure things to their rebuild, or perhaps draft picks that will allow them to bring in more promising young players, they would benefit from accepting one of those offers and not placing their future prospects at tight end on the shoulders of a player who may not develop as they intend.