The New York Giants have enjoyed the emergence of second-year pass-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux this season, but adding a second edge rusher to play opposite of him will be a priority in the offseason.
If the Giants want to buy at the top of the market, a familiar name may stand out. Jacksonville Jaguars pass-rusher Josh Allen is in the final year of his contract and could become a blockbuster free-agent target for Big Blue in the offseason.
What could Josh Allen bring to the Giants?
Signing Allen would immediately bolster the Giants’ pass rush. The former first-round pick nearly wound up with the G-Men in 2019 after shockingly falling into their lap with the sixth-overall pick in the draft. However, the Giants opted to draft QB Daniel Jones instead, causing Allen to go one pick later to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Allen has reached double-digit sacks for the second time in his career this season. His 13.5 sacks are the most since his rookie season in 2019 when he totaled 10.5 sacks and made his first Pro Bowl appearance.
This season, Allen has posted career highs in quarterback pressures (69) and sacks (13.5) already through Week 14, coupled with a 20.1% pass-rush win rate that is among the league’s best, per Pro Football Focus. He’s the No. 3 ranked free agent in the upcoming class on PFF’s list.
The Jaguars are likely to franchise tag Allen, but if he does manage to make his way to free agency, he will have a robust market of teams eager to sign him. Even if tagged, the Giants could consider making a trade with the Jaguars to pluck Allen out of Jacksonville.
Combining two edge rushers capable of racking up double-digit sacks would form a deadly defensive front for the Giants. Thibodeaux’s game would only improve as opposing offenses would need to devote attention not only to his side of the line but also to the opposite side as they game plan around Allen.
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Could the Giants afford to sign Allen?
According to Spotrac, Allen has a calculated market value of a $21.9 million average annual salary. Spotrac projects a four-year, $87 million contract for the 26-year-old edge rusher.
The price tag may be high for Allen, however, New York should have enough money to spend in the offseason. They are projected to have $35 million in salary cap space before making any roster moves in the offseason, per Over The Cap. But a few cuts/trades later and that number could easily balloon toward $50 million, making Allen’s contract attainable.
Adding Allen to the mix would give New York a staggeringly expensive defensive line. They signed IDL Dexter Lawrence to a four-year contract worth $21 million per year prior to this season and Thibodeaux’s first-round rookie contract pays him over $7 million per season.
The Giants may opt to invest their money elsewhere, but stacking talent in the trenches could be attractive for general manager Joe Schoen. If Allen does hit the open market this offseason, Schoen should be in heavy pursuit of the athletic rusher.