Giants not planning to extend star safety anytime soon

New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney (29) speaks during a press conference after the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Facility
Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants, amidst swirling speculations, have cast a shadow of uncertainty over Xavier McKinney’s contract extension. With the 24-year-old’s current contract drawing to a close, the imminent question of renewal hangs in the air.

Management’s Perspective

Giants’ General Manager Joe Schoen, in a recent conversation with the New York Post, hinted at the team’s stance on this matter. The plan, as of now, is to “wait and get through the season” before diving into the complexities of extension discussions.

McKinney’s Track Record: A Mixed Bag

Despite his recognition as a team captain in the previous season, McKinney faced some career lows. A notable setback was failing to record any interceptions, contrasting starkly with his commendable five interceptions in 2021. This dip can be attributed to his limited playtime, a mere nine games, due to a broken hand. This injury resulted from an unfortunate ATV mishap during the team’s bye week.

What amplifies concerns is that this isn’t McKinney’s first tryst with injuries. In his brief three-year tenure with the Giants, he’s already faced two injury-marred seasons. Such a record naturally prompts the management to weigh the pros and cons of a contract extension.

The Financial Angle for the Giants

Budgetary constraints further complicate the decision-making process. Citing figures from the New York Post, McKinney’s expected earnings for the 2023 season stand at $1.7 million. This translates to a $2.6 million burden on the team’s salary cap. Should the Giants face challenges in optimizing their cap space, meeting McKinney’s extension demands might turn into a tightrope walk.

McKinney’s Value Proposition

It’s undeniable that a fit McKinney brings immense value to the team. Renowned for his unmatched ability to contest jump balls, he shines as one of the most promising talents in the league’s safety position. The Giants’ defensive strategies could immensely benefit from his long-term inclusion. However, the omnipresent cloud of his health history and its impact on a potential hefty contract commitment cannot be ignored.

The upcoming season is pivotal for McKinney. As he steps onto the field, both his performance and the fact that he’s in a contract year will determine his future trajectory with the Giants.

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