Giants safety Xavier McKinney has been hitting his stride in recent weeks

New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney (29) reacts before the game against Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney has been hitting his stride on the football field in recent weeks. As he enters the final stretch of his rookie contract, McKinney is proving to be an invaluable asset to the team, making a strong case for a well-deserved contract extension.

Giants S Xavier McKinney has been hitting his stride in recent weeks

McKinney had a slow start to the season, and he has not been shy about expressing his frustration with the team’s losing record in that time. However, their recent 3-1 resurgence has seemed to ignite a newfound confidence within him.

Over the past four weeks, McKinney has accumulated 37 tackles, two fumble recoveries, two passes defended, two tackles for loss, and one interception.

McKinney has been crucial to the G-Men’s recent success. In Week 14 against the Green Bay Packers, he recovered a fumble forced by Kayvon Thibodeaux, potentially preventing the Packers from scoring three points.

Additionally, it was McKinney’s pressure on Jordan Love that helped lead to an interception by Jason Pinnock, proving that he elevates the abilities of the players around him.

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McKinney is not focused on upcoming contract negotiations

McKinney’s recent surge in performance is not solely motivated by financial gain. Instead, his focus lies in becoming “one of the best to ever do it.”

“Money doesn’t mean much to me. Playing this game, I came in and my objective was to get a [Hall of Fame] gold jacket. It wasn’t to make the most money. I want to be a great player. The money part is going to come. I’m not worried about contracts. I’m worried about playing the best I can play so when my time is done I’m remembered as one of the best to ever do it. That’s what I want to accomplish.”

Xavier McKinney according to Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post

McKinney has been proving himself to be among the league’s best. Since Week 11, the safety has earned a coverage grade of 90.9, the best for all safeties according to Pro Football Focus. He now has an overall grade of 82.0 for the season and is currently third in the NFL at his position with 74 solo tackles.

With an impressive 90 total tackles, eight passes defended, one interception, and one forced fumble in 13 games, McKinney seems set to take his game to new heights and is proving that he has what it takes to be a long-term asset for the Giants.