Giants should trade starting safety if season goes down the toilet

new york giants, xavier mckinney
New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney (29) holds up at the ball at the end of the game of a regular season NFL football matchup Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. The New York Giants defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 23-17. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union] Jki 102322 Giants Jags Cp 19 Syndication Florida Times Union

The New York Giants‘ 2023 season seems to be in peril even before it gains momentum. With challenging matchups against the Miami Dolphins this Sunday and the Buffalo Bills in Week 6, the Giants stare down the possibility of a discouraging 1–5 record. With playoff hopes dimming, the team might need to reassess its priorities.

Could the Giants Trade Valuable Assets?

If the postseason appears elusive, it might be time for the Giants to contemplate trading away players with expiring contracts or starters soon to hit free agency. This strategy could fetch them valuable draft capital. Among their key assets, starting free safety, Xavier McKinney stands out. The former second-round pick, however, has had an underwhelming start to the 2023 season.

Last year, McKinney was on the field for 681 snaps but missed multiple games due to broken fingers suffered during the bye week. His stats included 42 tackles, a 6.6% missed tackle rate, and 220 yards conceded in coverage. He also allowed three touchdowns while registering four pass breakups.

This season, McKinney’s numbers show 17 tackles, a missed tackle rate of 12.5%, 86 yards given up in coverage, and a single pass breakup. His versatility in plugging both free and strong safety positions could be appealing for teams pushing for the playoffs.

Contract Questions

The Giants’ actions, or lack thereof, indicate where McKinney stands with the franchise. The absence of a contract extension offer this past off-season suggests that he might not be in their long-term vision. While players like Andrew Thomas and Dexter Lawrence secured their futures with the Giants through long-term deals, McKinney was notably left out.

Heading towards free agency, McKinney’s situation brings up questions. If the Giants are contending for a prime spot in the 2024 NFL draft, players like McKinney, Adoree Jackson, Leonard Williams, and even star Saquon Barkley could be viewed as tradable assets. Such moves could offer the Giants more draft capital, fueling their rebuilding efforts for the next season.

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