Giants’ veteran pass-rusher listed as prime trade candidate

Dec 11, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants linebacker Azeez Ojulari (51) celebrates after making a sack on Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

While the New York Giants are in a rebuilding phase with a quarterback potentially in his final contract year, the team is still focused on achieving a playoff berth this season. Daniel Jones, the quarterback in question, is recovering from an ACL tear and faces significant pressure as the Giants have an option to exit his contract after the 2024 season.

Proactive Trade Strategies by Giants’ GM Joe Shane

The Giants’ management, under General Manager Joe Shane, has been proactive in making strategic decisions to enhance the team’s competitive edge. A notable move was the trade of Leonard Williams to the Seattle Seahawks for a second-round pick, which was subsequently used to draft safety Tyler Nubin from Minnesota.

Looking ahead, the Giants might continue this approach with potential trade candidates like wide receiver Darius Slayton and edge rusher Azeez Ojulari, as highlighted by Bleacher Report.

nfl: new york giants at washington commanders, azeez ojulari

Azeez Ojulari’s Role and Potential Trade Value

Azeez Ojulari, drafted in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, has shown potential despite challenges in establishing himself in the professional arena.

Over three seasons, Ojulari has played 1,457 snaps, generating 87 pressures and 19 sacks. Although he is an effective pass-rusher when healthy, his recurring injuries, including a persistent calf issue, have limited his availability. This past season, Ojulari played 424 snaps and managed 25 pressures and three sacks, with a standout performance against the Green Bay Packers in Week 14.

Despite these challenges, Ojulari’s potential makes him an attractive option for other teams looking to bolster their playoff chances. His ability to serve as a rotational player can significantly benefit teams needing depth in their pass-rush rotation. The Giants, recognizing his value and potential, recently upgraded their roster with the acquisition of Burns and extended his contract, which could influence their willingness to retain Ojulari unless a compelling offer is presented.

Oct 29, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers linebacker Brian Burns (0) react after a sack in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Ojulari’s Future and Trade Considerations

Given Ojulari’s draft status as a second-round pick, any team interested in acquiring him must be prepared to extend his contract or accept him as a half-season rental, as he does not have the option provisions that first-round picks do. This situation poses a strategic decision for potential suitors and the Giants as they weigh the benefits of his immediate impact against the potential long-term gains from a trade.

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