Giants will ‘wait and get through the season’ before negotiating with star safety

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 took care of business this offseason, signing a few in-house talents to massive contract extensions. QB Daniel Jones, LT Andrew Thomas, and DT Dexter Lawrence all got long-term extensions this offseason, making them some of the highest-paid players in the NFL at their respective positions. Next up on the docket is star S Xavier McKinney.

As a second-round pick in 2020, McKinney is entering the final year of his rookie contract. The Giants will need to negotiate a contract extension with McKinney soon if they want to keep the 24-year-old around long-term. However, GM Joe Schoen recently said that Big Blue plans to “wait and get through the season” before negotiating with McKinney.

Giants planning to wait on Xavier McKinney extension

Schoen recently said on WFAN’s “Evan & Tiki” program that the Giants would like to extend McKinney, but they are going to be patient with negotiations.

“We’ll see how it plays out through the season. If we can get something done down the road, he’s somebody we’d like to have here.”

Joe Schoen on negotiating with Xavier McKinney

The Giants are strapped for cash

Despite indicating a desire to extend McKinney, Schoen pointed toward his team’s lack of salary cap space as a reason to hold off on any negotiations.

“We don’t have a lot of cap space to do much more,” Schoen said. “I think our pockets are empty. But he’s a guy who is important to us, that we’d like to be here long term.”

Currently, Big Blue is sitting at just $5.3 million in salary cap space entering Week 2 of the preseason. While this number has some wiggle room with roster cuts upcoming, there is a limited amount of space available to Schoen and his front office.

McKinney’s cap hit in 2023 is $2.67 million- a reasonable price point for a player of his caliber. According to Over The Cap, extending McKinney would free the Giants only $595,386 in cap space. Considering the minimal savings, it does not make sense for Big Blue to rush into signing an extension.

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Xavier McKinney: A long-term building block

Extending McKinney will be a priority for New York next offseason. McKinney was a captain of the defense last season after totaling 93 combined tackles, 10 passes defended, and five interceptions in 2021, his first season as a full-time starter. In 2022, however, a freak injury held McKinney back from performing at such a high level.

McKinney played in just nine games last season after suffering a hand injury during the team’s bye week. He totaled 45 combined tackles, one forced fumble, and five passes defended on the season, but failed to nab an interception. Entering 2023, McKinney will need to bounce back and stay healthy to earn himself that second contract with the Giants.