Giants’ Xavier McKinney Looking for a Compromise: ‘I’ve expressed it as much as I can that I wanted to be back’

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

The New York Giants and star safety Xavier McKinney are at a stalemate regarding contract negotiations. McKinney wants to be paid a fair deal that displays his value as a key leader and defensive player in the long term. McKinney is only 24 years old, and his best football could certainly be ahead of him, but general manager Joe Schoen knows that the safety market is flush with talent.

Over the past few days, teams have cut quality safeties left and right, saturating the market and intrinsically bringing McKinney’s value down. With more supply, comes less demand and the Giants may have played the situation perfectly.

However, McKinney took to the Up and Adams Show to express his desire to remain in New York and his belief that his best football is ahead.

“I’ve expressed it as much as I can that I wanted to be back but ultimately it’s not all up to me.”

McKinney played every defensive snap for the Giants this past season, which included 1,128. He enjoyed 94 tackles, a 5.7% missed tackle rate, allowing 288 yards in coverage, three interceptions, and three pass breakups. He had one of the best coverage and tackling grades amongst safeties in football.

Navigating Poor Positional Value

The Giants know that committing long-term money to the safety position isn’t necessarily good value, and they could look for a veteran free agent on a cheaper and more cost-efficient contract.

With that being said, if the Giants feel as though McKinney can continue developing and becoming arguably the best safety in the game, they could give him a fair deal that shows their loyalty but also protects their long-term interests.

“I haven’t even scratched the surface as a player… the sky’s the limit.”

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The Giants Are Trying to Drive the Price Down

At the end of the day, McKinney knows what he brings to the table and wants to be paid for it. Maximizing his earnings is a priority for the young defensive back, but the Giants are in the business of protecting their salary cap health, especially with Daniel Jones’s contract bogging them down.

“The money has to make sense. Everything else has to make sense. I do want to be there.”

At this point, McKinney is unsure if he will find a compromise with the Giants, which certainly doesn’t suggest the two sides are close on a potential deal.

Schoen is waiting patiently for the market to develop and to see if he can find a more favorable contract in free agency next week. However, Schoen has exclusive negotiating rights with McKinney until next Monday, so it is possible the two sides hammer out a deal, and with the safety market blowing up, there’s no doubt the Giants are trying to reduce the price tag.

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