Grading the Giants’ offensive acquisitions this off-season

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The New York Giants have had a busy offseason thus far. In particular, general manager Joe Schoen has made a point to acquire talent on the offensive side of the ball. Between blockbuster trades, crucial contract extensions, and free agent signings, it’s been a successful offseason for Big Blue. Schoen and company deserve high marks across the board. Here’s how the Giants’ offseason acquisitions grade out so far:

Trading for TE Darren Waller: A-

The New York Giants’ trade to acquire tight end Darren Waller is the definition of low-risk, high-reward. Waller, once considered a top-three tight end in the NFL, was shipped off by the Raiders for the low price of one of the Giants’ third-round picks. New York gave up the 100th overall pick in the draft to acquire a potential top-100 NFL player.

Along with Waller’s talents, the Giants also inherited his flexible, low-cost contract. After the Giants restructured his deal, Waller’s cap hit for the 2023 season will come out to $4 million and the contract has an out next offseason. While Big Blue is hoping to get WR1 production out of Waller and see him play out the remainder of his contract, the team has the opportunity to move on as soon as next offseason if things do not pan out.

Signing WR Parris Campbell: B+

Parris Campbell is another low-risk, high-reward acquisition that the Giants made this offseason. In desperate need of upgrades in their receiving corps, New York added Campbell on a one-year, incentive-laden contract. Campbell is coming off the best season of his career in which he posted career-highs in receptions (63), receiving yards (623), and touchdowns (five) in 2022.

The 2022 season was Campbell’s first fully healthy season of his career. He appeared in all 17 games. Previously, Campbell’s most games played in a season was just seven. Because of his extensive injury history, the Giants were wise not to commit a long-term deal to Campbell. Instead, they are acquiring the speedy wideout at a low price, hoping he can replicate his 2022 production and earn an extension next offseason.

Extending Sterling Shepard & Darius Slayton: A+

Despite competition from other teams to sign the 26-year-old wide receiver, the Giants agreed to terms with Darius Slayton. New York’s 2019 fifth-round draft pick chose to re-sign despite being aggressively pursued by other teams, such as his hometown franchise, the Atlanta Falcons.

Slayton, one of QB Daniel Jones’ close friends and favorite receiving targets, signed a two-year extension with the Giants this offseason worth $12 million. Considering Slayton will start as one of the Giants’ top three receiving targets this offseason, that price point is a bargain. The signing maintains continuity for Daniel Jones as he enters his second season in Brian Daboll’s system.

Another one of Jones’ favorite targets, Sterling Shepard, was also extended at a low price point this offseason. New York signed Shepard to a one-year, $1.3 million extension this offseason. Shepard, the longest-tenured New York Giant, has dealt with a rough stretch of injuries over the past few seasons.

However, Shepard’s impact on the sidelines as a leader is arguably worth the price of the contract, in addition to the reliable receiving skills he can provide to the offense when healthy.

Depth signings: B+

New York made a string of depth signings this week to fill out the back end of their roster. None of these players necessarily stand out, however, the likes of Jeff Smith, Tommy Sweeney, and Jamison Crowder all provide the Giants’ offense with the necessary depth.

In 2022, Big Blue was decimated by injuries on the offensive side of the ball. Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll clearly learned from their mistakes and have gone into this offseason making depth a priority. Because of these signings, the Giants will be entering the 2023 season far more prepared for the worst-case scenarios.

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