The New York Giants are still in the middle of a full roster rebuilt. They took positive steps forward during this past NFL draft. Adding tackle Andrew Thomas and safety Xavier McKinney to the team should see an improvement on both sides of the ball, but the reality is, struggles will exist.
With the seventh toughest schedule in the league this year, the Giants are facing an uphill battle to success. Staying close in games and competing in the fourth quarter would be a step forward compared to 2019. Expecting a playoff appearance is lofty, and the Giants should be looking for any way to improve their roster and add value for 2021 and beyond.
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Let’s take a look at three New York Giants players who could be trade pieces this season:
1.) Evan Engram
Right off the bat, trading Evan Engram is not ideal. However, if the Giants are struggling and a playoff-contending team is looking for a receiving threat at tight end, Engram could be on the trade block.
Adding a 2/3rd round pick for his services would be a solid deal, considering his injury history and having just one more season after 2020 on his deal.
Engram has consistently seen a decrease in statistical production since his inception in the NFL in 2017. In his rookie season, he posted six touchdowns and 722 yards but has since watched his yard totals dropped to 467 in 2019. At nearly 26 years old, he has plenty of potential and prime performance left, and new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett will look untap the wealth he contains.
We’ve seen what Engram can do on offense against mismatched in coverage. If he can stay on the field, there’s no question he can be one of the premier receiving threats from the position in the NFL. Again, I would prefer not to trade Evan and keep him as one of Daniel Jones’ top weapons, but if struggles arise, adding value isn’t a bad move.
2.) Golden Tate
Extracting value from players with one year left or outs in their contract is always a positive. Tate signed a four-year, $37.5 million deal with the Giants last season, but the team has an out after the 2020 campaign.
He will be turning 33 years old and counting just $5 million in dead cap space if the Giants release him. Otherwise, they will soak up an $11 million cap hit in 2021 and $8.5 million in 2022.
Benefiting off another team’s injuries is often how draft capital is accumulated, and the Giants could look to move Tate at the deadline if a team in need of a solid slot receiver comes calling. At that point in the year, he wouldn’t cost much for a playoff-contending squad, and he still has the goods to produce at a high-level. Last year with the Giants, he posted 676 yards and six touchdowns over 11 games. That was his highest touchdown total since 2015, proving he still has the ability to exceed expectations.
3.) Markus Golden (if retained)
As stated before, cashing in on short term deals is how teams like the New England Patriots stay in business for so long. Adding as much draft capital as possible and hoping a player pans out increases your probability of success.
With that being said, the Giants and new head coach Joe Judge hit Golden with the free-agent tender this off-season, which would pay him 110% of his 2019 salary. With only until July 22 to sign a multi-year deal elsewhere, it seems as if Golden will stick with the Giants for $4.125 million in 2020.
Considering no other teams pursued the double-digit sack pass rusher aggressively in free agency, the Giants should look to potentially maximize value in a trade. Again, a lot of these scenarios rely on other teams sustaining injuries and needing supplemental help. However, Markus fits the bill and can serve in a 3-4 and 4-3 base defense as either an OLB or DE.