New York Giants Are Betting On Lorenzo Carter Stepping Up

Cay North

Earlier in the offseason, the New York Giants were one of the teams potentially in the running for Leonard Floyd, who eventually ended up on the Rams. Outside linebacker is a position that many thought the Giants would go for, after all. Floyd, Jadeveon Clowney, and Isaiah Simmons were all names at the position that were brought up in connection to the Giants. In the end, however, the Giants didn’t go for any of these high profile players and stuck with what they had.

After all, the Giants already had a linebacker on the roster that’s very similar in style to Leonard Floyd. That, of course, is Lorenzo Carter – who even played at the same college.

But the Giants are taking a gamble trusting in Carter and not pursuing an alternative, because so far, they haven’t gotten everything they’ve needed out of the linebacker.

The expectations for Carter in 2020

Last year, Lorenzo Carter appeared in 15 games but was outperformed by others at the outside linebacker position. He wasn’t the top player at the position in either general stats or in pass rushing. Carter finished with 45 combined tackles while Markus Golden had 72 and Alec Ogletree had 80. In sacks, Carter had 4.5 while Golden led the team in a season where sacks were rare, finishing with 10.

It doesn’t look like Golden is going to be a Giant in 2020, and Ogletree isn’t returning this season either. With that production gone, the Giants need a big step up in Carter if this season isn’t going to be written off as another underperforming one for him.

After all, it’s less clear this year who would fill the gap in production. The Giants have brought in Kyler Fackrell to aid in the pass rush but it remains to be seen if they’ll get much actual production from the new signing – Fackrell had 10 sacks in 2018 but that seems like more of an anomaly, as he hasn’t had more than three in any other season and only had one in 2019.

The Giants don’t have a ton of other players to step up at the position and the fact that they didn’t pursue other big name outside linebackers probably shows that they have at least some faith in Carter. Therefore, the natural expectation is an increase in stats.

Carter isn’t going into a contract year, but the year after 2020 is one, and it’s about time for Carter to start improving his numbers to make the case for the Giants keeping him around long term once he has a chance to either get paid or be forced to settle for less than his likely asking price.

Six or seven sacks, and a big step up in tackles thanks to some of the previous top tacklers being gone, would go a long way in showing the Giants that they made the right choice in not moving to replace Carter.