The New York Giants had some players perform above expectations and some players perform under them at the wide receiver position in 2019. Darius Slayton notably stepped up and became a bigger part of the offense than most imagined he would be when the Giants drafted him in the middling rounds, while Sterling Shepard missed much of the year with concussion trouble despite being projected as the top receiver going into the season.
One player who fell behind even more than Shepard, however, was Corey Coleman. Coleman had the bad luck of picking up an ACL tear before the season even started, and it kept him out for the entire season – during an important contract year at that. Now, heading into free agency, Coleman doesn’t have the best numbers to show for. He didn’t play for the Giants at all in 2019 and in 2018, he only had appearances in eight games and only caught 71 yards.
Not impressive numbers for a player looking for a new contract soon.
However, while talking to ESPN, Coleman explained that he’s still looking for a second chance in spite of that problem.
“Just give me a chance. I’m not asking for anything. Just a fair chance and opportunity,” Coleman told ESPN. “I have a lot of growing to do, but I’ve grown so much. I look at myself four years ago, OK, I was 20 years old. I was a baby. Now I look at myself and my mind, and the way it works and my work ethic – everything has changed and matured. I got hurt, but I learned so much stuff.”
According to the same article, the Athletic has given Coleman 50/50 odds of returning to the league.
That may be with the Giants and it may be with someone else but with the Giants being linked to a number of receivers in the Draft, it may be more likely that the team finds another receiver for their rotation there rather than by relying on underperforming players like Coleman to step it up.
Still, despite the troubles, Coleman believes he’s improved as a player and spoke of what he’s focusing on.
“I look at my routes. Are they crisp? How am I coming off the ball? Does everything look the same? I’m looking at the defender. Which hand does he jam with? Which way does he step?” he said, when speaking of his focus while watching film. “He steps left, all right. My move.”
There’s no guarantee Coleman ends up back on the Giants this year but if the staff believe his words about improvement are true, it’s hard to rule out also – drafting a good receiver would take a pick that could be used to improve more needed positions, giving the Giants an incentive to stay with what’s already on their roster. And after the availability problems of some players last year, the Giants are likely going to want a rotation of receivers rather than just a few notable starters.
Could Coleman end up in that rotation? That depends on just how much the former first round draft pick has improved since his injury and recovery.