New York Giants: Could Sterling Shepard be on the Trading Block?

New York Giants, Sterling Shepard

The New York Giants‘ acquisition of slot receiver Golden Tate poses a few interesting questions – to start: Do the Giants ‘need’ Sterling Shepard anymore?

Shepard is on the final year of his rookie contract, and there’s no question he will be a hot commodity on the open market, earning upwards of $10 million-per-season as one of the league’s top slot receivers. I’m curious to see how head coach Pat Shurmur would go about utilizing both Tate and Shepard in the slot on either side of the field, with a lack of talent at wideout.

General manager Dave Gettleman will likely utilize one of 11 selection to grab a wide receiver in the upcoming NFL draft – a player with size that can act as a red-zone threat. Currently, the only red-zone option is Evan Engram, since Bennie Fowler signed with the Arizona Cardinals and Cody Lattimer is a free agent.

What could the New York Giants theoretically do to add more draft capital?

Now, this certainly wouldn’t be in favor of the fans, as trading Sterling Shepard would be a sting to the heart complimenting the departure of Odell Beckham Jr. Another well-respected player on the team, and while he’s not of OBJ’s magnitude, his loss would be felt.

A team that could be a trade partner with the Giants is the New England Patriots. When Shepard was drafted in 2016, the Patriots were very keen on his abilities and brought him in for a visit prior to the draft. Unfortunately for them, Big Blue grabbed him before he could fall into their laps. Their interest in the slot receiver could be intriguing, as they operate an offense under Tom Brady that makes the most out of quick routes and agility players in the slot.

Why would a deal like this make sense?

He would be a perfect fit in New England, which could increase his stock in a possible deal. The Pats could theoretically trade a second-round pick for him and extend him for one more season. While the potential of this deal hasn’t been made public, there have been rumblings that the Pats could be interested in trading for him.

If Gettleman could secure a second-rounder for the four-year player, it would be well worth it – the team could then focus on grabbing an offensive lineman or wideout in the draft. Another interesting thought – the Giants could take that second-rounder and trade for Josh Rosen, acquiring a franchise quarterback for a slot receiver. Unlikely, but this offseason has been full of surprises.