The extension of New York Giants‘ Sterling Shepard was well received by fans due to his great value in the slot and ability to move to the outside and compete.
Odell Beckham Jr.’s yearly injury spell has helped Shepard develop a diverse skill set that can be utilized in various ways. The 2016 draft pick was expected to earn a nice contract after finishing his rookie deal with the Giants after the 2019 season. The front office found his production to be worthy of a second deal, locking him in for the next four years, $41 million.
“I’m ready,” he said, according to Giants.com. “With Odell going down the last two seasons (with injuries), that time definitely helped me get a grasp of what being a leader is all about, and being that lead guy in the room. I think it prepared me for this moment. I was pretty vocal anyway. I’m a pretty vocal guy. That will be no problem.
“I’m no longer a young guy. I’m a vet now. This contract says a lot, so I’m going to handle it the right way.”
Being the most seasoned veteran on the Giants puts Shep in a position to not only be the top receiver but to be a leader. This contract thrusts him into a position of seniority and leadership, something he didn’t grasp when Beckham was the featured option on the team.
Sterling commented on how the team performed when OBJ was out for the final few games of last season:
“We have no shortage of talent,” Shepard said. “Those guys are ballers and they can get the job done. When they’re put in that position, they’re always going to execute. I have all the trust in those guys. I feel we’re going to pick up right where we left off. The last five games were the best games we played in the season. We just have to fine-tune some little things. Once we do that, we’ll be fine.”
Crowner earned himself a three-year, $28.5 million deal with $17 million guaranteed.
Comparing Crowder’s deal to Shepard’s including missed time due to injury (2016-18):
Crowder: Three years, $28.5 million, $17 million guaranteed – eight missed games, 22 games started of 40, 12 total TDs
Shepard: Four years, $41 million, $21.5 million guaranteed – five missed games, 42 games started of 43, 14 total touchdowns
You can clearly see the difference in production and value from this perspective. Crowder is purely a slot man while Shepard has a diversified skill set and can contribute in other areas. This contract extension for the Giants was an absolute steal.