The New York Giants seem to be valuing slot receivers much higher than the rest of the NFL, signing and extending two top options for the next four seasons. It seems as if the front office is keen on creating a dynamic duo featuring Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate, two of the league’s top slot options.
Tate recently signed a four-year, $37 million contract with the Giants to theoretically replace Odell Beckham Jr., and Shepard was extended on a four-year, $41 million deal with $21.3 million guaranteed.
The production of both wideouts has been impressive, and Shepard showed his potential with Beckham sidelined in 2017. His unique ability to create separation and get into space in the middle of the field has been documented, but his diversity in regards to playing on the boundary also elevates his stock.
Both Tate and Shep are capable of playing as wideouts, which increases their ability to produce in games. I expect head coach and offensive play-caller Pat Shurmur to utilize them in many different ways, all while focusing on star running back, Saquon Barkley.
The New York Giants are getting a lot out of Sterling Shepard:
The Giants’ second-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft has enjoyed 2,286 yards with 14 touchdowns over 190 career receptions. Last season, he had career-highs in receptions (66) and yards (872).
In comparison to several other slot-receiver deals that occurred over the offseason, the contract extension for Shepard could be perceived as a huge win for the Giants. Injury prone receiver Jamison Crowder signed a three-year, $28.5 million from the Jets and Adam Humphries earned a four-year, $36 million deal from the Titans. Both of those options are less talented than Sterling, who brings more than just talent to the slot position.
Saquon Barkley was extremely happy for his fellow teammate and good friend, taking to Twitter to show his appreciation.
— Saquon Barkley (@saquon) April 10, 2019