New York Giants: 3 wide receivers Dave Gettleman could target during the 2021 offseason

New York Giants, Kenny Golladay

The New York Giants were the second-worst team in the league in passing. The Giants averaged only 189.1 yards per game through the air. Quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Colt McCoy combined only threw for 12 touchdowns. The G-Men need to get another weapon or two on the offensive side of the ball.

The injuries with Jones this season a lot to do with the Giants’ lack of air attack combined with offensive coordinator Jason Garrett’s short passing scheme, which did not fit with Jones’ skill set.

Big Blue has some talented skill players on offense in Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, Golden Tate, and Evan Engram, but the Giants need to get another weapon. The Giants need to get Jones an No.1 receiver if the Giants want to see Jones’ full potential.

Here are three wide receivers the New York Giants need to consider in free agency:

Allen Robinson:

The 28-year-old wide receiver Allen Robinson will be the most highly looked receiver on the open market in March, that’s if the Chicago Bears let Robinson walk.

Robinson has been one of the most reliable receivers over the past two seasons with the Bears. Robinson has caught nearly 200 passes for 2,400 yards over the last two seasons. Robinson also racked up 13 total touchdowns with the Bears.

Robinson would come in and instantly become the New York Giants No.1 receiver and will instantly make Jones a better quarterback. This signing could be one of the biggest reasons why the Giants find themselves in the playoffs in 2021.

Kenny Golladay:

The same issue with Robinson is with Kenny Golladay. Golladay will be one of the most highly looked at receivers on the open market in March, that’s if the Detriot Lions let me walk.

The 6-foot-4 receiver has been hurt all season long, and with the NFL cap space decreasing by $20 million, it will be very difficult for the Lions to retain Golladay long term. If Lions could franchise tag him, but if not, Golladay will hit the open market.

Golladay has the sort of size and athleticism the New York Giants will want to give Jones. He will provide Jones with a big red zone and end zone target.

If Golladay hits the open market, he will not be cheap.

Curtis Samuel:

The Carolina Panthers have a surplus of wide receivers, there is no need for them to retain Samuel long term. Samuel and Dave Gettleman both have ties with each other as well.

Gettleman drafted Samuel in his last draft in Carolina. Gettleman signed James Bradberry last offseason, and Gettleman drafted him as well. Maybe, we could see Gettleman re-unite with another former draft selection.

Samuel will be a little cheaper than Robinson and Golladay but is not a true No.1. But getting Samuel and maybe drafting a receiver will significantly help this offense.

Samuel is coming off his best year as a pro with 851 receiving yards and over 200 yards on the ground. He is a playmaker, which the Giants need on this offense.

New York Giants: Everything on the table with Allen Robinson’s future

Allen Robinson, New York Giants

The New York Giants need a number one receiver, and Allen Robinson has been connected to the Giants by rumors for a long time now. The Giants never did make a trade for Robinson, but it looks like the wide receiver is going to become a free agent after not agreeing to a contract yet with the Bears. Chicago, of course, has just been eliminated from the playoffs. With no more games this season, the franchise will likely turn their attention to personnel decisions like this.

Robinson said on Monday, the day after the game, that “everything’s pretty much on the table” despite also claiming that he has great fondness for the Bears as an organization. That ‘everything’ includes the option of leaving the Bears for some other team, and Robinson restated how long the Bears have had to reach a deal before things got to this point.

“I personally feel like we had an opportunity to be able to get something done over the past 365 days,” Robinson told media. Robinson’s social media activity earlier in the season indicated he might be thinking of leaving Chicago. The receiver was spotted liking some tweets about that subject, and popular consensus says Robinson will likely be on the way out as part of reshuffling for Chicago.

It remains to be seen if the Giants are a good destination in the long run for the receiver, though. The Giants may find it hard to fit Robinson in under the salary cap, and it looks like Robinson is interested in leaving the bad quarterback situation of the Bears.

While the Giants only leaned on one QB while Daniel Jones was healthy, Jones himself is another developing quarterback and Mitch Trubisky threw for more touchdowns and less interceptions than Jones did.

Obviously, though, the Giants have a need at receiver and Darius Slayton didn’t turn into that player that they’re looking for last season. If they address this through free agency and not the draft, Robinson may be the player on their radar.

Should the New York Giants prioritize acquiring a slot or outside receiver?

New York Giants, Chris Godwin

The New York Giants confirmed that they will be looking for offensive playmakers this offseason. Daniel Jones needs help. But where will the help come from? Will the Giants sign a wide receiver in free agency or draft someone early on in the 2021 NFL Draft?

More specifically, what kind of receiver will the Giants target? It is a rich free agency class and an arguably richer draft class. But many of the top prospects in each class are slot receivers. Most fans assume New York will go after an outside wide receiver because the roster already includes Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate.

However, Tate is a potential cut candidate, and the inclusion of Sterling Shepard should not prevent the Giants from signing an outside wide receiver. Shepard has been primarily an outside receiver the past two seasons.

In 2020, Shep played 190 snaps in the slot compared to 356 snaps out wide. In the slot, Sterling recorded 20 receptions for 148 yards and one touchdown (only 7.4 yards per reception). Out wide, Shepard totaled 46 receptions for 508 yards and three touchdowns (11.04 yards per reception). Given Sterling Shepard’s efficiency lined up outside, should the Giants consider acquiring an elite slot receiver this offseason? Or should they move Shepard inside and get an elite outside receiver?

Slot or outside wide receiver?

Sterling Shepard was far more efficient while playing outside in 2020. Darius Slayton was inconsistent this season but typically plays on the outside. New York had a rotation in the slot that included Golden Tate, Austin Mack, CJ Board, and Sterling Shepard. Going forward, the Giants will have to reconfigure their wide receiver corps as they look to acquire more talent at the position.

Some of the top free-agent wide receivers this offseason are Allen Robinson, Kenny Golladay, Chris Godwin, and Curtis Samuel. Golladay and Robinson are outside wide receivers but Godwin and Samuel are primarily slot receivers. The first pair of receivers will likely cost more money than the second pair, which could make the Giants more attracted to one of those top slot receivers.

Furthermore, in the draft, there is a debate between two of the top receiver prospects. Jaylen Waddle and Devonta Smith, both Alabama products, will be first-round wide receivers in 2021. The Giants are likely to target a wide receiver, but if they go wide receiver in the first round, which one of the two Alabama boys will they prefer?

Whichever player they believe to be better, regardless of whether or not they play inside or outside, is who they should prefer. Smith played primarily outside in college. Waddle operating primarily from the slot. This has fans assuming that the Giants will target Smith and cross Waddle off their list. That is not and should not be the case.

If the Giants believe Waddle is the better player then they should absolutely target him. The Giants need an elite, number one wide receiver. Why must that receiver play outside? It is entirely possible to have your primary receiver play in the slot. Sterling Shepard is efficient at playing outside. When we interviewed his trainer David Robinson on Fireside Giants, Robinson indicated that Shepard is better and more comfortable playing outside.

If the Giants have the opportunity to acquire the likes of Jaylen Waddle or Chris Godwin, they should not shy away from these elite talents just because they are slot receivers. Having your primary receiver play on the outside is not a necessity. The Giants have the personnel to acquire a guy inside or outside. Sterling Shepard could move inside if he has to, but he just might be better off outside.

New York Giants: Is Julio Jones a potential trade target for the Giants?

New York Giants, Julio Jones

One of the greatest wide receivers of this generation is rumored to be on the market this offseason. Could Julio Jones be a good fit for the New York Giants’ offense with Daniel Jones? The Giants should at least monitor the Julio Jones situation.

Jones is one of the best receivers in the NFL and has had an elite career thus far, but is getting up there in age. He is also coming off an injury-filled year. Should the Giants still consider making a move on Jones this offseason?

The Falcons have one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL with Jones and Calvin Ridley. With the emergence of Ridley, he has shown wide receiver one numbers when Jones has been injured this past season. Matt Ryan, the Falcons’ quarterback, is also aging. Seems like Jones is the odd man out.

Once the new Falcons general manager is hired, he will assess the roster and whether to rebuild the Falcons or stay with the team as is and try to make a playoff push.

Jones has been on and off the field all year, playing only nine games this season. In those nine games, Jones has shown he still got it hauling in 51 catches for 771 yards but only three touchdowns. With Jones missing seven games, you would like to see more touchdowns, but Jones has been dealing with injuries all year.

Questions

The questions all Giants fans are asking right now are, why would we be interested in Julio Jones, and what is it going to cost the Giants to acquire a player like him?

The Giants need a difference-maker on the offensive side of the ball; Jones would be just that. Daniel Jones or any Giants quarterback, at that matter, needs a player they can trust that will go up and get the ball. Jones is faster, taller, and stronger than anyone the Giants currently have on the outside. He is a freak of nature, and from what he has shown this past year, he still can ball.

The cost to get Julio in New York is very hard to say. Jones is 31 currently and aging, it will be hard for the Giants to give up a first-round pick for an aging player. The Falcons traded wide receiver Mohommad Sanu to the New England Patriots for a second-round pick in 2019. If Sanu got traded for a second-round pick, I could only imagine what the Falcons would want for Julio Jones.

Not only will the Giants have to give up assets to get Julio Jones, but the Giants will also have to create a little bit more cap space as well. Jones’ cap hit in 2021 will be around $23 million dollars, which is very high for a wide receiver. In 2022 and 2023, the cap hit will get more affordable, being around $19 million dollars but after that, Jones has an opt-out in his deal.

Forget Julio Jones, draft a receiver:

Would you trade your first-round pick for Julio Jones or keep your first-round pick and draft one of two premier receivers in this year’s draft class? Some really want Ja’Marr Chase from LSU or Devonta Smith from Alabama. Which sounds better, Julio Jones or one of the two rookies?

If the Giants have a chance to go with one of the two premier receivers in this draft class, it will be hard to pass them up. If the Giants miss both of the receivers, that is when I think you could see the Giants try to make a play on a talent like Julio Jones.

Forget Julio Jones and drafting a receiver, sign one:

The Giants will also be looking to sign one of the top receivers in free agency if they do not decide to go with one in the draft. Allen Robinson, Kenny Golladay, Chris Godwin, Will Fuller, Curtis Samuel, and Corey Davis are some of the big-name receivers that could be hitting the open market this offseason.

Robinson is looking to win, which considering the state of the Giants, he might stay away. Golladay has missed 12 games this season and could take a one-year prove-it deal with the Giants. Godwin, in my opinion, will not hit the open market. The Buccaneers will either franchise tag or extend him this offseason. Fuller got caught with PEDs in the middle of the season, but his performance on the field is something the Giants could be interested in. Samuel is more of a number two receiver but could be a good outside receiver with Sterling Shepard in the slot and Darius Slayton on the opposite side. The last receiver we have is Corey Davis, he has ties with safety Logan Ryan from the Tennessee Titans. Davis has been injury-prone much of his career but will fit the Giants scheme if he stays healthy.

What should the Giants do?

The New York Giants have to bolster their wide receiver corps. If the Giants have to trade for a stud like Julio Jones, or sign a big-time receiver this offseason, and or go young and draft an absolute stud receiver. Either way, I do not think the Giants will not leave this offseason empty-handed.

How the New York Giants can open up cap space for Allen Robinson in free agency

Allen Robinson, New York Giants

There is a simple reality when it comes to New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, he has very little help around him. Jones has his fair share of struggles, ranging from turnover problems to pocket awareness, but he is an athletic passer who can move the chains with his legs. He has all of the tangible traits you want in an NFL quarterback, but general manager Dave Gettleman has done very little to support him.

Dating back to when Gettleman traded Odell Beckham Jr., he replaced his elite services with Golden Tate, who has been mostly a ghost the past two seasons. He is currently in the second year of a four-year deal, but the Giants luckily have an out after the 2020 season, which will count about $4.7 million dead cap.

With Saquon Barkley consistently being injured, the Giants need to find a WR1. As long as DJ doesn’t have quality receivers to throw to, he will struggle to move the ball downfield. Currently, he has Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, Tate, and a bevy of reserve options. Shepard is a fantastic slot option who can move to the outside, but he is not a speed receiver, and with opposing teams lining up their top corners against him, he’s being taken out of games with ease.

If the Giants can land a top receiver, Shepard will have a much easier time getting open and utilizing his short-area quickness and agility to dominate on short/intermediate routes.

The question is, who do the Giants look at in free agency, or should they take a draft approach? Let’s take a look at how they could land an option like Allen Robinson, who will be the top pass catcher on the market in 2021.

The New York Giants can cut/let go of these players:

Kyler Fackrell: $4.6 million coming off the books on a one-year deal

Nate Solder: $10 million saved if Post-June 1 cut but $6.5 million dead cap

Golden Tate: $8.5 million with a $2,352,942 cap hit Post-June 1 cut

=$14.25 million

Due to COVID-19 implications, the salary cap could drop as far as $20 million in 2021 but could also drop as little as $7 million. Based on those numbers, the Giants will have to figure out the best course of action. They have players who will likely be cut or allowed to walk in free agency after one-year contracts, like Kyle Fackrell. They should realistically have enough money to land a top WR in free agency, but they will be stretching their financial flexibility.

Robinson, who has routinely produced with poor quarterback play, could land upwards of $18 million per season. He is the top option, and with two consecutive seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards and six touchdowns, he would make a significant difference for the Giants at 28 years old.

Offering him a three-year deal, in line with the previous free-agent signings in 2020, will keep their financial stability in place. Moving on from free agents after two years is what the Giants want to do, just in case things don’t pan out like we’ve seen in the past with players like Olivier Vernon (five-year deal).

Of course, utilizing the draft to solve their receiving woes is also a good idea, it’s just a matter if the Giants want proven talent or players with even more upside like Ja’Marr  Chase or Devonta Smith.

The WR1 the New York Giants could be looking for in 2021 FA

Allen Robinson, New York Giants

Isn’t it ironic that the New York Giants desperately need a WR1 after trading away Odell Beckham Jr. last year? Considering Big Blue ranks dead last in the NFL with 44 points through four games, their offense could certainly use a jolt of energy.

Beckham, who posted 81 yards through the air and 73 yards on the ground in the victory over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday afternoon, is rubbing it in the face of the Giants. He also hit pay-dirt twice, while the Giants haven’t scored a touchdown in over two games. Over the last 16 quarters of football, Daniel Jones and the offense have only reached the end zone twice, with their last six scoring drives resulting in field goals.

Considering the Giants’ lack of offensive weaponization, finding a free agent WR1 in 2021 might be a necessity. Given they don’t allocate a high draft pick toward the position in the 2021 NFL draft, current Chicago Bear Allen Robinson could fit the bill. Against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Robinson posted 101 yards and one score over seven receptions.

The Bears only managed 11 points, but Robinson displayed his number one WR status in the loss. So far in the campaign, Robinson has 331 yards and two scores and would offer Jones a fantastic option in the receiving game.

The New York Giants will need to allocate resources one way or another:

The primary issue is his future contract, which will likely land in the $15-18 million range per season. The Giants have a healthy cap situation at the moment, given they have several high profile players on one-year deals. They currently are paying Leonard Williams and Kyler Fackrell a combined $20.7 million. Getting rid of their contracts would allow the Giants to sign Robinson and then some. In addition, they could look to extend Williams on a multi-year deal, but it would have to be less than $14 million per-season, given his inability to rack up sacks at an extravagant level.

Pairing Robinson with Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton would be fantastic; this would also assume that the Giants cut Golden Tate, who would otherwise count $8.5 million against the cap. After the 2020 season, the Giants have an out in his deal, counting $4.7 million against the cap in dead money, but will ultimately save them about $4 million.

With all of these savings added up, the Giants are in a solid position to spend in free agency and add players via the draft. With a defense playing above their weight-class, solving the offense’s issues is a major concern at this point.

Of course, I would be remiss not to mention the schematic deficiencies that offensive coordinator Jason Garrett has imposed on the team thus far.