Should the New York Giants be considering WR Curtis Samuel in free agency?

New York Giants, Curtis Samuel

One way or another, the New York Giants are going to need offensive playmakers this off-season. Co-owner John Mara already guaranteed they would be looking to bolster their weakest link, and considering QB Daniel Jones hasn’t had much to work with in his first two years, giving him some support is essential.

Last season, the offense averaged just 17.5 points per game, thanks to poor playcalling by coordinator Jason Garrett, inept pass blocking to protect Jones and inadequate WR separation. The blame is spread around, justifiably so. Luckily, the only direction they can go is up, especially if they go out and find DJ a few more playmakers and gain Saquon Barkley back.

However, free agency has its limitations, especially since the Giants don’t have ample cap space to spend this off-season. They are currently $3 million over the cap, but the expectation is that they will cut Nate Solder and Golden Tate, opening up about $18.5 million to spend. They still have Leonard Williams and his multi-year deal to figure out, plus Dalvin Tomlinson and his future. Wide receiver is the third priority to deal with on the list, but there are players they can target.

While I think they might be priced out of Allen Robinson and Kenny Golladay is expected to be hit with the franchise tag, a player like Curtis Samuel has bubbled to the surface in recent days.

Samuel is an interesting receiver who thrives off pre-snap motion and creative playcalling. In 2020, he played in the slot 399 snaps and out wide 177 snaps. This is a good indication that he can play inside and out, broadening his versatility. With 4.31 speed, he has the ability to create explosive plays at any moment and also act as a vertical threat.

What would Curtis Samuel bring to the New York Giants?

Samuel finished the 2020 season with 851 yards, a career-high, and three touchdowns through the air. He also accrued two rushing touchdowns, putting his total at five. One of the more interesting statistics, he had a 79.4% catch rate, indicating an above-average ability to hold onto the football. He averaged 11.1 yards per reception, so he’s not just a short route runner, he can also push the field.

Specifically, when targeted 20+ yards downfield, he gained 279 yards and two touchdowns last year. He thrives in a short/intermediate game, though, which is not a bad thing when your offensive line is a liability in pass protection. He can create separation adequately and offer quarterbacks like Daniel Jones a security blanket underneath. Since Garrett loves to utilize end-around plays, Samuel would be a benefactor and actually fits well into the Giants’ offensive scheme.

Most fans would prefer a receiver who can catch 50/50 balls more efficiently, as well as push the field vertically, but Samuel has that athleticism and dynamism to create plays after the catch and dominate in short-yardage situations.

If the Giants could secure his services for no more than $13 million per season, he would likely improve the offense significantly, as long as Garrett can figure out unique and creative ways to utilize him.

New York Giants: Early free-agents contracts Gettleman should be pro-active with

New York Giants, Leonard Williams

The 2020 NFL season did not go as planned for the New York Giants, but the franchised showed promise. Big Blue managed just a 6-10 record and was one game away from playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wildcard. Giants’ head coach Joe Judge seems to have his team on the right track for the future.

The Giants are a player or two away from being a force in a wide-open NFC East. The first chance the G-Men will be able to build the roster will come on March 17th. New York is projected to have more than $13 million over the salary cap, but the team should have their eye on a few top targets this offseason.

Here are three players the New York Giants should consider signing or re-signing this offseason:

DE Leonard Williams

If there is one player Dave Gettleman needs to re-sign this offseason, it has to be Leonard Williams. Gettleman is so invested in Williams, but that is not the main reason why he deserves a big deal.

Williams deserves an extension for being one of the best players on the Giants last season. Big Will proved to be the game-wrecker the Giants’ defense needed. He appeared in all 16 games for New York, finishing with 57 tackles, 11.5 sacks, and 14 tackles for losses. Not only did Williams have a monster season, but he is also a scheme fit for Patrick Graham.

“We love him in the building, he’s a great teammate, he’s fun to coach,” Judge said, per Steve Serby of the New York Post. “He makes your job a lot easier in terms of coming to work and enjoying your job, but then also making plays on the field, ’cause really, players make coaches good or not.”

If the New York Giants re-sign LW, they will probably not have enough money for Dalvin Tomlinson. The Giants have to choose if they want a dominant run stopper in Tomlinson or if they want a premier 3-4 pass rusher in Williams. The Giants should take the pass rusher, no questions asked.

Williams will likely earn in the $18-20 million per-season range. It would be wise of the Giants to get a deal done before the start of free agency.

WR Curtis Samuel

If the New York Giants want to bring the most out of quarterback Daniel Jones, they need to prove the pieces they have around him. Receiver/RB Curtis Samuel could be that sneaky piece the Giants’ offense needs.

Samuel had an impressive 200 rushing yards, 851 receiving yards, and five total touchdowns in the 2020 season. With Samuel’s production, he will not be a budget option. He is projected to make $12.4 million annually, according to Spotrac.

However, Samuel will not command money like Allen Robinson or Kenny Golladay would in free agency. He will be a bit of a cheaper option and way younger. If the Giants are able to add the 24-year old to their roster, the Giants could boost both their rushing and passing game in 2021.

LB Matt Milano

Judge and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham forged an impressive defensive unit in 2020, and with a few additional pieces, it could be championship-caliber. Adding a rangy, run-stuffing linebacker like Matt Milano to pair up with Blake Martinez could take this defense where it wants to go in 2021.

Milano dealt with injuries in 2020, only was limited to 10 games. But in 2019, he was healthy. He played in all but one game in 2019 and produced. He finished with 101 total tackles, nine passes defended, and 1.5 sacks.

Something most people do not know about Milano, he played safety in college. For a linebacker, he has elite pass coverage skills. He could pair up beautifully right next to Martinez.

Signing the 26-year-old could be difficult given New York’s cap situation. He’s projected to have a market value of a little under $14 million annually, according to Spotrac. But if the Giants wanted to sign an elite edge rusher or cornerback this offseason, this option would be a bit cheaper as well.

 

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: 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.