New York Giants: 7 players the Giants need to part ways with in 2021

New York Giants, Nate Solder

The New York Giants might have missed the playoffs, but that does not mean they lacked roster talent at several key positions.

The Giants needed a little help from the Eagles to sneak in, but of course, they did us dirty in their tank-job. Either way, the Giants should have controlled their own destiny and made the postseason on their own. This team is still ways away from competing for a Championship. The G-Men have some very difficult decisions this offseason about this roster. There are a few easy decisions that the Giants have to do to create more cap space to sign and re-sign some key players to this team.

Here are the seven players that the New York Giants need to part ways within 2021:

LB Kyler Fackrell

The New York Giants signed Kyler Fackrell to a one-year prove-it deal, worth around $4.6 million. Most of Fackrell’s contract included guarantees, which were around $3.5 million.

The other thing Fackrell proved was he can not be a productive pass rusher this late in his career. He was a good rotational pass rusher for the Giants. Fackrell had 4.0 sacks, a forced fumble, and an interception which he returned for a touchdown against Dallas in 11 games.

The Giants are lacking a pass rush due to Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines having season-ending injuries. They are also looking for a pass rusher either in free agency or in the draft.

RB Dion Lewis

The Giants signed Dion Lewis to a one-year deal worth $1.5 million. Obviously, they did not spend a lot of money on Lewis, but his performance tells the story of way.

Lewis has played 15 games for the G-Men, and the stats show for themselves why he should not be on this roster next season. Lewis only produced 108 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Lewis caught only 19 passes for 127 yards and a score.

Not only did Lewis struggle at running back for the Giants, but he also struggled to be the Giants’ return specialist. Lewis fumbled three times on kickoff.

Based on the lack of production, the Giants have no reason to re-sign him back in 2021.

LT Nate Solder

Before we start to talk about why the Giants need to cut him in 2021, I just want to say this is nothing personal. I have a lot of respect for Solder for putting his family first over football and money. It takes a lot of pride!

The New York Giants signed Nate Solder to a four-year deal worth $62 million. Solder has a cap hit of $16.4 million, but if the Giants wait to cut him post-June 1, the Giants would free up $9.9 in cap. It would leave them with $6.5 million in dead money.

It’s entirely possible that the 32-year tackle may just want to retire. If he does not, the Giants may have no other choice to cut him due to lack of production. Solder’s performance has been disappointing since his signing in 2018, allowing 18 sacks and 89 pressures in just two seasons.

I hope the best for Solder in what he chooses, if it’s to stay in the NFL or retire, but I do not see him in a Giants uniform in the 2021 season.

QB Colt McCoy

The Giants signed Colt McCoy to a one-year deal worth $2.25 million. McCoy deal is really friendly with the Giants, but with the injury history of Daniel Jones, the Giants need a more viable option at backup quarterback.

In the four games that McCoy appeared in, he has completed 60.6% of his passes for 375 yards and only one touchdown but one interception. The issue with having McCoy at backup is the Giants only scored a combined 13 points in his two starts.

With backup quarterbacks like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andy Dalton, and Jameis Winston all becoming free agents this offseason, the Giants need to sign one of these guys that can come in and still compete.

RB Devonta Freeman

Big Blue signed Devonta Freeman in the middle of the season to fill in for Saquon Barkley when he went down with his ACL tear. Freeman signed a one-year, prove-it deal with the Giants only worth $1.35 million.

Freeman took some time to get up to speed but ultimately was very unproductive for the G-Men. Freeman logged 54 carries for 172 yards and only one touchdown. Freeman played in five games before going down with an injury and going on the injured reserve for the Giants.

Barkley should be ready for the 2021 season. With the lack of production during this season, there is no reason for the Giants to keep Freeman.

RT Cameron Fleming

The Giants signed Cameron Fleming to a one-year deal worth $3.5 million. Fleming, when signed, was not expected to be a starter, but when Solder opted out of this season, he was thrown right into the starting lineup at right tackle.

Fleming has struggled since Week 1 and has been rotating in and out with rookie tackle Matt Peart. Fleming has surrendered six sacks, four quarterback hits, and 35 pressures given up.

One of the biggest reasons why Fleming came to New York was because of Marc Colombo and Jason Garrett. When Colombo was fired about a month ago and Garrett now on the hot seat, it is really hard to see Fleming back in a Big Blue uniform in 2021.

WR Golden Tate

The New York Giants signed Golden Tate to a four-year deal worth $37.5 million in 2019. When this signing first happened, it seemed like the Giants did this to please the fans when they traded Odell Beckham Jr. shortly before.

The Giants could release Tate after the 2020 season and gain $6.1 million back on the cap. The Giants would have $4.7 million in dead money, but that will really open the receiver spot for the Giants to either sign or draft a weapon for Daniel Jones.

Tate is not the player he once was. He was been very injury prone over the last two seasons, had a disciplinary issue that made him get benched for a game in 2020, and suspended for PEDs in 2019. Even on the field, his production has been lacking. Tate, in the past, was a receiver that would get tons of separation and was deadly after the catch.

With Tate’s lack of production for the last two seasons, I do not see Tate playing another in a G-Men uniform in 2021.

 

 

New York Giants: This Daniel Jones statistic needs to change soon

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants are relying a lot on Daniel Jones this season. Arguably, they’re relying on him too much. Everyone expected Jones to be a big part of the passing game, but not many would believe it if you said Jones would also be the leading rusher on the Giants come week four. But going into a game with the Rams, that’s the case. Jones is the leading rusher by a decent margin and the second place player, Saquon Barkley, is out for the season.

The Giants having rushing troubles in the first couple of weeks was somewhat understandable. The offensive line had changed and Barkley was injured early on. However, these troubles extending into the third loss of the season shows a bigger problem.

Poor performance for Giants running backs

The team just can’t get anything going in the rushing game. Devonta Freeman, the veteran back brought in after Barkley’s injury, only has 10 yards with the team so far. He was also limited in his role in his first game with the team, racking up only five rushes.

Freeman’s role with the team should expand in week four, but increased touches won’t mean much unless the offensive line gives openings and Freeman steps up and takes them. After all, Dion Lewis hasn’t performed well so far despite having an entire offseason to learn Jason Garrett’s system. Lewis has 12 attempts and one touchdown so far, but only 21 actual rushing yards.

The Giants will definitely have to rely on Daniel Jones to some degree on offense this year. But one area where they shouldn’t rely on him is the passing game. The Giants have a tough enough matchup against the Rams even without their rushing struggles.

If Jones is once again the leading rusher for the Giants and not one of the running backs, don’t expect the Giants to walk away with a win.

New York Giants: The two RBs backing up Devonta Freeman

The New York Giants responded to the Saquon Barkley injury by signing Devonta Freeman. The former Falcons running back looks to be their starter for the rest of the year as Barkley’s ACL recovers. However, Freeman is one running back in a rotation of multiple. With the team’s best player out, it’s reasonable to assume the Giants will give more touches to their backup backs this year.

Who is manning those backup spots? Largely, that’s one new signing and one player that’s been with the Giants for the past three seasons.

Dion Lewis

Former Patriots and Titans running back Dion Lewis was signed during the offseason by the Giants. At the time, it appeared he was just a backup to Saquon Barkley. In this role, Lewis looked like a pretty good fit. After all, he had rushed for nearly 900 yards during his best season and while his performance fell off more recently, the Giants didn’t need him for a large role.

But Lewis might be getting more touches than expected thanks to the team’s current situation. This may be a chance for him to help revive his career. It’s been trending backwards for the past couple of seasons, but we have yet to see much of Lewis as a Giant.

During the 2019 season he fell from 517 yards to 209 while competing with Derrick Henry. It’s hard to tell just how much of that is because of Lewis himself, though. After all, Henry would be considered stiff competition to any back in the league.

In his two appearances for the Giants, Lewis has 11 rushes and 21 yards so far. Not the greatest numbers, but those may see a change. Lewis hardly would have expected to fill in for Saquon Barkley full time in week two against the Bears, but that’s what ended up happening. Presumably, being more mentally in the game next time will prevent such bad numbers in yards per carry.

Wayne Gallman

The other main option behind Devonta Freeman is Wayne Gallman. Gallman actually predates Barkley but he’s only shown flashes of potential, never starring for the Giants. Still, there’s something impressive about his ability to avoid the cut. Even this season when the Giants brought in Lewis, Gallman was able to keep his job for another year.

With no Barkley in the picture and an unfamiliar free agent as the starter, Gallman may get a chance to touch the ball more – at least to trial his skills and see if he’s worth putting in the rotation. He had 476 rushing yards in 2017 but was never able to repeat the performance as Barkley came in and took over the top spot.

The following seasons, Gallman had 176 and 110 yards. Not enough to stand out, but those numbers have been enough to allow him to keep his job. Gallman only has one carry this season so far, in the opener. That was a 14 yard run, but peculiarly, he received no carries against Chicago even after Barkley was hurt.

Don’t expect Gallman to become the main option – but this season may just be a chance for him to justify his continued presence as a backup.

Joe Judge Settling in to Life Without Saquon Barkley

New York Giants, Devonta Freeman

The New York Giants lost star running back Saquon Barkley to a torn ACL for the season last Sunday in Chicago and now face the prospect of a running back-by-committee approach.

Then again, whoever holds the hot hand could end up getting the reps.

“He may be the guy for that moment,” head coach Joe Judge told reporters about the hot hand on Thursday. “Maybe he’s the guy for that game plan the way things are working and clicking. But I’d say within every specific game plan, we’re going to always look to use all of the players we have at the game, and make sure we have enough combinations to go ahead and create advantages for ourselves.”

Right now, the Giants have three players that will be vying for reps at running back – Dion Lewis, Wayne Gallman and the newly signed Devonta Freeman.

“I think you just use whatever you have on your roster, whether it’s a guy like Saquon, we still have Dion Lewis who we rely heavily on, and Wayne Gallman who we rely heavily on,” said Judge. “Obviously, Saquon’s situation, we all feel for him. He’s going to work his butt off to get back here as fast as possible.

We’re happy to have Devonta. The thing I see with him is he’s a ball guy. You can tell this guy has a lot of passion for the game, he has a lot of experience, he plays hard, he practices hard. I was very impressed yesterday out at practice with the fire he practiced with, the attention to detail, how fast he picked up on a lot of our system. He’s an experienced guy, but sometimes experience in other systems doesn’t always translate over to knowing the alphabet of what you’re doing. But he really did a good job of understanding what we’re doing in practice, being able to get in the huddle, break the huddle, know what to do and do it very effectively. It was very encouraging on day one.”

Time will tell how this all pans out but one thing is for sure, all three can play and all three are currently healthy.

 

 

New York Giants Fear Saquon Barkley Knee Injury Is ACL Tear

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

An ACL tear is possible to recover from, but it’s also one of the most feared injuries in sports. Positions such as running back, wide receiver, and linebacker are extra liable to get that injury thanks to their constant movement and the stress put on their knees. And according to Adam Schefter, the Giants fear that Saquon Barkley tore his ACL on Sunday.

The verdict isn’t in yet about the injury but it doesn’t look good. Until there’s further tests, we won’t have a full picture of the situation. But an ACL tear isn’t out of the realm of possibility, according to the report. If that is the case, Barkley will be out for the rest of the season.

How an ACL tear may affect Barkley

The surgery required to fix an ACL tear involves replacing the ACL with a graft taken from a different source. The athlete must then regain their full range of motion through rehab. The recovery timeline usually has at least six months between the surgery and getting back to practice.

That’s not to say that everything is gloom and doom. A lot of players have bounced back from the injury. That includes Tom Brady, Teddy Bridgewater, and even Giants pass rusher Markus Golden. There’s no doubt we’ll see Barkley on the field again, and he’ll probably still be just as threatening of a running back to opposing defenses.

However, it may change what the Giants and other teams think about Barkley’s longevity. The Giants are midway through Barkley’s contract, and whether or not the team gives him a huge extension may depend on how long they think he’ll last in the league – and that’s impacted by health.

Other options for the Giants

Right now, the Giants only have limited alternative options at running back. Luckily, they brought in Dion Lewis during the offseason to back Barkley up. Having a true backup for Barkley looks like a smart decision now, but Lewis only registered 20 rushing yards in 10 attempts during the Bears game.

It doesn’t look like Dion Lewis is the main man for the Giants during the 2020 season. 28 year old former Falcons back Devonta Freeman is set to visit the Eagles, but after the injury to Barkley, the Giants may want to consider him as an option if they can reach a deal.

There’s not so many other options that can walk in and become the number one running back, so if the Giants can afford the cap space, they may want to make a deal. Otherwise, we may be looking at a season where the running back position is played by committee.

Lewis, Gallman Ready to Step Up After Barkley Injury

The New York Giants are likely to be without star running back for the reminder of the season. Especially if the reports about his injury are correct. A torn ACL wold require surgery and extensive rehab.

Head coach Joe Judge would not speak to the extent of the injury after the Giants 17-13 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

“I don’t have a diagnosis on his knee,” Judge told reporters. “He’s going to see some doctors tomorrow. We’ll wait and see what that is. Obviously we’re all praying for the best. I would just say this, regardless of whatever the outcome is going to be and what the doctors say tomorrow. I wouldn’t fall asleep on 26, it’s going to be a hell of a story either way.”

The Giants have just three healthy running backs on the active roster: Dion Lewis, Wayne Gallman and fullback Eli Penny. They also have Rod Smith on the practice squad, but they will be in the market for running back depth come Monday when they get the diagnosis on Barkley’s knee.

Until then, the Giants will have to go with that trio. Gallman was not active on Sunday (a healthy scratch) but those days are over now. Lewis got the call after Barkley went down, gaining just 20 yards on ten carries but did score the Giants’ only touchdown on the afternoon. He also caught four passes for 36 yards. Lewis was asked if he was prepared for the heavy workload on Sunday.

“Gotta stay ready,” he said. “I prepare every week, all week, like I’m going to be in there every play because you never know what’s going to happen. So, I always stay prepared and, unfortunately, I had to go out there a little more than I normally would have to, but I was ready.”

Asked if he spoke to Barkley, Lewis said that he did.

“Yeah, I spoke with him,” said Lewis. “I just told him to keep his head up, stay positive, believe in God. Nobody knows what’s really going on right now, so just try to keep his head up. He’s a great kid, and we’ve grown extremely close since I’ve been here, so you know, definitely feel for him.”

Looking towards the future, Lewis forecasted what the running backs plan on handling the loss of Barkley.

“It’s going to take all of us. We got Wayne, myself, we all gotta step up. Obviously, you know, Saquon is one of the best running backs in this league, so nobody’s going to be able to do what he does, what he’s done. We gotta do what we can do, be ourselves, and do whatever the coaches ask us to do and work hard every day.

I mean, he’s Saquon Barkley, so you lose a guy like that, it’s a huge loss. But you know, as a team, everybody’s gotta step up. Receivers gotta step up, O-line’s gotta step up, running backs have gotta step up, quarterback’s gotta step up, defense has gotta step up, everybody has gotta step up. It’s not going to be one person who steps up to make up for what he’s done, it’s going to take all of us.”

That may not be enough. The Giants may have to explore a trade if they can’t find any options on the waiver wire.

 

 

New York Giants: Positions To Keep An Eye On With Cuts Around The Corner

New York Giants

The New York Giants will set their fifty-three man roster in a week from today. Over this next week, the team will be determining who will stay and who will go. The Giants do have a few positions of need, and they also have few positions of strength. Ahead of camp cuts, which positions are worth keeping a close eye on?

UDFA Wide Receivers

Behind Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, and Golden Tate, the Giants have a positional battle at the wide receiver position. Corey Coleman will be competing with a number of rookie wide receivers to win the fourth wide receiver position.

New York has four undrafted free agent wide receivers currently on the roster. Derrick Dillon, Binjimen Victor, Austin Mack, and Cody White were all signed by the Giants this offseason. They have all had their fair share of ups and downs in camp, but Victor and Mack have had a few more standout plays.

There are also two other receivers making their names known in camp: David Stills and Alex Bachman. Both players have impressed in practice and could earn themselves a spot on the final roster. For all of these wide receivers, this next week of practice is crucial.

New York Giants: What To Expect From The Backup Running Backs?

New York Giants, Dion Lewis

The New York Giants are a struggling and rebuilding team that lacks star talent. Except for the running back position. The Giants have one of the best running backs in the NFL in Saquon Barkley. Some may argue that he is the best running back in the NFL. But last season, Barkley was injured and sidelined for three games.

The Giants struggled to run the ball without Barkley in the lineup. They even struggled to run the ball upon his return to the lineup. Barkley returned extraordinarily fast from his high ankle sprain and played through the “nagging” ankle injury the rest of the season.

If Saquon Barkley were to go down again, are the Giants prepared? Even if he is healthy, is there a competent backup running back on this roster to play in relief of a fatigued Saquon Barkley?

Be sure to check out this video below for a better understanding of why Saquon Barkley struggled in 2019:

Dion Lewis

This offseason, the Giants signed former Patriots and Titans running back Dion Lewis as a backup running back. Dion Lewis had his best season in 2017 with the Patriots, rushing for 896 yards and receiving for 214 yards to go along with 9 total touchdowns. Lewis has been a reliable receiver out of the backfield throughout his career and was a fine complement to Derrick Henry’s hard-nosed running style in Tennessee.

Lewis is the oldest running back on the roster and likely the best in pass protection. Barkley has struggled in that department through his first two professional seasons. Dion Lewis could help improve the Giants’ pass protection in 2020.

New York Giants: 3 Players Who Could Surprise in 2020

New York Giants, Julian Love

Every year there are always 1-3 players that surprise fans and go on to have a career year. This new New York Giants team is as young and exciting as it’s ever been.

Here are three New York Giants players who could surprise in 2020:

Dion Lewis

Dion Lewis had a decent year in 2019, backing up the beast Derrick Henry. Lewis recorded 209 rushing yards on 54 carries and had 164 receiving yards on 25 catches. You may sit there and say, “well, we have Saquon Barkley, and he’s better than Derrick Henry, so how would Lewis have a surprising year?.”

In comes newly acquired offensive coordinator Jason Garrett; Jason Garrett loves using his running backs. Ezekiel Elliott has run the ball over 300 times, three times in his 4-year career. I can easily see Dion Lewis commanding 90-100 carries with the New York Giants, and be more of a threat in the passing offense. Lewis is a shifty Darren Sproles type player, Garrett will make sure to use Lewis to his full potential. I predict that Lewis will have 402 yards on 88 carries for three rushing touchdowns, and have 34 catches for 210 yards and 1 receiving touchdown.

Julian Love

Julian Love had a very confusing year last year. Love was told he would be the starting Nickel cornerback when he was drafted. Then he got moved to safety, then back to cornerback, finally, Love was moved back to safety. Even with all of this controversy, Love still recorded 37 tackles, five tackles for loss, three passes defended one interception, and one forced fumble.

Love only started in 5 games last year. Imagine if he had a full season. Assuming there are no positional controversies, Julian Love is set to play as a third-safety in Patrick Graham’s defensive scheme. Adding Xavier McKinney will bring changes to the secondary, but Love is a valuable piece on defense who can supplement injuries at multiple positions. I predict that Love will have 79 tackles, eight tackles for loss, six passes defended, two forced fumbles, and two interceptions.

Ryan Connelly

Ryan Connelly was definitely one of the few bright spots in a very dark year for the Giants. Connelly was one of my favorite players last year. It’s sad that Giants fans only got to see him start three games before tearing his ACL against the Washington Football team. In only three games, Connelly recorded 20 tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack, two passes defended, and two interceptions.

If Connelly stays healthy, and he starts all 16 games, Giants fans may very well be seeing the next phenom for the Big Blue Wrecking Crew. Also, with the addition of Blake Martinez, Ryan Connelly is primed to find his groove once more. I predict Connelly will record 90 tackles, five tackles for loss, six sacks, two passes defended, one forced fumble, and three interceptions.

Conclusion

There is so much untapped talent on this new New York Giants team; I could probably list 10-15 players who could break out this year. Giants fans should be very excited to see all these young players in action.

New York Giants: Why Dion Lewis is an upgrade over Wayne Gallman

New York Giants, Dion Lewis

The New York Giants’ front office made big moves this offseason to improve both the offense and defense. During free agency, the Giants’ signed veteran running back, Dion Lewis to a one year deal which is worth 1.5 million. The Giants needed a running back who is reliable and can give Saquon Barkley well-deserved rest. Luckily, the Giants found the perfect guy, no disrespect to Wayne Gallman, but he is just not the answer.

Wayne Gallman’s 2019 stats

In 2019, Wayne Gallman started in two games after Saquon went down with a high ankle sprain. Throughout the season, there was not much to cheer about, Gallman had 110 rushing yard and only two touchdowns. Even when Barkley was healthy, Gallman would only average 11 rushing yards a game. As you can see, Gallman was never a go-to option like Saquon is, Daniel Jones had to rely on throwing the ball often. This was no easy task for Jones, Saquon was out for three weeks after his first start and Gallman never was. Overall, Gallman had one standout game in the absence of Barkley. In my mind, Gallman is a backup NFL running back. He’s better off on another team that needs a backup because Dion Lewis is going to take all his touches.

Dion Lewis’ 2019 stats

Dion Lewis played a much smaller role in 2019, he was backing up star running back, Derrick Henry in Tennessee. In 2019, Dion lewis only started in one game and ran the ball 54 times for 209 yards. This is not the Dion Lewis most people are used to seeing, but he still is an upgrade over Wayne Gallman for multiple reasons.

Effective in the passing game

Back in New England, Dion Lewis was used in the short passing game. A lot of screen passes were used along with some out routes that fit lewis’ playstyle well. I can see Dion Lewis helping the Giants with his versatility, I see Jason Garrett calling a lot of screen passes, and bubble screens. With an upgraded offensive line, the Giants offense will have more time to set up screen passes and routes designed for Lewis. This signing of Lewis was huge, the Giants haven’t had a solid running back duo since Jacobs and Bradshaw.

Will give Barkley well needed rest

All Giants’ fans know that Saquon is the star running back, but it will be nice having Lewis as a backup. A guy who is effective in both ground and passing game will allow Saquon to be at his best late in games. Last season, Barkley played on every offensive down basically. If the Giants want him to last seven-plus years, they need to start protecting him. Finally, Dion Lewis will be a huge factor for the Giants in 2020.