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 edge rusher Kyler Fackrell activated off IR ahead of crucial Week 17 matchup

The New York Giants made a list of roster moves today ahead of their final regular-season game of the 2020-2021 season. The Giants will host the Cowboys in a crucial Week 17 matchup with major playoff implications. If New York loses, they will be eliminated from playoff contention. If the Giants win, though, they will need a little help from Philadelphia, but will still have a shot at the playoffs.

The Dallas Cowboys offense has been electric over the last three weeks. Andy Dalton and Dallas are averaging 36 points per game during this active winning streak. The Giants will need to slow down the Dallas offense in order to win this game. Fortunately, New York is getting a little extra help back this week.

Kyler Fackrell activated from IR

The New York Giants announced today that they have activated edge rusher, Kyler Fackrell, off of injured reserve. Fackrell had been out since Week 13, recovering from a calf injury. He missed the Giants’ last four games but is healthy just in time for the hopeful playoff push.

The Giants signed Kyler Fackrell to a one-year deal this past offseason. He played in each of the Giants’ first eleven games this season, starting eight games this season. Through those eleven games, Fackrell managed to total three sacks, 31 combined tackles, one interception, and one forced fumble.

Arguably Kyler Fackrell’s best game of the season, ironically, came against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5. Now, Kyler is ready to return to the lineup ahead of the Giants’ final game this season against no other than the Dallas Cowboys.

In that Week 5 matchup, the Giants scored a season-high 34 points. One of the Giants’ touchdowns in this game came from the defensive side of the ball. Near the end of the first quarter, Kyler Fackrell picked off quarterback Dak Prescott and returned the interception all the way home for a 46-yard touchdown. Fackrell looked like a running back, making multiple men miss en route to the end zone.

Fackrell also totaled three combined tackles and one tackle for loss in that game while playing 98% of the Giants’ defensive snaps. Getting Kyler back will be crucial for the Giants. New York has been ravaged with injuries this season on the edge and can use all the help they can get generating a pass-rush. As he works back from injury, do not expect to see a ton of Kyler Fackrell on the field on Sunday, but expect to see him rushing off the edge in clear passing situations.

New York Giants: Players that could move to clear cap space after Logan Ryan deal

New York Giants, Golden Tate

The New York Giants are bringing back Logan Ryan for another few seasons. The defensive back is set to sign a three year contract with the team after originally joining them on a one year deal. However, the Giants still have some other upcoming free agents that they need to make a decision on. The new deal for Ryan ties up some of the cap space that may be needed to keep some of the team’s best defenders.

It’s worth taking a look at which players the Giants could shed if they want to make sure there’s cap space to bring back Leonard Wiliams and Dalvin Tomlinson in addition to Logan Ryan.

Kyler Fackrell

With the Giants needing a pass rusher, they signed Kyler Fackrell on a one year deal before the season. There was some initial skepticism due to his failure to remain a competitive player in Green Bay, but he’s been an alright addition to the Giants with 3 sacks this season. However, Fackrell has a $4.6M cap hit if the Giants sign him on a deal with the same value as his current one.

There’s a chance that he looks for more money thanks to his increased stats since leaving Green Bay, and the Giants may not be in a position to offer a deal like that if they’ve set upon the goal of bringing back both Tomlinson and Williams. We may just see Fackrell walk in free agency this offseason.

Golden Tate

It doesn’t look like there’s a way Golden Tate will be a Giant next season. While things around the wide receiver have since calmed down, his public tantrums about not receiving the ball enough didn’t endear him to head coach Joe Judge. He’s also liked a Tweet asking the Giants to cut him, and peculiarly enough, the Giants are able to do that without paying him guaranteed money.

Tate’s suspension last season for performance enhancing drugs voided the guaranteed money on his contract, and it looks like the Giants will move on from Tate both to save on cap space and to get rid of a player that hasn’t flourished under the new administration. Otherwise, they face a $10.3M cap hit going into next year.

Nate Solder

Nate Solder didn’t have a good first season with the Giants at all. It looks like the Patriots moved on from the player at just the right time, because his performance immediately dropped off after joining the Giants and his role has largely been replaced by now by Andrew Thomas. Solder hasn’t played this season because he opted out beforehand. And he may not play for the team again.

While Solder has a disproportionately large contract for the level of play the Giants have been able to get out of him, he’s said that he’s enjoying life with his family right now and that retirement isn’t off the table. That’s not a guarantee,

Solder has said that he might retire in two years or three years instead. But if he comes back, he does face an uphill battle to get back into the lineup. It’s quite possible we might just see the left tackle walk away instead.

New York Giants: Kyler Fackrell to IR, three players return from reserve list

New York Giants, Matt Peart

The New York Giants have the odds stacked against them when they face Seattle on Sunday, to try to remain in first place in the NFC East. However, they’ll have three players back even as they lose one player to the injured reserve list after their last win.

The player that’s headed to the IR is outside linebacker and pass rusher Kyler Fackrell, who went out during the Bengals game with a calf injury. The more significant injury from that game was of course the one that took down QB Daniel Jones, but Jones didn’t need to be placed on the IR because it’s believed he could still return for the Seahawks game – and if Jones doesn’t come back then, his return should be shortly after.

It’s not all bad news for the Giants. The team does gain three players back after they were previously placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Those players are tight end Kaden Smith, offensive tackle Matt Peart, and receiver Dante Pettis.

The most significant of the players to come back may be Peart, who was in direct competition with top draft pick Andrew Thomas earlier in the season. Considering his status as a third round pick, Peart has been one of the overachievers for the Giants this season.

Kaden Smith, on the other hand, has seen less use this season compared to Evan Engram but offers further depth at the tight end position.

The latest round of roster moves also includes dropping punter Ryan Santoso, who was primarily signed to the team due to the temporary loss of Graham Gano.

New York Giants: Kyler Fackrell Wants You To Look Forward To Third Downs

New York Giants, Kyler Fackrell

The New York Giants weren’t the best third down team last year. Or the year before that. The Giants have struggled on both sides of the ball but the defense is notable for coming up just short a lot of the time in 2019, with a number of games where a couple more stops could have put the Giants in a much better position to win.

But they have a new signing who believes third down will be more enjoyable this year. That’s Kyler Fackrell, who was brought in to assist with the pass rush when it looked like there was no way Markus Golden would return.

Golden is back for another year now but the Giants still have the addition of Fackrell, who is looking to repeat his sole season with double digit sacks. Fackrell will have to compete with Golden to get time on the field, but that’s not a concern of his based on his statements.

He’s excited about the talent the Giants have at outside linebacker this year.

Third down to be a fun down in 2020?

“I think we’ve been working, we’ve been getting a lot better in the one on ones and everything. That work has been great. We were watching some clips from last year with pressures and stuff,” Fackrell told reporters. He then praised teammate Oshane Ximines, as well as Lorenzo Carter. “As a rookie, X produced. I think he had four, four and a half sacks, which is awesome for a rookie. The same kind of thing with Zo. He’s going into his third year.”

But most notably, he says third downs should be better than they were last year.

“It’s a fun room, it’s a fun group to be a part of. The mixture of us as outside linebackers as well as all the talent in the interior D-line. I think third down is going to be a fun down.”

The Giants getting sacks on third down is an appealing concept, but the team’s pass rush hasn’t been up to par for at least the past three years. This year, there’s a bit more depth on the edge. A chance to change that legacy from recent years.

Time will tell whether or not the players on the current defensive front are able to take advantage of that chance in front of themselves.

New York Giants: Markus Golden talks return to North Jersey

New York Giants, Markus Golden

The New York Giants placed the unrestricted free agent tender on linebacker Markus Golden in April. After going unsigned through July 22, Golden can only play for the Giants this season, and he has reported to training camp. He’ll make roughly $4.1 million in the 2020 NFL season.

Golden feels “good” about returning to North Jersey (quotes per Giants.com’s Dan Salomone).

“I feel good about being back. It’s a good place…At the end of the day, I love playing ball.”

After going unsigned for the bulk of the offseason, Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post reported that Golden was “motivated” by his free agency failing to gain traction.

Golden feels that if people don’t know his game by now they’re “not worth proving it to.”

“If you don’t know what I can do by now, you’re not worth proving it to.”

Golden says he plays football for his family and “to win.”

“I play the game for my family. I play the game to win.”

The Giants signed Golden to a one-year deal last offseason. He played off the edge and started 16 games for the Giants. Golden totaled 72 combined tackles, 10 sacks and 27 quarterback hits. For his career, the Missouri product has totaled 191 combined tackles, 29 sacks and 69 quarterback hits.

Among the new faces in the team’s edge rotation is Kyler Fackrell, who the Giants signed to a one-year, $4.6 million deal in free agency. The former Green Bay Packers pass rusher is a season removed from totaling 10.5 sacks and played under new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham in 2018 (Graham was the Packers inside linebackers coach and defensive run game coordinator in 2018).

The Giants selected Penn State’s Cam Brown with the 183rd pick and Minnesota’s Carter Coughlin with the 218th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. They also have third-year player Lorenzo Carter and second-year player Oshane Ximines returning. Carter and Ximines totaled a combined 70 tackles and nine sacks in 2019.

New York Giants: Pass rusher Markus Golden reports to camp

New York Jets, Markus Golden

The New York Giants placed the unrestricted free agent tender on edge Markus Golden on April 27. On July 22 the deadline passed for Golden to sign with another NFL team, meaning he could only suit up for the Giants this season.

According to Art Stapleton of The Record, Golden has reported to the team’s training camp to begin his entry process.

Stapleton tweets out the timeline for Golden to return to the field, which includes testing and quarantining for COVID-19.

Golden will make roughly $4.2 million this season.

Golden enters his second season with the Giants. He inked a one-year deal with the Giants last offseason and led the team in sacks (10). Golden started 16 games while totaling 72 combined tackles, 27 quarterback hits and one fumble returned for a touchdown.

Giants new edge rotation

Golden, 29, joins an edge rotation with some new faces, as well as some returning players on rookie deals.

The Giants signed former Green Bay Packers pass rusher Kyler Fackrell to a one-year, $4.6 million deal in free agency. Fackrell is a season removed from recording 10.5 sacks. General manager Dave Gettleman selected two edge players on day three of the 2020 NFL Draft: Penn State’s Cam Brown (183) and Minnesota’s Carter Coughlin (218).

Third-year player Lorenzo Carter and second-year player Oshane Ximines will return for the 2020 season. The two outside linebackers recorded a combined 70 tackles and nine sacks last season.

The Giants defense will be administered by new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, previously of the Miami Dolphins. Graham was the Giants defensive line coach from 2016-17. Graham is expected to assume play-calling duties under new head coach Joe Judge.

Golden was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals with the 58th selection in the 2015 NFL Draft out of the University of Missouri. Across 62 NFL games, 40 of which have been starts, Golden has totaled 191 combined tackles, 29 sacks and 69 quarterback hits.

New York Giants: Rag-Tag Team Of Pass-Rushers Could Be Dangerous In 2020

The New York Giants‘ defense does not have a single top-tier pass-rusher. Instead, the Giants have a rag-tag group of pass-rushers and a blitz-heavy defensive scheme to generate pressure. The Dolphins Blitzed on 35% of their snaps in 2019 with Patrick Graham running the defense. The Giants are expected to run a similar defensive scheme in 2020.

New York will use its scheme to make up for its lack of EDGE talent. The Gmen do have a few talented pass-rushers on their roster, but not a proven singular game-changing pass-rusher. But the Giants might not need that. The group of underrated pass-rushers that the Giants have assembled could be dangerous for opposing offenses this season.

New York Giants: Is Kyler Fackrell the pass rush answer in 2020?

New York Giants, Kyler Fackrell

When the New York Giants initially began the 2020 off-season, they were under the impression that Markus Golden would not feature on the team moving forward. Replacing his double-digit sack performance in 2019 would be difficult, but they invested in former Green Bay Packers’ pass rusher Kyler Fackrell to supplement the loss of Golden.

Since then, Golden was hit with a free agent tender, increasing the probability of his retention with the Giants. He would be paid out 110% of his salary last year, which would equate to about $4.125 million.

Nonetheless, the Giants already signed Kyler to a one-year, $4.6 million deal. At 28 years old, the former Packer has shown quality in the past, specifically in 2018, when he posted 10.5 sacks. During this season, Patrick Graham was his linebacker coach, who is currently the Giants’ new defensive coordinator. His connection with Graham is stellar and should prove to be beneficial in 2020.

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“We had that year together and we became super close, he was my inside linebacker coach,” Martinez said. “For me, what made me so excited to work with him this year and the following years is how smart he is. I think he is probably the smartest coach I’ve ever been around. The preparation he puts in every week, his intensity, just how much he cares about the game of football. It just allowed me to go in every Sunday or Monday or Thursday games fully prepared. I never felt like I didn’t know what play was going to happen next.” – Kyler Fackrell on Giants Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham

The New York Giants are looking to bring the best out of their new signing

Fackrell’s 2018 season was the best he’s had at the NFL level. He played in 59% of Packers’ defensive snaps, which was a career-high. He fell down the depth chart in 2019, though, after Green Bay signed Preston and Za’Darius Smith, two talented pass rushers who managed to supplant Fackrell as a starting player, Anthony Rivardo of ESM notes.

One team’s loss is another’s treasure. That is how the Giants see the signing of Fackrell. There is no question he is underrated, after posting 10.5 sacks, 42 combined tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, and 18 pressures two years ago. He is also capable of playing in zone coverage, which attests to his athleticism. One positive trait he brings to the table is health. He has still struggled to cement himself as a regular starter on defense.

However, if Golden signs elsewhere (he has until July 22), Kyler will be a day one starter for Big Blue. That could be problematic considering his inconsistent history. I wouldn’t categorize the former Packer as a premium level pass rusher. He is more than capable and can supplement Markus’ sacks. Golden and Fackrell paired could be a sneaky duo at OLB.

New York Giants: Where Will The Pass-Rush Come From In 2020?

New York Giants, Patrick Graham

The New York Giants‘ defense has struggled to pressure opposing quarterbacks in recent seasons. The Giants lack a top edge rusher on their current roster. Markus Golden was a solid contributor in 2019, totaling 10 sacks, but he is not guaranteed to remain with the Giants in 2020. Now, with a new defensive scheme being installed and a new group of defenders added, where will the pass-rush come from in 2020?

Patrick Graham’s Defensive Scheme

The majority of the pass-rush will come from new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s scheme. Patrick Graham runs a blitz-heavy, man-to-man defense:

“Graham had a great defensive scheme in place. The two major play calls of the Miami defense were blitzing and man to man coverage. Graham was very clever with his blitzing packages, using a variety of linebacker and defensive back blitzes. In Miami, Graham would also send in delayed blitzes to really disturb an offense. This was not just done in between the gaps; the blitzes came from different spots on the field. The Dolphins Blitzed on 35% of their snaps, 41% on third down (which was the third-most in the league). The Dolphins ran man to man coverage 50% of the time in the 2019 season and would often show blitz and drop back into coverage. This was a great strategy in the Graham defense, keeping opposing offenses on their toes because of the constant blitzing formations.” – Jack Quartararo of Empire Sports Media

With an emphasis on blitzing, Patrick Graham will scheme together the Giants’ pass rush. The Giants’ defense will run many complex blitzes to get after opposing quarterbacks. But who will be executing these blitzes for the Giants?

The Personnel

The Giants do not have a top-tier edge rusher. None of the players on the team’s roster are expected to dominate opposing offensive lines and rack up 15 sacks in a season. However, the team has added some underrated players. These players fit perfectly into Patrick Graham’s scheme and will help him generate a pass rush.

Kyler Fackrell, the former Green Bay Packers edge rusher, was one of the Giants’ key additions in the 2020 offseason. In 2018, with a career-high in snaps, Kyler Fackrell recorded career-highs with 10.5 sacks, 42 combined tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and 18 pressures. In 2019, though, Fackrell saw a huge decrease in playing time, being on the field for only 40% of the team’s snaps. Maybe reuniting with Graham and seeing an increase in playing time will lead to another 10+ sack season from Kyler Fackrell.

The Giants’ new addition in their secondary, safety Xavier McKinney, will also help boost the defense’s pass rush. According to Pro Football Focus, Xavier recorded 21 pressures across 71 pass-rushing snaps in the last two years. He also totaled 3 sacks in each of his last two seasons. McKinney is an excellent pass-rusher from the safety position, making him a perfect fit in Patrick Graham’s blitz-heavy system.

In 2020, the New York Giants will have to implore a pass-rush by committee. The scheme will need to generate pressure to make up for the lack of a top-tier edge rusher on the team. Luckily for Patrick Graham, he has a group of underrated pass rushers at multiple positions that will help him get the job done.