By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: The New York Giants are 1-6 and with the trading deadline approaching (November 3rd) and GM Dave Gettleman wasted no time and made his 1st of hopefully many trades by sending outside linebacker Markus Golden to the Arizona Cardinals for a 2021 6th round pick. Before this trade I had Golden on my list as a possible trade candidate with a trade value of a late Day 3 pick; which is what the Giants received. So it appears that the New York Giants are open for business as we could see more moves coming. GM Dave Gettleman fate is becoming more and more obvious and if he can pull off some trades before his departure to help point the Giants in the right direction; then he will have at least succeeded in my mind. The Giants now have six picks in the 2021 NFL draft (1,2,3,4 & two 6 round picks), losing their 5th in the Leonard Williams trade and their 7th acquiring cornerback Isaac Yiadom from Denver this off-season. The Giants have a handful of players that they could/should consider moving at the deadline; especially if they are not in their future plans. Keep in my mind that due to covid-19 the salary cap for 2021 will be $175M instead of $198M for all teams, so all teams must make sound decisions this off season. Here are my top 7 players the Giants could/should consider moving if possible at the deadline:
- Evan Engram (TE): Engram is still only 26 years old with speed to burn as the Giants picked up Engram’s 5th-year option at $6.03M, so they don’t have to trade him at the deadline. Gettleman should however; put the word out that Engram is available and if he get a fair deal; he should consider it. Other teams could view Engram’s value differently and see him more as a receiver and not a tight end. TRADE VALUE: Possible late Day 2 and/or Day 3 pick/picks
- Dalvin Tomlinson (DT): Tomlinson is having a solid season and is an excellent run stopper. The Giants historically haven’t been successful in retaining their Defensive tackles once their rookie deals have expired (Linveal Joseph & Jonathan Hankins). Tomlinson limitation is that he is not productive as a pass rusher; which could minimize what the Giants would like to get back in return. So with limited cap space and other players such as Leonard Williams in their final year, the Giants must decide who they would bring back as they can’t re-sign both. TRADE VALUE: Possible Day 3 pick/picks
- Leonard Williams (DT): Williams thus far this season is playing at a level Dave Gettleman projected when he traded for him last season. Williams is not only disruptive against the run, but he is also getting to the quarterback and finishing the play. As I mentioned with Tomlinson, the Giants will not be able to re-sign both and Williams will cost the Giants a bundle; especially if he is considered a defensive end. If Gettleman decides to go with Tomlinson, then he needs to put the word out that Williams is available and may the best offer win. TRADE VALUE: Possible late Day 2 and/or Early Day 3 pick/picks
- Kevin Zeitler (OG): Zeitler is signed through 2021 with a $12M salary, so Gettleman doesn’t need to trade him at the deadline, but should consider it if there are teams interested. Zeitler has not been that steady rock thus far, although he has played better over the last couple of games. 2020 5th round pick Shane Lemieux is waiting in the wings as Zeitler’s understudy and if Gettleman does get an offer he can’t refuse, Lemieux will get his chance sooner than expected. The Giants would incur $2.5M of dead money if they were able to trade Zeitler at the deadline. TRADE VALUE: Possible Day 3 pick/picks
- Sterling Shepard (WR): Shepard is still relatively young at 27 years old and is a reliable receiver and could be more productive with the right team. So if a team believes that Shepard could put them over the top and make a run in the playoffs; then perhaps Gettleman could get more back in return than expected. Keep in mind that Mohamed Sanu netted the Falcons a 2nd round pick when they made the trade with the New England Patriots last season. Shepard is younger and more productive than Sanu, so it is possible, but maybe not probable. TRADE VALUE: Possible late Day 2 pick and/or Day 3 pick/picks
- Golden Tate (WR): Tate has looked horrible this season in his 2nd season with the Giants and is signed until 2022. Tate is now 32 years old; which is ancient in the football world for wide receivers and carries a salary next season at $8.475M. The likelihood of Gettleman finding a trading partner for Tate is close to zero, but I included him with the hope that miracles do happen. Look for Tate to be a cap casualty this off season for the Giants if Gettleman can’t find a trading partner. TRADE VALUE: Possible 7th round pick or no value at all/ Cap Casualty.
- Jabrill Peppers (S): Peppers is a physical specimen, however; that hasn’t translated well in terms of durability since joining the Giants in the big trade with Cleveland involving Odell Beckam Jr. The Giants picked up Peppers 5th year option and are not pressed to trade him at the deadline, but should consider it if teams are willing to offer a solid return. With 2020 2nd round pick safety Xavier McKinney more than capable of filling Peppers shoes and Julian Love developing at the other safety spot, along with FA/draft options. The Giants should at least listen to offers and pull the trigger if the right deal comes along. TRADE VALUE: Possible late Day 2 and/or Day 3 pick/picks
Final Thoughts: The 2021 NFL draft is projected to be as deep in talent as the 2020 draft class overall and with 6 picks; it’s essential to increase that total. By being bold at the deadline, Gettleman must do whatever it takes to trade some/all of the players mentioned. Players like Williams and Tomlinson would have compensation stipulations; which it’s unclear at this time what it will be if the Giants decide not to trade them. As I mentioned earlier, the New York Giants are open for business as we should hear lots of rumors floating around over the next week or so leading up to the deadline.