Could the New York Giants bring Mohamed Sanu, a former star at Rutgers and a New Brunswick, N.J. native, home in an effort to upgrade their wide receiving corps?
We have already discussed the possibility of pursuing Sanu's Cincinnati teammate, Marvin Jones. Today, let's talk about the 26-year-old Sanu, the third wheel in the Bengals passing attack in 2015 behind A.J. Green and Jones.
It is old, familiar territory for Giants fans by now, but let's quickly review. The Giants have Odell Beckham Jr. and then a sea of question marks at wide receiver. Rueben Randle is a free agent. Victor Cruz has missed the last 26 games with injuries. Dwayne Harris is solid, but not a true No. 2 receiver. Hakeem Nicks? Myles White? Ben Edwards? Really?
Sanu, 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, would give the Giants size that Beckham, Cruz and Harris do not possess. Sanu's best season in Cincinnati was 2014 when he caught 56 passes for 790 yards and five touchdowns. His production fell off last season as he caught only 33 passes for 394 yards, none for touchdowns. After being targeted 98 times in 2015, only 49 passes were sent his way last season. Much of that had to do with the return of Jones to Cincinnati's lineup. Jones missed the 2014 season, but was back last season and had 65 receptions.
Does Sanu need a change of scenery? Does he just need a chance to play full-time? Would the Giants be the right place for Sanu, who caught 210 passes in three seasons during a record-setting career at Rutgers?
Here is SB Nation's Cincy Jungle on Sanu's free agency:
There may not be a harder market to project for a Bengals free agent than what Mohamed Sanu will face.
On one hand, Sanu is a very talented pass-catcher who can be used in the wildcat formation and can even take a few handoffs in certain formations. He's someone who can do some good damage in the slot and appeared to move past his drops issue (0 in 2015, 9 in 2014) while also catching 66-percent of the passes he was targeted on. Sanu is also just 26-years-old and seemingly has only begun to show what his full potential holds.
On the other hand, Sanu caught just 33 passes for 394 yards and no scores to go with 71 yards and two scores on 10 rushes this past season. In 57 career games, Sanu has just 13 touchdowns (11 receiving, 2 rushing) and has never topped 790 receiving yards in a season.
Sanu recorded 30 or less receiving yards in his final 12 games this season (including the playoffs). He also has just seven grabs for 61 yards in three career playoff games, which only begins to explain the enigma Sanu has been for much of his time in the Queen City.
Sanu is not ranked among the top nine free agent receivers by Pro Football Focus. Randle is No. 7. Walter Football ranks Sanu No. 12. Sanu is No. 9 on Rotoworld's list of receivers.
Over The Cap projects a potential three-year, $10.5 million deal for Sanu:
Sanu's best hope for free agency is that a team views him as a higher level Andrew Hawkins, where the players overall numbers are considered lesser than the talent simply because of the abundance of players at his position. I think that would help him extend his reach in free agency and land him more playing time in an offense that might see him as a low level number 2.
Would you like to see Sanu back in New Jersey with the Giants?