Muhammad Wilkerson of the New York Jets and Mohamed Sanu of the Cincinnati Bengals could be high on the list of targets for the New York Giants this offseason, according to a report from Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports.
Wilkerson, a defensive lineman, and Sanu, a wide receiver, "rank among a small number of players viewed in the most favorable terms by the team's brass," according to LaCanfora. He also referred to the duo as "prime targets" for the Giants.
Recent reports have indicated that the Jets are likely to use the franchise tag to keep the 26-year-old Wilkerson, but LaCanfora indicates that the Jets still may be amenable to trading Wilkerson after tagging him. LaCanfora speculated that dealing the 10th overall pick in the draft for Wilkerson "is by no means out of the question."
"... there still could be considerable value in making that play. How many first-round picks in this upcoming draft will be more impactful than Wilkerson over, say, the next three years? And, more to the point, how many of those handful of truly breakout first-round picks would be doing so at a position of acute need for the New York Giants in the manner in which Wilkerson would? And given how up-and-down the nature of the draft is on the whole, would it really be that big of a gamble to put those resources into someone like Wilkerson, who could reshape the Giants defense, at a significantly higher compensate rate, than it would rolling the dice on the 10th overall pick? Turning that asset into something of a can't-miss proposition may be the best play for recently-embattled general manager Jerry Reese, who enters this season under extreme scrutiny."
LaCanfora also writes that Wilkerson "Wilkerson very well might be the best potential free agent in the NFL, regardless of position."
Would you trade a first-round pick to the Jets to get him? It would be unlike the Giants to make such a move, but these are unusual times for a franchise that has suffered three consecutive losing seasons and could use a fast turnaround under new head coach Ben McAdoo.
We profiled Sanu earlier this week, and there is little doubt that the 26-year-old former Rutgers star looks like a player who would fit nicely into the Giants' receiving corps. LaCanfora writes:
"There are a multitude of other potential options at the receiver position, where the Giants are prioritizing finding a Robin to go with their Batman (Odell Beckham, Jr.), but few fit the bill as well as Sanu. The Bengals, his current employers, have never made a real concerted effort to retain him and they have a slew of potential free agents to sort through themselves as they try to keep their many starters who are set to hit the market (including Marvin Jones, another receiver of theirs who will do quite well in free agency himself). But with Victor Cruz's career in jeopardy and the Giants needing a presence in the slot and on the outside, Sanu ranks high for them.
"Sanu thrived as the top guy for the Bengals a few years back when A.J. Green missed a chunk of time. He would already fit in the offense the Giants run and while he will hardly be the only receiver they reach out to as soon as NFL rules allow, he will be someone very much on their radar. Adding Sanu at say, $5M a year, to compliment OBJ would help further open up an offense that, let's face it, even with Wilkerson anchoring on the other side of the ball is going to need plenty of scoring support to make the team competitive while the defense is being reconstructed."
Indeed, Sanu would be a nice option. The Giants likely won't look to overspend on a wide receiver to complement their offense, but they do need help.
Your thoughts on LaCanfora's report, Giants' fans?