The New York Jets will reportedly place the $15.7 million franchise tag on star defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, thus keeping the best potentially available defensive lineman from reaching the free-agent market. If the New York Giants want Wilkerson, as many speculate/hope, they will have to convince the Jets to do a tag-and-trade deal for the 26-year-old Pro Bowler.
Is that possible? Maybe. Is it likely? Probably not. Brian Bassett of the SNY Jets Blog speculates that the Jets could ask for as much as two first-round picks for Wilkerson. I can't see a scenario where the Giants would be willing to part with that much. A source indicated to me that while it's unclear what the Jets would ask for in a tag-and-trade, the price is believed to be at least one first-round pick.
The Daily News reported that the "most likely result" will be that Wilkerson plays under the tag next season.
Now, let's look at some other free agency headlines that may impact the Giants.
Janoris Jenkins switching agents
Los Angeles Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins, whom we have identified as a logical replacement for or perhaps an upgrade from Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara, is apparently serious about cashing in big in free agency. Jenkins is apparently switching agents.
#Rams CB Janoris Jenkins is expected to sign with veteran player agent Neil Schwartz, per league sources.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) February 29, 2016
Jenkins has also taken to Twitter to vent about what he called "total disrespect" from the Rams. Jenkins reportedly turned down a five-year, $45 million offer from the Rams.
How badly do Giants want Jason Pierre-Paul?
A report from NJ Advance Media is the latest to advance the belief that the Giants are "working to make" a return to the Giants by JPP happen. Jordan Ranaan writes that the Giants are "only willing to do it on a one-year, prove-it deal." Pierre-Paul's reps, however, continue to believe "that a long-term deal is out there in the neighborhood of $10 million per year."
That dovetails with what a source has been telling me, and that I have been stating, for nearly two months now. The Giants want Pierre-Paul back, but seemingly -- and rightly in my opinion -- aren't willing to make a big long-term investment to make that happen. JPP's team is still -- also rightly from their perspective -- hoping someone out there will give Pierre-Paul the big pay day.
Free-agent middle linebacker James Laurinaitis, who many would like to join the Giants, will apparently meet with the New Orleans Saints this week. ... Former Giants lineman Geoff Schwartz has apparently received interest from the Miami Dolphins.