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Should the Giants trade for Dion Jordan? Weighing the pros and cons

Dion Jordan is expected to apply for reinstatement to the NFL Wednesday. Should the Giants inquire about a trade with Miami?

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

"We'll keep all our options open."

"We just look for good players."

-- Jerry Reese, at some point in any press conference you choose.

Yeah, New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese likes to speak in cliches, but living in the New York media bubble, who could blame him?

So, if we were to ask Reese whether the Giants would trade for Miami's Dion Jordan, it would probably be quicker and easier just to pick from his cliche greatest hits.

But, cliches become cliches for a reason, and Reese is always keeping his options open and exploring every avenue to improve the team. And as it so happens, Jordan is set to apply for reinstatement into the NFL Wednesday. Jordan, the third pick of the 2013 draft, was suspended on April 29 of 2015 for multiple drug offenses, and hasn't played since the end of the 2014 season.

Assuming the Dolphins are prepared to move on from him, they could be interested in a trade, so let's take a look at the potential pros and cons of the deal.


  • Risk. IF he gets reinstated, he was just suspended for more than a year for drug violations. Prior to the 2016 draft, the order came down from John Mara that whoever the Giants select would be as risk free from both the medical and character standpoints. Jordan potentially represents a significant character risk, and the Giants might not feel that he is worth it with a young locker room and rookie head coach.
  • The Cost. A 26-year-old player, who was just three years removed from being the third overall pick in the draft just does not come on the trading block very often (if he ever does). Jordan's age and draft status might boost the Dolphins' asking price over what the Giants would be comfortable paying. They are still a team with holes, and future draft capital is vitally important; Reese needs to invest it wisely.
  • Scheme Fit. Jordan is athletic and talented, but he was the draft choice of a prior regime that couldn't figure out how to use him effectively. While that might factor into their decision to move on from Jordan, it should also factor into Reese's calculations regarding to trade for him. Why send them a draft pick to a competitor for a player you can't use?


  • Talent and skill set. Full disclosure here: I was very high on Jordan leading up to the 2013 draft, for much the same reason as I liked Leonard Floyd for the Giants this past year. At 6-feet-6, 245 pounds, he isn't built to be a defensive end in the NFL. But with a 4.60 40-yard dash, and the kind of hips and feet that let him routinely stick with slot receivers in man coverage, Jordan is almost custom built to be an outside linebacker in today's NFL. If the Giants really were as high on Floyd as we all believed, the attraction to Jordan should be obvious. He should be able to fill many of the schematic roles for which the Giants had Floyd pegged.
  • Familiarity. The Giants have two former teammates of Jordan's on their roster in Olivier Vernon and Kelvin Sheppard. That gives them two sources of information from players who are likely familiar with Jordan, the person. Reports came out after the 2011 draft that Reese asked Hakeem Nicks for an evaluation of Marvin Austin's character after the scandal at UNC (Nicks gave a positive review of his teammate, and while Austin busted for the Giants, it was largely injury related). Having recent teammates to consult could give the Giants better insight than many other teams in the league.
  • The Roster. The Giants roster has been improved over the offseason, but they still have holes and questionable depth. Even if Jordan never lives up to his draft slot, he could still help fill out the Giants' roster. They have no proven edge rushers beyond Jason Pierre-Paul, Olivier Vernon, and Devon Kennard. Steve Spagnuolo wants to me more aggressive and send waves of rushers after quarterbacks. Having a fourth and fifth rusher (assuming Owamagbe Odighizuwa realizes his potential), is key to the kind of defense Spags wants to call. Not to mention that every team in the league is looking to solve the mismatch created by athletic tight ends.

Final Thoughts

If. If. If. If. If.

That's just the way it goes in situations like this. If Dion Jordan gets reinstated, if the Dolphins are ready to move on from him, if the price isn't too high, if the Giants are willing to take the risk... Should they trade for him?

The feeling here is that they should at least kick the tires.

We assume, but don't know, if Floyd was the Giants' primary target in the 2016 draft -- it was widely reported, and the whole league apparently knew it -- or if their "interest" was just an elaborate false-flag operation to throw the rest of the league off true desire for Eli Apple, and potentially smoke out some loose-lipped leaks in the process.

(Though if that's the case, Reese might be the smartest, or at least most devious, man in the NFL. And in a league that boasts Bill Bellichick, that's saying something)

But anyway, assuming their interest in Floyd was genuine, trading for Dion Jones could net them a player with the same skill-set and more physical talent for much less draft capitol.

It's an option they should at least explore. If all the "ifs" line up in the Giants' favor, that is.