The NFL trade deadline is coming up on Halloween, just a few days away. The New York Giants can’t make any moves at this point that will rescue their 2017 season. They can, however, look at doing things to help their future.
What is the one move the Giants should make before next Tuesday’s deadline?
The sexy (click-baity?) thing to would be to recommend a trade of quarterback Eli Manning. That would be the toss-in-the-towel move, the “we’re blowing everything up and starting over” decision.
It is also almost certainly not happening. Nor should it. If a team blows the Giants away with an offer and Manning would be willing to accept a deal you have to consider it, but I don’t see that happening. I still expect Manning to be starting games for the Giants next season.
I have recommended getting rookie Davis Webb some playing time before the season is over. Not benching Manning entirely or getting Webb in the Giants’ Week 9 game against the Los Angeles Rams, but getting the rookie into a few games at the end of the season. That is the prudent thing to do with a high draft pick coming next season. Get an idea what you have, so you have a better idea what you need.
Another idea that keeps finding its way into my Twitter feed is trading for Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receiver Martavis Bryant. The Giants desperately need wide receivers, although the return to health of Sterling Shepard should ease that problem. Bryant is a talented one who is still young enough at 26 to be around for a while.
Bryant, though, is also a guy who served a year-long suspension in 2016 for violating the NFL substance abuse policy. He’s been vocal this season about being unhappy with his role in Pittsburgh.
If the decision is up to me, I’m not giving up draft picks for a guy with Bryant’s baggage.
The move I’m making is this — I’m getting Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie off the roster.
DRC remains a good player, but his recent suspension, his lack of playing time Sunday when he returned, and the differing explanations for that from Rodgers-Cromartie and coach Ben McAdoo tell you there are probably some lingering issues.
Besides that, Rodgers-Cromartie will be 32 next season. The guaranteed money in his five-year, $35 million deal has been paid. He carries an $8.5 million cap hit for 2018, and the Giants will almost certainly move on from him, saving $6 million they desperately need against the cap in the process.
DRC is one of the few tradeable assets the Giants have. He probably wouldn’t bring more than a sixth- or seventh-round pick, but he would likely bring something from a contending team like the New England Patriots, who have the worst pass defense in the league. The Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders are other teams who could probably use help in the secondary.
The Giants might as well get something in return for Rodgers-Cromartie if they can. That is the move I would be trying to make right now.