Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network is reporting that the New York Giants will be signing wide receiver Sterling Shepard to a 4-year, $41 million contract extension.
Source: The #Giants are finalizing a four-year, $41 million extension with WR Sterling Shepard, source says. Their longest-tenured receiver is now their highest-paid. Strong deal for Shepard, who gets more than what most free agent WRs got this spring.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) April 10, 2019
Adam Schefter of ESPN quickly confirmed the report, adding that Shepard will receive $21.3 million in guaranteed money.
Giants’ deal with Sterling Shepard includes $21.3 million in guaranteed money, per source. https://t.co/tVCFVDNhvk— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 10, 2019
Not only does this move secure the Giants’ best receiver for the foreseeable future, it does so before he can get to free agency.
Shepard would have been one of the best wide receivers to hit free agency after the 2019 season, likely second only to the New Orleans Saints Michael Thomas, and he likely would have commanded more money than he is making here. The move to sign Shepard before his rookie contract expires is a rarity for the Giants, who seldom extend players early, and have routinely let second round picks leave via free agency.
Shepard will be the Giants new number one receiver following the trade of Odell Beckham Jr. and their move to lock him up before he is able to play in that role — and then hit free agency — could be seen as a vote of confidence for the young receiver.