Though the New York Giants need improvement all-around before returning for the 2020 season, the pass-rushing department has been particularly lackluster.
The Giants finished with 36 sacks in the National Football League during the 2019 season, placing them at 22nd in the league. Failing to get to the opposing team’s quarterback contributed to only 16 takeaways over the course of the season.
The Giants signed outside linebacker Markus Golden to a one-year contract last March, meaning the team’s top pass rusher from 2019 with 10 sacks is now on the free agent market.
Because the Giants, with the fourth overall pack in the 2020 NFL Draft, will almost certainly miss the chance to draft star pass rusher Chase Young out of Ohio State, the focus needs to be on who the team can acquire during free agency.
Bucs outside linebacker Shaq Barrett would have been a top prospect for the Giants with his league-leading 19.5 sacks during the 2019 season. But Barrett told SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio that he would prefer to not leave Tampa Bay because he does not like moving around.
Barrett said to Chris “Mad Dog” Russo that his dislike of moving is why he did not accept a Division I full scholarship offer in North Dakota. He instead opted to stay home in Nebraska and play at Nebraska-Omaha.
When the school eliminated its football program, Barrett continued to stick around, deciding to transfer to Colorado State. Barrett had several offers after going undrafted but he took only $10,000 to sign with the Broncos and stay closer to home.
Barrett admitted that taxes also play a role in his decision to move or stay.
“If [other teams] offer me more than Tampa, I’m going to look at the places, if they offer me more than Tampa, I’m going to look at what their taxes is compared to Tampa’s,” Barrett said. “Because I ain’t going to live in L.A. and get taxed crazy,” Barrett said.
“I’m not going to take drastically less but I am open to doing what I think is best for my career, and I think that would be staying in Tampa.”
That being said, it does not look like the Giants can count on adding Barrett to their roster during free agency.
Some other names for New York to consider are Jadeveon Clowney of the Seattle Seahawks and Yannick Ngakoue of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Clowney did not have his best season in 2019, recording only three sacks, but the former No. 1 pick still promises to be a popular name this offseason.
Ngakoue was a third-round pick for the Jaguars in 2016 who has developed into a consistent pass rusher over the past four seasons, recording 37.5 sacks during that time. He collected eight sacks last season alone and posted a 12-sack season in 2017. Unlike Suggs, Ngakoue is young, turning just 25 next season. He shows potential to be a consistently strong pass rusher for the Giants over the course of numerous seasons.