Things got serious for the New York Giants in free agency on Wednesday with the news that they were bringing in Kenny Golladay, the best wide receiver available, for a free agent visit. Here are some ‘things I think’ about the Giants’ latest free agent moves.
What the Golladay visit means
Not so long ago, NFL players often took free agent visits to meet with interested teams. Now, those are almost unheard of. When it comes to the big-ticket players in free agency, we usually know where most of them are going and how much money they are going to make before the official signing period even begins.
Thus, it is truly noteworthy that Golladay, the best receiver and in some free agent rankings considered the best overall player left on the market, is supposed to make a visit to East Rutherford, N.J. to meet face-to-face (mask-to-mask?) with Giants’ decision-makers.
This isn’t some sort of quaint, old-fashioned nod to history. It’s not a “look at those stuck in the Dinosaur Age Giants doing things the old way” thing.
This is serious stuff.
The Giants need playmakers for Daniel Jones. They know that. Golladay is, by resume, the best one available. They know that, too.
Something else the Giants know is that there are serious questions about Golladay. Both physical and cultural. The Giants are likely prepping a big offer for Golladay, bigger than the three-year, $37.5 million ($27 million guaranteed) that Corey Davis got from the New York Jets. The Giants, obviously, want to know exactly what they are spending their money on.
Hip injuries are no joke, and that’s what landed Golladay on IR last season. It’s smart business for the Giants to want their doctors to examine Golladay’s hip to make sure there are no lasting, long-term, degenerative issues before they write him a massive check.
There is also the cultural fit aspect. There is some reporting out there that the relationship between Golladay and the Detroit Lions had soured. Golladay liked an Instagram post reporting Patricia’s midseason firing. He was expected back for the final few games and didn’t play. Was he sitting out to protect his free agent value, or was his hip really that bad? There was also a “This s—- gonna cost you” Instagram post from Golladay after a four-catch, 105-yard performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars last season that might set off Golden Tate-esque alarm bells for the Giants.
Judge worked with Patricia on the staff of the New England Patriots for several years. So, he can undoubtedly go to Patricia for his perspective on Golladay. The Giants also have Kyle O’Brien, former Lions vice president of player personnel, in their front office to provide them information. So, they are well-positioned to know if they should have any concerns about Golladay’s fit.
Golladay, too, has options. It’s been reported that he has a one-year offer from the Cincinnati Bengals that would allow him to go back on the market and seek his big-money deal a year from now, when the salary cap is expected to rise exponentially. The fact that he would be willing to make a visit to New Jersey shows he is serious about the Giants, as well.
The Giants’ interest in Golladay shows that they are absolutely intent on upgrading their 31st-ranked offense. The fact that they are insisting on the visit shows that they want to do everything possible to make sure they are investing their money wisely.
I like it.
Ifeadi Odenigbo signing
In his film study of the Giants’ new defensive end, Nick Falato wrote “I love this type of swing on upside.’
I couldn’t agree more.
This is the perfect type of signing for a team that doesn’t have a ton of cap space to throw around in an effort to fill needs. Judging by snaps played — 0 in his 2017 rookie season, 7 with the Arizona Cardinals in 2018, 368 with Minnesota in 2019 and 696 with the Vikings last season — this is a player just coming into his own.
I love the one-year deal for the Giants. It gives them a chance to find out if there is untapped potential, and it should give their pass rush a little juice.
Smart. I would rather pay for what a player might become than what he used to be.