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Giants 2022 NFL free agency: DT Danny Shelton

Veteran nose tackle had poor season with Giants in 2021

Atlanta Falcons v New York Giants
Danny Shelton
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

As we inch closer to the real 2022 NFL roster-building season, the New York Giants have two defensive linemen they know they can count on — Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams. Beyond that, nothing but question marks.

After one year with the Giants, should veteran nose tackle Danny Shelton be brought back to try and fill one of the spots that appears to be available?


Age: 29
Position: Defensive tackle
2021 salary cap hit: $987,500

Making the case

The 6-foot-2, 345-pound Shelton has never lived up to his status as a 2016 first-round by pick (No. 12 overall) by the Cleveland Browns. The Giants were Shelton’s fourth team in a seven-year career.

Shelton was brought to the Giants to help fill the void left when Dalvin Tomlinson signed with the Minnesota Vikings. He did not play well. Known primarily as a run-stopper, Shelton had a career-worst 43.4 Pro Football Focus run defense grade. A huge man, he was still often pushed out of holes. His 45.0 overall grade was also a career-low. Shelton was PFF’s 115th-ranked defensive tackle out of 132 qualifiers.

There was a time when Shelton was a quality rotational tackle. The last two seasons, 2020 with the Detroit Lions and this past season with the Giants, have shown regression in his play.

The Giants can do better. They need to let Shelton walk and find someone else.