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Darius Slayton-Myles Gaskin trade idea makes sense

Proposal from ESPN’s Mike Clay appears to have merit for both sides

Baltimore Ravens v Miami Dolphins
Myles Gaskin
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The idea that wide receiver Darius Slayton might have difficulty hanging on to his 53-man roster spot with the 2022 New York Giants has often been expressed here at Big Blue View. Slayton certainly isn’t a lock to open the season with the Giants.

Could the Giants get something for the speedy fourth-year wide receiver in a trade?

ESPN NFL writer Mike Clay recently proposed a trade that might make sense:

Slayton for Myles Gaskin. Hmmm ... let’s talk about that.

Why it makes sense

Slayton’s path to the Giants’ roster is murky. I have beaten that drum over and over throughout the offseason. No, it’s not because I have anything against Slayton. No, it’s not because I think he is a bad player.

It is because when you look at the roster, and at the finances, that is the reality.

If Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Wan’Dale Robinson and Sterling Shepard are all healthy — and, yes, Shepard’s availability at the beginning of the season is a question mark — Slayton is at best WR5 on the Giants’ depth chart.

That means there will not be regular snaps on offense, and that whoever is WR5 — or WR6 — will have to be a special teams mainstay. Slayton flopped as a return man in 2019 and has played a grand total of 16 special teams snaps — none in 2021. That makes him useless on special teams.

Neither Richie James nor C.J. Board offer Slayton’s resume as a receiver, but both are accomplished special teams players. Both have kickoff and punt return ability, as well as value on kickoff and punt coverage teams. Overall, you can argue that would give both Board and James more across the board value than Slayton.

The finances? Slayton carries a $2.54 million base salary. Both James and Board have base salaries of $965,000. Robert Foster, a deep threat who had success playing for Brian Daboll in Buffalo a few years, is another $965,000 player. As tight to the salary cap as the Giants are, that has to be considered a factor in roster construction.

The Giants also have receivers with NFL experience like Collin Johnson, David Sills and Keelan Doss who might merit consideration.

If the Giants are going to move on from Slayton, getting something in return for him rather than cutting him would be ideal. Getting a quality player they could use at a position of need would be exceptional.

Gaskin, a 24-year-old running back, would be that for the Giants.

In three seasons, the former Miami seventh-round pick has averaged 3.8 yards on 351 carries. He had career highs in yards (612) and carries (173) last season, but averaged just 3.5 yards per rush. In 2020, he averaged 4.1 yards per rush on 142 carries, gaining 584 yards.

Gaskin is also useful as a receiver, having caught a combined 90 passes the past two seasons.

Matt Breida, currently the Giants’ No. 2 back, has only 85 combined carries the past two seasons. Behind Breida are Antonio Williams, Gary Brightwell and undrafted free agent Jashaun Corbin.

Gaskin is currently listed RB4 on the Miami depth chart behind Chase Edmonds, Sony Michel and Raheem Mostert.

The Dolphins have Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Cedrick Wilson at wide receiver, and Slayton would likely slot in as WR4 in Miami.

Financially, the trade is a wash. Both players carry $2.54 million base salaries.

Is this a trade you would like to see happen, Giants fans?