Sterling Shepard is returning to the New York Giants for the 2023 NFL season, according to a report from Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.
The 30-year-old wide receiver has missed significant chunks of the last two seasons with injuries. He played only seven games (with 36 receptions) in 2021 before missing the rest of the season with a torn Achilles tendon. Last season, he had 13 receptions in three games before suffering a torn ACL that sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
Paul Schwartz of the New York Post is reporting that Shepard is getting a one-year, veteran minimum deal. Shepard appeared to confirm the news via his Instagram page. That makes this a low-risk, high-reward signing for the Giants.
Art Stapleton provided more details on Shepard’s deal. It is a one-year deal with a total value of $1.317 million, $1.165 million base salary, $38,125 per game active roster bonus.
A 2016 second-round pick by the Giants, Shepard has a lengthy injury history and has not played a full season since 2018.
Shepard is eight on the Giants’ all-time list with 362 career receptions. He is 16th in franchise history with 4,038 receiving yards.
Signing Shepard this early in the offseason is perhaps a bit of a surprising move by the Giants. At the beginning of the offseason GM Joe Schoen did not commit to a return by Shepard. He said only that the Giants would monitor his rehab.
Shepard is an elder statesman and leader for the Giants, continuing to play a visible role on the sidelines and in the locker room last season even after being place on injured reserve.
In a previously recorded ‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast to be released Monday morning, Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post and I discussed Shepard, agreeing that he would likely be back with the Giants but that a signing would not come until some time in the summer when Shepard could pass a physical.
Wide receivers Richie James, Darius Slayton and Marcus Johnson can all be free agents. ESPN’s Jordan Ranaan reported that the Giants “would like to re-sign” Slayton if the price is right.
Bringing back Shepard is likely just a first step for the Giants in revamping their receiving corps.
ESPN’s Tom Pelissero reported that “several teams” are now in talks with free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. after his Friday workout in Arizona. It is not known if the Giants are one of those teams. Pro Football Talk is reporting Beckham is seeing $20 million per year, which would likely price the Giants out of the market.