New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen already took one big swing in the trade market this offseason, sending a 2023 third-round pick to the Las Vegas Raiders for star tight end Darren Waller. Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post tweeted recently that Schoen might not be done swapping 2023 draft picks for players.
Don't be surprised if #Giants trade another of their picks for a veteran player between now and the end of the draft.— Ryan Dunleavy (@rydunleavy) April 14, 2023
First, I’ve learned to pay attention when Dunleavy drops a hint like this one. He is a colleague, sure, but he is also well-connected and was all over the Giants’ trade for Waller. If he is willing to put this out there, it might have legs.
Second, the Giants enter the draft with 10 picks. I will be shocked if Schoen actually makes all 10 of those picks. The Giants have holes to fill, but 10 draft picks are not going to make the 2023 53-man roster.
A year ago, Schoen showed a willingness to move around the draft board. He traded down twice in Round 2 before selecting wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson. I fully expect him to manipulate the board to target what he wants again this time.
Now, Schoen could manipulate the board in a number of ways. He could trade up to go get the wide receiver or cornerback of his choosing. He could, as I have done in a couple of mock drafts, trade down in Round 1 and then use his multitude of picks to target and move up for a player or players on Day 2.
Schoen could target adding some 2024 draft capital, since the Giants currently have only the standard seven selections in that draft.
Or, as Dunleavy indicated, Schoen could take another swing at using some of his draft capital to add a veteran player who could help the Giants right away. That is perhaps not a place Schoen might have expected to be in a year ago, but the Giants made the playoffs in 2022 and Schoen admitted that there was more talent on-hand than he and head coach Brian Daboll had expected to find.
The Giants have committed to quarterback Daniel Jones. They have taken a big swing on a veteran player in Waller. They spent significant money on linebacker Bobby Okereke. Those aren’t the moves of a GM who thinks he is in a rebuild. While Schoen admitted at the end of the 2022 season that there was a “talent gap” between the Giants and top teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, he certainly has not conducted the offseason like he believes the Giants making the playoffs was a fluke.
So, taking another swing for a veteran player who could help now if the right deal presents itself might be a viable path.
Could that be Cooper Kupp?
Bleacher Report recently proposed a hypothetical Giants-Los Angeles Rams blockbuster trade, so let’s talk about it.
BR’s Alex Kay is proposing that the Giants send their first-round pick (No. 25) and third-round pick (No. 89) along with a 2024 third-round pick to Los Angeles in exchange for Kupp, who will be entering his age 30 season.
Kay believes “It’d be tough to find a better landing spot for Kupp” than the Giants.
Is that true?
The idea of Kupp, a 6-foot-2, 208-pound true No. 1 wide receiver, as a Giant is certainly tantalizing. Still, Kupp is entering his age 30 season and coming off an ankle injury that limited him to nine games in 2022 and required “tightrope” surgery.
I could even go along with giving up the 25th pick. It’s hard not to prefer Kupp, if healthy, to any of the receivers the Giants might be able to pick at No. 25. Still, it would be hard for me to give up 25 and 89. Perhaps if you substituted a player like Darius Slayton for that third-round pick it might be more palatable. It might also help from a salary cap perspective.
Money is another reason why a Kupp trade would be difficult to pull off. Over The Cap lists the Giants with $2.204 million in cap space. Kupp carries a $15 million base salary in each of the next two seasons.
Without deals in place for Dexter Lawrence, Saquon Barkley and perhaps Leonard Williams, it is hard to see the Giants finding a way to absorb that contract. In June of 2022, Kupp signed a three-year, $80.1 million extension with the Rams that runs through 2026, when Kupp would be 33. It’s hard to see the Giants wanting that contract, much less extending it.
So, I have a hard time seeing a Kupp to the Giants deal becoming reality. I don’t, though, have a difficult time seeing Schoen swinging a deal of some sort involving swapping picks for a veteran player.