Carter Coughlin has been a valuable special teams player for the New York Giants for the past four seasons. As his rookie contract expires, is that enough to bring him back to the Giants for a fifth season?
Reasons to keep him
Coughlin is the definition of a core special teams player. In the last three seasons, he played 86, 85 and 87 percent of the Giants’ special teams snaps. No Giant played more special teams snaps than Coughlin’s 397 in 2023. Coughlin played on five of the six special teams, with the exception being the field goal unit. He had a team-high nine tackles, the second year in a row he had led or tied for the team lead in special teams tackles.
There is an argument to be made that Coughlin’s special teams value could be worth a one-year, veteran minimum type contract.
Reasons to let him go
While he has led the Giants or tied in special teams snaps played and tackles made the last two seasons, he has also led in special teams tackles missed with four in 2023 and six in 2022.
Beyond that, Coughlin has no real value as a defensive player. As a rookie in 2020, he did play 192 defensive snaps (20%). In the last two seasons, though, he has really not been thought of as a defensive player. He received only six defensive snaps in 2022 and two in 2023.
Move on. The Giants are changing special teams coordinators, and the unit really has not been good enough overall the past few seasons. Perhaps that roster spot can go to a young player with upside or a veteran backup linebacker who could be more useful if needed on defense.