Seven New York Giants players who’ll be playing for a new contract or contract extension in this upcoming 2019 season.
The 2019 season features numerous New York Giants players who will have to show up and show out. These players are nearing the end of their current deals and will be playing for either a contract or extension.
These seven individuals not only need to perform for their teams but also for their own futures:
CB Janoris Jenkins (Contract Extension)
Janoris Jenkins signed a five-year, $62.5 million deal prior to the 2016 season. Having been the starting corner since then, Jenkins will look to retain his spot as the strongside cornerback in 2019. The weak-side corner spot will feature a tight position battle leading up to the regular season, with Sam Beal, Julian Love and DeAndre Baker all competing for the spot.
Jenkins’s contract will be expiring at the end of not the 2019 season, but the 2020 season. That being said, Jenkins, 30, could sign an extension at the conclusion of the 2019 season. However, he’ll need to prove a lot before he can even think about receiving the extension.
For one, Jenkins needs to prove that he can still be the anchor of this Giants secondary. With the exception of Antoine Bethea, Jenkins is the oldest guy on this starting secondary and the most experienced when it comes to being a Giant. He needs to be a mentor to these younger guys such as Beal, Love, Baker, and safety Jabrill Peppers.
Jenkins also needs to be healthy and stay off the injury cart. Thus far in his seven-year career, he’s only played in all 16 games twice. If he suffers an injury this year that has him out for a few games, that not only puts a younger, more inexperienced asset to take his place at the strong-side corner spot (whether it be Beal, Love or Baker) but also will hurt his chance of the Giants showing faith in him.
All-in-all, an effective, healthy asset on and off the field is what Jenkins needs to prove to be in order to get another big payday from the Giants.
Safety and special teams asset Michael Thomas is entering the final year of his two-year, $4 million deal with the Giants. The Stanford University product will become an unrestricted free agent in 2020.
Thomas most likely won’t start in most circumstances at the safety position. He’s more of an option for nickel packages as well as an effective body to have on special teams. And that’s what he needs to be: a role player who can do what the Giants need him to do.
In 2018, Thomas racked up 59 combined tackles, one sack, two interceptions and six passes defended. He was named a captain prior to the start of the season and was eventually named to the Pro Bowl for special teams.
He’s a guy who needs to retain that role again for 2019 and show that not only the Giants made a bad decision in making him a captain, but that his trip to the Pro Bowl wasn’t just a one-time thing. Thomas will be able to act as a mentor to the young guys in the secondary as well as doing his thing on the field.
If Thomas does that, the Giants would be beside themselves to not re-sign him.
EDGE Markus Golden
Markus Golden signed a one-year, $3.75 million deal with the Giants this offseason, as he’ll be an unrestricted free agent in 2020. And as with any player who’s under a one-year deal, it’s automatically a contract year.
For the Arizona Cardinals in 2016 (under current Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher), Golden racked up 12.5 sacks. However, he’s been plagued by injuries ever since, as he’s missed 17 of his last 32 games.
Golden was brought into the organization to work alongside edge rushers Lorenzo Carter and Kareem Martin in hopes to improve the Giants pass rush. The pass rush was abysmal last year, tying for second-to-last in the NFL with 30 total sacks.
In order to achieve another contract with Big Blue after this season, Golden needs to do exactly what the Giants are confident in him doing. He needs to get back to that 2016 form and become a reliable asset for the pass rush. If he can help the Giants improve in that part of the game, he’ll deserve that new contract.
ILB B.J. Goodson
B.J. Goodson has shown the Giants he can play the inside linebacker position in this league ever since he signed a four-year, $2.92 million rookie deal before 2016.
However, this upcoming season will be the last on his contract. Therefore, he’ll have to prove his worth to the Giants and show that he’s irreplaceable on defense. It’ll start with the position battle this summer. Alec Ogletree will most likely start at one of the inside linebacker spots, with the other spot containing a battle between Goodson and Tae Davis. However, it’s still too early to tell how that position will pan out for the Giants come Week 1.
Goodson posted a career-high in tackles in 2018 with a combined 61. Therefore, he’s showing improvement when it comes to growing as an NFL inside linebacker.
One of his main problems though is his injury record. Through three years in the NFL, he hasn’t once played all 16 games in a season. If he just stays off the injury cart and proves to complement the rest of the pass rush well, Goodson should definitely be part of the Giants’ future plan as an organization.
DL Dalvin Tomlinson (Contract Extension)
Dalvin Tomlinson signed a four-year, $4.57 million rookie deal prior to the 2017 season, and hasn’t really disappointed since. He was named to the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie team in 2017 and has been a reliable asset for the Giants on the defensive line. He’s been able to play on the line in both the 4-3 and 3-4 defensive sets.
However, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent in 2021. Tomlinson will be looking for some more money, whether that comes in the form of a new contract or a contract extension at the end of the 2019 season. If Tomlinson shows he’s improved even more as a defensive lineman in this upcoming season, it’d make sense for the Giants to give him the extension prior to the 2020 season.
Not only did Tomlinson rack up 59 combined tackles and five tackles-for-loss last year, but he’s also the oldest guy on this young Giants defensive line. Dexter Lawrence, B.J. Hill, and Tomlinson are going into their first, second and third years in the league, respectively. Tomlinson needs to show leadership when it comes to the D-Line. This will help each of the three linemen to garner great chemistry as time goes on.
TE Evan Engram (Contract Extension)
Evan Engram signed a four-year, $10.7 million rookie deal after he was taken in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Ole Miss. In year one, Engram showed great potential. He proved to be a bright spot on a team that finished 3-13.
However, injuries plagued him in 2018, causing a decline in his sophomore campaign in the NFL. Despite him not becoming an unrestricted free agent until 2021, Engram will want to prove his worth this year in order to receive a possible contract extension after the 2019 season.
For one, the young tight end needs to stay healthy. The injuries last season were a huge reason why he wasn’t as effective in the offense. Engram also needs to show he can block like a tight end and perform out wide in a receiver role. Needless to say, this has to be his year. Engram needs to get back to that versatile playstyle that he showed in 2017.
If he doesn’t, the Giants could go with tight end Rhett Ellison for the future instead, as he would most likely be a cheaper option than Engram.
Receiver Corey Coleman is a former first-round pick, and after bouncing around from multiple organizations, found himself comfortable as a Giant. He also showed flashes of potential last year for Big Blue. Coleman caught eight balls for 71 yards through eight games.
This prompted the Giants to give him another shot, as they signed him to a one-year, $720,000 deal this offseason.
Opposing secondaries will be looking to defend Shepard, Tate, Engram, and of course Saquon Barkley out of the backfield. When this happens, Coleman needs to look to take advantage of that and become a reliable target for Eli Manning (or Daniel Jones, depending on how the season goes.)
If Coleman can keep improving and turning heads on both the practice field and on the game field, he could be part of the plan for the organization’s future.