New York Giants legend Amani Toomer provides his take on his former team’s wide receiver group ahead of the 2020 season.
One of the setbacks the New York Giants had to deal with on the offensive side of the ball last year was the missed time among their receiving corps. Amid injuries and a suspension, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, and Golden Tate combined to miss 13 games. Not to mention, an ACL tear suffered in training camp sidelined Corey Coleman for the entire campaign.
With that said, it’ll be interesting to see how effective Daniel Jones can be if the entire receiver group comes together and stays on the field in 2020. This unit doesn’t assure everyone though, and one of the unconfident individuals happened to be in this exact role for over a decade.
“I’m a little disappointed with Shepard, I don’t know,” he added. “My dad always used to tell me, ‘He’s hell when he’s well, he’s just sick all the time.’ That’s what I think when I think of him. He’s just always, there’s always something hurt, or something.
“I think Golden Tate is just a tougher version of him. Basically they’re the same receiver, but Golden Tate is a tougher version of him.”
Of course, Shepard has dealt with health-related setbacks in two of his four NFL seasons. He played (and started) in all 16 games during the 2016 and 2018 campaigns. The 2017 and 2019 seasons were different stories though. He played in just 11 games the former campaign and 10 this past year, having spent a significant amount of time in the concussion protocol.
The Giants provided Shepard with a four-year extension worth $41 million prior to last season. They additionally signed Tate to a four-year, $37.5 million deal in 2019 as well.
If there was one positive aspect throughout the position group, it was the performance from Slayton, a 2019 fifth-round pick that certainly developed a phenomenal connection with Jones. Despite missing two games, Darius caught 48 balls for 740 yards and eight scores, having led the team in the latter two categories.
Toomer thinks Slayton “has the most upside” of the entire group. Nonetheless, he still doesn’t believe it’s the strongest unit, especially considering their top receiver from the last decade is now in Cleveland.
“I’m still confused on why they got rid of Odell [Beckham Jr.],” he said. “Really confused. And every time I ask somebody in the office, it’s like, ‘Well, it was a fit thing’ and all this nebulous, circumstantial stuff. Or, ‘Oh he wasn’t a good fit in the locker room.’ But everybody I talked to loved him. Even the trainers all loved him. So I don’t know.”