The New York Giants need a true No. 1 wide receiver. Luckily, there may be three intriguing options in free agency.
Arguably the top position the New York Giants need to address during the offseason is wide receiver, and reasonably so. Big Blue doesn’t employ a true No. 1 wideout and the near future of Golden Tate is unclear. The veteran, who’s been inconsistent and unreliable for much of his Giants tenure, could opt-out of his four-year deal prior to the 2021 campaign.
Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard, barring a significant improvement, are both No. 2 receivers at best. The Giants need an additional passing-game target; someone who’s going to help spread the field and play a role in the development of Daniel Jones.
New York could potentially acquire someone in the first round of the NFL Draft — LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase, Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle, and/or Alabama’s DeVonta Smith may be available at No. 11 overall. Nonetheless, free agency is additionally in play.
The Giants really shouldn’t break the bank for someone like Allen Robinson or T.Y. Hilton though — not because they wouldn’t be worth it (they would be), but because the organization could use its limited cap space for alternative priorities, such as Leonard Williams’ eventual payday.
Big Blue is better off seeking guys that are talented but not the most expensive out of the 2021 unrestricted free-agent receivers. Thus, the following three individuals could be under consideration.
1. Will Fuller
Will Fuller will probably ask for a decent chunk of change considering his talent and may want out of Houston given the current level of dysfunction in and around that organization. Regardless, he would be the Giants’ top and most productive receiver without question.
From a statistical standpoint, Fuller underwent his best season in 2020 and notched career highs in receptions (53), yards (879), touchdowns (eight), receptions per game (4.8), and yards per game (79.9).
The injuries are a significant concern though, and that aspect might be what decreases his overall value in contract talks. Fuller missed games due to injury in each of his first four seasons in the league.
Another tidbit that will ultimately decrease his value is the fact that he’ll be missing Week 1 next year. Fuller is serving a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy and five of those missed matchups occurred at the end of this past season.
2. Chris Godwin
Unless the Buccaneers franchise tag him (which they might), Tampa Bay may not be able to keep Chris Godwin given the salaries of their other weapons, especially if they look to bring back Antonio Brown.
Like Fuller, Godwin could ask for a decent payday after his performances over the last two seasons, which included his 2019 Pro Bowl campaign. During that year, he caught 86 balls for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns with 6.1 average receptions, 95.2 average yards, and a 71.1% catch rate.
Most of his numbers were down this past regular season, but he did only play 12 games and was overshadowed at times by some of the other targets on this stacked Bucs roster (Mike Evans, Antonio Brown, etc.).
Godwin would additionally be a much better option in the slot than Tate and would fit in well alongside Shepard and Slayton given the strengths of the two current Giants.
3. Kenny Golladay
Kenny Golladay of the Detroit Lions certainly carries the potential to be a No. 1 receiver and would definitely be more productive than both Shepard and Slayton if he came to East Rutherford.
There were actually rumors this past season of the Giants potentially trading for Golladay prior to the deadline, but nothing came to fruition. Regardless, why not get him now and not give up anything except for cap space?
Golladay certainly carries value, but that value could’ve decreased amid his injury-plagued 2020 season (he only played in five games). This would therefore make a difference as far as potential contract talks are concerned.
Despite the recent health-related setbacks, Golladay can definitely produce and did so during his 2019 Pro Bowl campaign. He caught 65 balls for 1,190 yards and 11 touchdowns with an average of 74.4 yards per game in what was his second consecutive 1,000-yard season.