The New York Giants will need to make decisions on a number of pending offensive free agents this offseason.
Deciding whether to re-sign someone (to either a short-term or long-term contract) or let that individual walk in free agency is rarely simple. In 2021, it will be even more difficult.
Due to the loss of revenue in and around the NFL amid the pandemic-impacted 2020 campaign, the salary cap will certainly be affected ahead of the 2021 season. This will force organizations to alter their mindsets when it comes to free agency, and it could be a market unlike any we’ve ever witnessed in the NFL.
The New York Giants have a number of starters or otherwise noteworthy players on the roster who are set to be free agents, some of whom are on the offensive side of the ball.
Who out of these offensive players will they keep? Who will they let walk?
OT Cameron Fleming (Keep)
Bringing Cameron Fleming back on another cheap, short-term deal would be beneficial for the organization. The veteran offensive tackle played on a one-year, $3.5 million contract in 2020 and started all 16 games.
It’s unclear what Nate Solder will decide to do in 2021 after opting-out of the 2020 season amid coronavirus concerns. However, if he does come back and start at one of the two tackle spots with Andrew Thomas manning the other, the Giants would benefit from employing a reliable backup who possesses starting experience.
Fleming would be capable of fulfilling those job requirements.
QB Colt McCoy (Let walk)
However, Jones needs someone else in the quarterback room who possesses notable starting experience. McCoy has been a backup for much of his career and has started just 30 games in 11 years.
The Giants would be better off acquiring someone like Joe Flacco (Jets) or Andy Dalton (Cowboys) — an individual who has found success as a starter and could provide relevant guidance for Jones.
RB Dion Lewis (Let walk)
He’s not an expensive player whatsoever, but Dion Lewis didn’t exactly provide the team with enough on-field proof that he’s worth another contract, regardless of the potential price or time length.
Lewis wasn’t all that productive in 2020 and only rushed for 115 yards to go with 127 receiving yards. He additionally averaged just 22.4 yards per return on 24 kickoff returns.
Oh, and the three fumbles (two of which were lost)? Not ideal either. All in all, Lewis is very much replaceable and the Giants should part ways with him this offseason.
RB Wayne Gallman (Let walk)
Wayne Gallman was great for the Giants down the stretch in the absence of Saquon Barkley, respectively rushing for 94 and 135 yards in wins over the Bengals and Seahawks. However, given his success, he’s going to want a decent chunk of change and the opportunity to compete for a starting job in this league, the latter of which he won’t receive in East Rutherford when Barkley returns.
You also have to take into account Saquon’s eventual second contract. The Giants could extend him this offseason or exercise the fifth-year option on his rookie deal. Co-owner John Mara also recently stated he expects Barkley to remain a Giant “for a very long time.”
So given Barkley’s potential future with the team, the Giants likely won’t be able to keep Gallman around, as unfortunate as that may be.
RB Alfred Morris (Keep)
Out of Gallman and Alfred Morris, the latter might be the only one the Giants will be able to retain. No, he’s not as talented as Gallman right now, but given the circumstances, the idea of retaining Morris is simply more realistic.
Morris runs hard and could certainly be reliable for a few plays if and when Barkley needs a breather. He averaged 4.3 yards per carry this past season and an improving offensive line could immensely help him out in 2021.