Both the Giants and Jets could look to sign wide receiver Kenny Golladay given the Lions reportedly won’t franchise tag him.
Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports the Detroit Lions aren’t planning to use their lone franchise tag on wide receiver Kenny Golladay. This means Golladay will hit the open market when the free agency period commences on Wednesday, March 17.
The #Lions don’t plan to tag WR Kenny Golladay, per source.
No final decision on whether Detroit may use a tag on someone else, but it appears Golladay is headed to the market.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 9, 2021
While Golladay could remain with the Lions, who drafted him in 2017, there’s a chance he may end up elsewhere, such as in the New York/New Jersey market with either organization located in that area.
Both the Giants and Jets are in need of offensive weapons to help improve from putrid 2020 performances on that side of the ball; Golladay could indeed fill a huge role whether he ends up in blue or green.
The potential fit with the Giants
The Giants offense in its inaugural year with coordinator Jason Garrett wasn’t exactly efficient…to say the least. Big Blue was 31st in both total offense and scoring and 29th in passing, and heading into this offseason, it’s clear a true No. 1 wide receiver is required for the unit. Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton are No. 2 wideouts at best and, at the moment, are both incapable of taking on the role as Daniel Jones‘ top target.
Given his talents as a possession receiver along with his knack for the end zone (league-leading 11 touchdown receptions in 2019), Golladay would be a major boost for a passing game that desperately needs one. He would additionally assist in the overall development of Jones — building around the soon-to-be third-year quarterback should be the No. 1 goal for the organization this offseason.
One of the main reasons Jones didn’t undergo an overwhelming improvement from year one to two was because of a lack of consistent talent and production surrounding the receiving corps. Golladay would certainly help resolve the lingering issues.
A problem, however, is the Giants’ limited cap space — the team is $5.5 million over the cap as of Tuesday and may still extend multiple players.
The potential fit with the Jets
See the aforementioned 2020 ranks for the Giants offense? Somehow, they were all worse for the Jets. Gang Green ended up the worst team in the league in terms of total offense and scoring and was additionally 31st in passing.
Jamison Crowder, Denzel Mims, and Breshad Perriman aren’t true No. 1 wideouts right now and the latter-most individual owns an expiring contract and may not even be back in 2021. Thus, a lead receiver role is a spot that might be vacant.
Just like the Giants, the Jets may also be employing a quarterback that must develop in 2021. The problem, however, is that it’s unclear who that quarterback may be. Either the Jets go with Sam Darnold in his fourth season or they draft BYU’s Zach Wilson at No. 2 overall — Deshaun Watson is also an option, but a trade for the superstar quarterback will seemingly be too expensive.
Both Darnold and Wilson would require on-field assistance from an offensive weapon standpoint; that’s where Golladay’s talents would be much appreciated.
Not to mention, Mike LaFleur is now the team’s offensive coordinator, and as the 49ers passing-game coordinator, he helped San Francisco become the 12th-best passing team in the league last year without the most consistent of quarterbacks (Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Mullens, and C.J. Beathard). This means much value was placed on correctly scheming the wide receivers, so employing a guy like Golladay would greatly benefit LaFleur in his inaugural season with the Jets.