kenny golladay giants
Syndication: Detroit Free Press

The Giants desperately need a No. 1 receiver. Could soon-to-be free agent Kenny Golladay find himself headed to East Rutherford?

Golden Tate is gone after two disappointing seasons. Sterling Shepard can’t stay healthy. Darius Slayton is inconsistent.

The Giants don’t employ a true No. 1 wide receiver on the roster — a disappointing development when you have a young quarterback in Daniel Jones who needs to undergo efficient on-field growth. Thus, a crucial priority this offseason will be to locate and acquire someone who can fill that important role, whether it’s through the draft or free agency.

Will the Giants thus consider Lions wide receiver and pending free agent Kenny Golladay? According to Jordan Raanan of ESPN, there’s a possibility.

Raanan writes, “The belief around the league is the Giants are interested in Golladay. They even checked on him last year prior to the trade deadline, according to a source.”

Golladay would easily be the Giants’ top receiver if signed — he’s proven to portray elements of both a possession receiver (70 and 65 receptions respectively in 2018 and 2019) and end zone target (league-leading 11 touchdown catches in 2019).

But of course, an ultimate acquisition wouldn’t be a simple task. Given his past on-field success, Golladay will request a decent chunk of change, a chunk the Giants organization may not possess.

As of Thursday, even after the release of Kevin Zeitler (which saves $12 million), the Giants own just $3.2 million in cap space with long-term deals potentially awaiting Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson. They may additionally need to re-sign edge rusher Kyler Fackrell and/or offensive tackle Cameron Fleming, who are both set to hit the market.

Spotrac has Golladay’s market value at an average annual salary of $17 million, and he figures to receive around that amount on a per-year basis.

For the Giants to retain either of the aforementioned defensive linemen and acquire Golladay, further cost-cutting efforts need to be made. This may encompass the potential parting of ways with Nate Solder (saves $6 million) and Evan Engram (saves a little over $6 million). Cutting center Spencer Pulley would additionally save the organization $2.7 million.

If the Giants cannot afford Golladay or any No. 1-esque receiver in free agency, they must utilize their No. 11 overall draft pick on that position in order to provide Jones with the necessary passing-game assistance.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.