The Giants were reportedly interested in a linebacker who used to be with a division rival.
Jaylon Smith is on his way out of Dallas. The Cowboys have released the former Pro Bowl linebacker just four games into the 2021 season.
UPDATE: it appears Smith is headed to Green Bay.
The deal won’t be official until tomorrow morning. But Jaylon Smith had indicated Green Bay is where he wants to be. And the #Packers beef up their LB corps with a former Pro Bowler. https://t.co/jRIbIBq4Lc
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 6, 2021
Giants were interested
According to Clarence Hill, Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Giants “might be” interested in a potential signing of Smith. This comes ahead of the Giants’ Week 5 matchup with the Cowboys on Sunday afternoon.
Hearing the Giants and Eagles might be among the teams showing interest in Jaylon Smith
— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) October 6, 2021
The Giants’ possible involvement in the conversation would make sense given their need for linebacking assistance. Star inside linebacker Blake Martinez suffered a torn ACL in Big Blue’s Week 3 loss to Atlanta. Second-year man Tae Crowder is now the top guy at the position with Reggie Ragland playing alongside him in a 3-4 scheme.
Ragland and Crowder would still locate notable playing time if Smith came over to East Rutherford, but more talent on the roster is obviously never a detriment to the team.
There would be a glaring issue though — the financial implications.
The Giants don’t carry a great deal of cap space at the moment and only have a little over $4.23 million worth of room, per Spotrac. Dave Gettleman and his front office will need to use that not-so-intriguing figure carefully, and it’s unclear if the inside linebacker position is the absolute best place to utilize the available space.
New York would be better off saving the space for down the road or potentially using it on edge rusher help — the Giants have recorded just six sacks (tied for the second-fewest in the NFL).
But if the organization were to pursue and sign Smith, it would be acquiring a tackling machine, the type of player it was fielding when Martinez was healthy. Smith recorded 154 and 142 combined tackles in 2020 and 2019, respectively. Needless to say, Jaylon would certainly be a talented replacement for Blake.
If Gettleman wants Smith on the team, he’ll need to move quickly. Other teams will be looking to pay the sixth-year player for his on-field services.
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