Safety Jabrill Peppers may have played his final down in a Giants uniform.
Futures are always unclear in the NFL, a league that’s full of turnover each and every year.
Players have no idea what they will be doing next season, or even next week.
Jabrill Peppers is no exception to this — the safety has an expiring contract and finds himself on season-ending injured reserve with a ruptured ACL and high-ankle sprain.
He could’ve played his final down with the Giants given these circumstances.
Joe Judge, however, seemingly hopes this isn’t the case.
“There’s some other things, from a business standpoint too, look, this guy’s in a contract year,” Judge told the media Wednesday, per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. “It’s something I talked to him about directly. This is a guy I value a lot in this program. I’d love to have this guy going forward, I told him that directly.”
Peppers might’ve been a legitimate trade piece ahead of the Nov. 2 deadline. The young defensive back with incomparable energy could’ve been sent to a playoff contender, but his limited ability would’ve only warranted a fifth-round draft pick, at best, in return. Jabrill is a talented box safety but a liability in coverage. His proneness to injury wouldn’t have helped his case either.
In 2022 and beyond, the Giants may be better off moving forward with Logan Ryan (who’s under contract through 2023) as well as Julian Love and Xavier McKinney, both of whom are still on rookie deals.
Writing a check for a safety whose role has diminished this season would be a waste of money in a salary cap league.
Judge still sees value in what the fifth-year player brings to East Rutherford, however.
“He’s been a great leader for us,” Judge said. “You can talk about him being local, the Giants mean something to him, it’s something that’s very important. He loves football, he loves this organization, he loves this area. These are things we talk about building as cornerstones and pillars of this program and he’s a very important part of that.”
The Giants could always franchise tag Peppers at the end of the season.
This would keep him in the organization for at least the 2022 campaign, but it would still be a pricey procedure for the type of player he is. According to OverTheCap, the franchise tag for a safety is projected to be $13.543 million.