No Giants, including Xavier McKinney, earned a Pro Bowl nod this year.
For the second time in three years, the Giants are free and clear of Pro Bowlers. It says a whole lot about the poor job this front office has done in constructing a winning roster.
Fans didn’t expect New York to send various players to the NFL’s annual all-star game anyway because, well, the team isn’t great. However, Xavier McKinney was one individual who found himself in the conversation for a potential nod. The second-year safety mightily improved this year and proved to be a more talented asset in the defensive backfield than Jabrill Peppers.
McKinney was snubbed though, and didn’t earn a spot on the NFC roster.
How does the young defensive back feel about this?
“I do [believe I should’ve made the Pro Bowl]. It played out how it played out. It is what it is,” he told the media Monday. “Obviously, things haven’t worked out for our team, and individually for myself this year, but it is what it is. Like you said, it’s not the only year that I can make the Pro Bowl. I’ve just got to keep working, get back in the lab, and find a way to ensure that next year and years to come that I don’t miss it. It is what it is, just got to go back to work.”
McKinney, through 15 games (14 starts) this year, has recorded 79 combined tackles and a team-leading five interceptions. He’s remained healthy (contrary to his 2020 rookie campaign when he missed much of the year with a foot fracture) and has proven to be more reliable in the deep part of the field than Peppers.
Jabrill has been a liability in coverage for much of his Giants tenure (2019-present) and it’s one of the reasons why Big Blue should just move forward with McKinney. Considering this league is pass-oriented, the value of a true strong safety (which is what Peppers is) has declined in recent years. You need to be a strong pass defender in the secondary, and that skill is much more present within McKinney.
Not to mention, McKinney is still on his rookie deal for two more seasons while Peppers’ contract is expiring. Thus, keeping the former over the latter would also be a beneficial move from a financial standpoint. McKinney’s 2022 cap hit is set to be just under $2.3 million while the Giants would either need to re-sign Peppers to a new deal or at least place the franchise tag on him. Either way, that new contract for Jabrill would most likely carry an average annual value of over $2.3 million.
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