Could the Giants execute a blockbuster trade for a veteran? Or draft a rookie?
But don’t completely fall for it — this portion of the offseason is “smokescreen season.”
What do I mean by that?
It was around this time, in 2019, when Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said that Josh Rosen was “their guy.” Of course, the team eventually drafted Kyler Murray at No. 1 overall.
It was also around this time, last year, when it was rumored the 49ers traded up to No. 3 overall to take Mac Jones before they ended up drafting Trey Lance with that prestigious pick.
Just because something is said doesn’t mean it will be done — this goes for all 32 teams, including the New York Football Giants.
There still lies the possibility Jones isn’t the answer in East Rutherford. Thus, there still lies the possibility the Giants could look in another direction.
I’m not saying the team will absolutely, without a doubt, draft someone in the first round or trade for a big-name signal-caller. All I’m saying is various options might be available for New York at the game’s most important position, should Jones not be the solution under center in 2022.
Who are these options, you ask?
The trade market
Yes, the name that has been thrown around in Giants trade discussions for what’s seemed like months at this point.
Russell Wilson’s future in Seattle is unclear. Following a down year in which the team didn’t make the postseason for the first time since the 2017 campaign, the Seahawks may look to rebuild while Wilson may seek a new chapter in his career.
Could Wilson and the Giants be a legitimate match?
Sure, it’s possible — but it would take a whole lot from Big Blue to execute that type of move.
No, I wouldn’t say Wilson’s trade value would be three first-rounders (remember: he’s 33 years old and his expensive contract would be a factor here). I say the Giants could potentially get away with giving the Hawks a pair of first-rounders (one from 2022 and one from 2023), a second-rounder, a fifth-rounder, and Jones.
Sure, it seems like the Giants would be giving up a ton — but that’s just what the market is for a nine-time Pro Bowl starting quarterback who still has some left in the tank.
The Giants certainly want to maximize the weapons they already employ on the offensive side of the ball and the offensive-minded head coach they just hired. Russell Wilson would give them a superior chance of achieving that goal than Daniel Jones does.
I sort of have to put his name here, because Aaron Rodgers would undoubtedly be the most talented quarterback on the trade market if he were to leave Green Bay this offseason.
It would take three first-rounders…at least. Most likely more than that. Say, three first-rounders, a second-rounder, and a fourth-rounder. He’s coming off back-to-back MVP seasons for crying out loud.
The Giants could have some leverage though if Rodgers seriously wanted out in order to seek a new chapter (one that doesn’t involve retiring).
There is an issue, however — his age!
Aaron is 38 years old, so the Giants would likely be giving up a laundry list of resources for a quarterback that may only last a few years in East Rutherford before ultimately calling it quits.
That’s why I think the Giants wouldn’t experiment too much with this scenario — but hey, you never know. The trade market and what teams wish to do in the offseason are astoundingly fluid. Everyone knows that.
Is Kyler Murray really out of Arizona?
There’s reportedly a rift between the young quarterback and the team that drafted him nearly three years ago, with a lack of leadership from the signal-caller being an apparent issue.
If ties are ultimately severed, the Giants could trade one of the 2022 first-rounders (likely the No. 5 pick), a second-rounder, and a fifth-rounder. Murray isn’t as talented as Rodgers or Wilson, but he’s the cheapest of the three ($11.4 million cap hit in 2022), so the exploration of a potential trade would be intriguing.
The lingering issue
Whether the Giants trade for Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers, the reality is they would be taking on a significant contract, which obviously wouldn’t be ideal when already residing in salary cap hell (Spotrac projects the Giants to be $11.56 million over the cap for 2022).
Rodgers’ cap hits for 2022 and 2023 are set to be $46.7 million and $33.2 million, respectively. Wilson’s 2022 and 2023 cap hits, on the other hand, are respectively scheduled to be $37 million and $40 million.
Acquiring either of these veterans would force the Giants to make various cap-friendly moves, such as the release of linebacker Blake Martinez (savings of $8.5 million in 2022), wide receiver Sterling Shepard (savings of $4.5 million in 2022), and other pricey players currently on the roster.
The Giants have the No. 5 and 7 overall picks.
You could say what you want about the seventh selection. For me, none of the top three quarterbacks in this draft class (Pitt’s Kenny Pickett, Liberty’s Malik Willis, Ole Miss’ Matt Corral) are going to be worth the No. 5 pick. There may not be a quarterback taken until the eighth or ninth selection (respectively owned by Atlanta and Denver…for now).
If the Giants were to trade back (from either No. 5 or 7) into the No. 12-15 range, garner extra draft capital, and still acquire the quarterback they have their eye on (if they do have their eye on one), it may not be a terrible move, especially if the organization has, in fact, seen enough of Daniel Jones.
But Joe Schoen would absolutely need to ensure he would be getting the quarterback he wants — there’s no pulling a move like this and settling for the second or third option. The top quarterback of desire would need to fall into the Giants’ lap after the trade-back.
Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY