The New York Giants are in the middle of another disappointing season. The trade deadline is next Tuesday and Big Blue is expected to sell.
Dave Gettleman failed as a general manager, other than some of his draft picks, so far. His free-agent signings have been hit or miss as well as his trade acquisitions. Whether he is gone at the end of the season or not, the New York Giants need to figure out who does not fit this coaching staff’s picture of a competing team.
The Giants are a couple of steps away from competing and need to fill extra holes on both the offense and defense. Free agency is a great way to accumulate players. However, with a couple of positions in question, drafting is a better long-term path for this young team.
The Giants need to accumulate draft picks for next year as they only have five picks for next year. Trading some veterans and non-system fits is the way to go as far as getting draft capital goes. Here are New York Giants trade deadline candidates to be moved to another team.
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This one seems obvious to many after his crucial game-losing drop to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football. With all of the changes made to the New York Giants roster in 2018, Evan Engram was one of the few survivors of the Gettleman Massacre. However, Engram has disappointed so far in his Big Blue career.
Going back to his rookie season in 2017, Engram leads the league (among tight ends) with 27 drops. His career-high in receiving yards is 722. Every year since his rookie season, his receiving yards descended. That is unless he gets more than the last three years in 2020.
Most of his career has been dampened by lower-body injuries. Engram missed one game in 2017, five games in 2018, eight games in 2019 and so far none in 2020.
One of the many duties as a tight end is to run block. In his first couple of years in the league, he has not done well in that category. His run-blocking, according to Pro Football Focus, improved from a 48.7 grade to a 60.6 in 2018. In 2020, he went back to his struggles and earned a 30.9 run-blocking grade from PFF.
Many anticipated a change from tight end to wide receiver. The problem with the change is Engram struggles to get separation on a cornerback and creates a better mismatch against a linebacker or safety. Though Jason Garrett has not done a favorable job of getting Engram involved like Jason Witten was in Dallas, he has failed on the opportunities he has gotten so far.
Three coaches and three systems are not easy to live through, but it is evident Engram is not a New York fit. Trade value could be good for a former first-round tight end who can sprout somewhere else.
After the Odell Beckham trade, Golden Tate assumed the role in the New York Giants’ offense as the primary wide receiver. The NFL took four games from his 2019 season when they suspended Tate for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Though Tate turned 31 and was far from his prime in 2019, he put up impressive stats catching 49 passes for 676 yards and hauled in six touchdowns. He averaged 5.8 yards after catch per reception. Tate also contributed to the development of Daniel Jones.
Golden Tate has started off 2020 in a disappointing fashion. His yards after catch, which he relies on, averages out at an all-time low at 2.8 per reception. Much like the other receivers other than Darius Slayton, Tate has failed to create separation. His longest reception is 39 yards.
Tate is 32 years old. The first seven games of 2020 showed that he is aging at his position. Other than the offensive line, Tate’s struggles in the offense have not helped Daniel Jones thrive. Trading Tate to a competing team with a better quarterback will reimburse the potential he can bring to the position. Whether it is a sixth or seventh-round pick, Big Blue can use the value to trade for a player or trade-up for one in next year’s draft.
Kevin Zeitler played nothing but solid in his first year in New York, after being traded over for pass-rusher Olivier Vernon. The Big Blue Hog Mollie gave up no sacks and only 11 pressures in 2019.
Zeitler struggled in the first couple of games this season. However, his improvement shows that he is the best offensive lineman on the Giants’ front five. Playing next to a new center in Nick Gates and a struggling veteran tackle in Cameron Fleming is not easy.
Zeitler, like Tate, is up there in age as a nine-year veteran. His consistent play at his age, however, increases his trade value. In the modern-day NFL, it is tough for teams to find veteran offensive linemen.
Jerry Reese and the New York Giants selected Dalvin Tomlinson in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Tomlinson finished his rookie season with one sack, 50 tackles, and one tackle for a loss.
Tomlinson survived the Gettleman Roster Massacre and made the 53-man roster in Pat Shurmur‘s first year as a head coach. He moved to nose tackle after Big Blue traded Damon Harrison to the Detroit Lions. He regressed and recorded no sacks in 2018, but made 59 tackles and five tackles for a loss.
Dalvin Tomlinson had his best career year yet in 2019. He recorded 3.5 sacks, 13 pressures, seven tackles for a loss, and nine quarterback hits.
Tomlinson during his tenure in New York has been an underrated run defender and has a good interior pass-rushing motor. He currently ranks 10th among defensive tackles in run-stop win rate (70 percent). However, he faces a complicated situation.
Fellow defensive lineman, Leonard Williams, is under the franchise tag. Williams recorded three sacks in the first seven games this year for Big Blue. He will be looking for a long-term deal at the season, like Tomlinson. Dexter Lawrence, since his rookie season, has burst onto the season as another run-stopping defensive lineman. Trade Deadline
Williams will want Khalil Mack–like money at the end of the season. Not to mention, Nate Solder‘s contract rolls over to 2021. Unless the Giants get rid of him, Kevin Zeitler will also be a high cap hit.
Tomlinson’s play holds good value for any rebuilding defense or any good defense now. Looking into the future, if the Giants feel they cannot afford him, Big Blue could look to move him for a third, fourth, or fifth-round pick.
Sterling Shepard is a Giant fan favorite and has been for years. Shepard has made an impact on the Giants’ offense ever since being drafted by Jerry Reese in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He played the full 2016 season his rookie year, including the Wild Card game vs the Green Bay Packers. Shepard caught 65 passes for 683 yards and eight touchdowns.
Other than 2018, where he played a full 16 games, Shepard’s career was ravaged by injuries. He missed four games this year, six games in 2019, and five games in 2016.
Shepard is in a similar situation, much like his teammate Evan Engram. Shepard is a good slot receiver when he is healthy and on the field. Otherwise, he is not. Not having healthy and adequate receivers has blundered Daniel Jones’ development. Jones most of the time relies on Darius Slayton, who is not always capable of producing in the spotlight.
The Giants signed Shepard to an extension back in the 2019 off-season worth $41 million on a four-year deal. Looking towards the future, Shepard’s cap hit in 2021 is worth $9 million.
Big Blue can target some interesting wide receiver prospects in next year’s draft such as Ja’Marr Chase and others. For Daniel Jones to succeed, the Giants need to place capable weapons around him.
When Sterling Shepard is healthy, he can produce at a high level. The New York Giants only have six draft picks going into next year’s draft. Shepard’s draft stock likely ranges from a third-round pick and back. If the Giants trade Shepard for good value, they will be able to fill some gaping holes and make the team ready to compete in 2021.