When the Giants traded edge rusher Markus Golden last week, it didn’t necessarily signal the start of a fire-sale. But that also might not be the last trade they make.
They are still a team in transition with more than a few players who either could be expendable or are clearly not a part of the team’s future. Most of their talent is young and relatively inexpensive, and those players – like tight end Evan Engram, for example -- won’t be traded unless an offer is overwhelming.
But the Giants are listening, and willing to at least talk about just about anyone. Here’s a look at a few who could draw interest or maybe even get dealt before the trading deadline on Nov. 3:
TE Evan Engram
The 26-year-old remains the biggest name on this list and he surely will attract the most interest. They have gotten calls about him in recent weeks, according to an NFL source, which isn’t surprising considering the Giants have been fielding inquiries about him for two years. The Giants don’t want to trade him, though, and he’s unlikely to be dealt, according to a team source.
They wouldn’t have picked up his fifth-year option for 2021 ($6 million) if they didn’t think he was part of their future. Still, they will listen to offers and consider it if the offer is big enough.
Engram has been a huge disappointment this season – 26 catches, 223 yards, 1 rushing touchdown – and his big drop in Philadelphia on Thursday night only amplified that. What would it take to get him? There was a report that the Giants want more than a second-round pick for him, but at least one source thinks a second-rounder would do it – maybe even a third-rounder as part of a larger package. Regardless, they don’t seem to be shopping him, but they are listening. And with players dropping from injuries all around the league, there might be a contender willing to overpay a bit for a young, 6-3, 240-pound tight end with speed.
WR Golden Tate
He’s 32, he’s only the third receiver on a bad team and he’s having a disappointing season (20-195-1) so why would anyone want him?
Only because of all the injuries to receivers all around the NFL and because there’s no more guaranteed money left on his contract. He’s not what he used to be. His yards-after-the-catch are way down and he gets little separation from defenders. He can still catch, though, so maybe he could help someone as a possession receiver.
It’s hard to see him back with the Giants in 2021, so maybe they could flip him now for a Day 3 draft pick.
G Kevin Zeitler
It may seem crazy for the Giants to consider trading a veteran offensive lineman, but like all the rest of his linemates, he’s not having a great year. Worse for him, the Giants have been really high on rookie Shane Lemieux who is ready to take his place. There’s always a market for veteran offensive linemen, so this 30-year-old is expected to attract some interest.
It could be hard for Dave Gettleman to part with one of the big pieces of his Odell Beckham Jr./Olivier Vernon trade, but his cap number is huge next year ($12.5 million) so he likely wouldn’t be back in 2021 anyway.
DT Dalvin Tomlinson
The Giants have actually discussed a contract extension with him in the past, but those talks weren’t substantial. They like the 26-year-old and he’s developed into a team leader, which is important to this young group. But he’s a solid, unspectacular player and the Giants believe Dexter Lawrence is the future star in the middle of their defensive line.
With an expiring contract, this is another case where if the Giants don’t think they can bring him back in 2021, they can see if they can get something for him now instead of letting him walk away for nothing. It might only be a Day 3 pick, but it’s something they’d have to consider if it’s early on Day 3.
LB Kyler Fackrell
With Golden gone, Lorenzo Carter out for the season and Oshane Ximines about to try and return from a shoulder injury, why would the Giants trade their best – and only – edge rusher? They probably wouldn’t, especially since he’s a favorite of defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. It’s much more likely the Giants will eventually try and re-sign him and bring him back in 2021.
But again, this is about the future. If they don’t think they can extend his contract, or don’t want to, they might be able to do better than the sixth-round pick they got for Golden. It would have to be more than that, though, to even get them to think about it.
DL Leonard Williams
This feels like a longshot, but Williams is starting to prove his value and even has three sacks this season. He’s playing so well, he’s making Gettleman’s deadline trade with the Jets last year (for a third and a fifth) look good … or at least better. The problem is that the better Williams plays, the harder it’s going to be for the Giants to bring him back next season.
Remember, they tried to negotiate an extension earlier this year, but didn’t come close – even with him coming off a relatively down season. He has said in the past he wants to be paid like a top pass rusher, which means the $16.1 million he’s making on his franchise tag now is really only the starting point. And with the NFL’s salary cap expected to drop maybe by $20 million per team due to COVID-related revenue shortfalls, it might be better for the Giants to see what they can get for him now.
Could they get those picks back from a contender willing to pick up the $9.5 million left on his salary to get a solid defensive lineman with renewed pass rush skills for the stretch? It’s worth finding out.