The New York Giants season officially ended last night with a miserable loss to the Philadelphia Eagles 38-7. The 2023 offseason starts now, and there are many big questions looming the Giants so far. Does Daniel Jones stay or leave, as well as teammate Saquon Barkley? What happens with Kenny Golladay and his contract, as well as Leonard Williams? Here’s some of the outlooks for some of these players.
The Giants could use the the franchise tag which has two forms, the non-exclusive rights tag or the exclusive rights tag.
For the non-exclusive, it takes the average of the top-5 salaries in that position over the last five years or 120% of their previous salary, whichever is higher. Under this tag, the player can negotiate with other teams. For the exclusive rights tag the salary numbers still apply but the player cannot negotiate with other teams.
The other option is the transition tag. Under this tag, it takes the average of the top-ten salaries in their position. It gives the original team the right of first refusal to match any offer the player might receive from another team. If the team does not match an offer, they then lose out on their player. This tag allows other teams to negotiate with the player.
Jones had a career year for the Giants this year with career highs in passing yards, rushing yards, quarterback rating, and completion percentage. However, his performance against the top-ranked Eagles was a step back for many. According to Over The Cap website, if the non-exclusive franchise tag was applied to Daniel Jones the price to retain him would be about $32 million. If the transition tag was used, it would be about $30 million. If the Giants believe in Jones, they will need to tag him or sign him. Even if they signed him, he would be projected to make about $32 million-$40 million per year. You always pay your quarterback before any other skill players (at least you should). We will see if these are any options for the Giants.
Saquon had a remarkable comeback season after having a down year last year with just not looking like himself. Towards the end of the season, Barkley slowed down, including in the playoffs. His number of touches went down. Even though this may not all be on Barkley, it is still a little concerning with his contract coming up.
If the Giants used the non-exclusive franchise tag on Barkley, it would be around $10 million per year. The transition tag would be $8 million. I believe that Barkley will have a much higher offering from other teams then Daniel Jones, so if the Giants want to keep Barkley in their laps, an exclusive tag may be their only option unless they paid him a contract. However, paying running backs can be quite a gamble with their bodies taking a beating every year. Giants fans could fear a contract situation like Ezekiel Elliot with the Cowboys, paying him all that money to split and lose carries with Tony Pollard.
Probably one of the worst free agent signings the Giants have had in years, Golladay’s days with the Giants is likely done. His cap hit this season is $21.4 million. This wont be a cheap move to make though. If Golladay was released before June 1st, they would have a dead cap hit of $14.7 million, with a cap savings of $6.7 million. If they released him after June 1st, there would be a cap hit of $7.9 million in 2023 and $6.8 million in 2024, which would have a cap savings of $13.5 million in 2023.
Williams is set to have a cap hit of $32 million in 2023. Yikes. If the Giants release him before June 1st, they take a dead cap hit of $20.2 million and save $12.04 million. If they release him after June 1st, they have a dead cap hit of $14.2 million in 2023 and $5.9 million in 2024. This is an ugly contract, but I see the Giants making some type of move. Williams had a hard time staying healthy this year and his numbers dipped. Just 45 combined tackled and 2.5 sacks this year compared to his 81 combined tackles last year and 6.5 sacks last season.
Here’s a full list of the Giants free agents in 2023
In my opinion, there are only a select few on this list I would bring back. Surprisingly, Darius Slayton will probably have a bigger market given the talent level of this wide receiver free agent group is not very good. Julian Love is someone I would try to retain along with Jihad Ward, Richie James, possibly Nick Gates for oline depth, and Matt Breida. Breida was a good contributor to the Giants this season in Daboll’s offense. If they cannot retain Barkley, he would be a lock for me. I would enjoy having Shepard back, but injuries have plagued him. Unless it is a cheap one year veterans deal, I would consider moving on.
Let’s hope we can trust in Joe Schoen to make the best choices for the New York Giants for continued growth and success in the next season and beyond.