Do the New York Giants Trade for a Wide Receiver in 2009?

Doug RushSenior Analyst IAugust 23, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 21:  Wide receiver Domenik Hixon #87 of the New York Giants of celebrates in the endzone after scoring a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers on December 21, 2008 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The Giants are coming into the 2009 season as one of the most complete teams with a depth of talent at almost every position.


The Giants biggest concern coming into the 2009 season is at wide receiver.

Before December 2008, the Giants had depth and talent at wide receiver. Then, Plaxico Burress brought a gun into a night club and shot himself in the leg, a decision he'll get to think about in prison for the next two years.

In the off-season, Amani Toomer expressed his displeasure with the Giants coaching (offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride's play calling) and left for free agency, signing with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Now the Giants are without their No. 1 and 2 receivers since 2005.

The Giants wide receiver corps has a lot of youth, but not a lot of experience.

There is Domenik Hixon, who was thought to take Burress' spot in 2008, catching 43 passes for 596 yards and two touchdowns. But he dropped key passes down the stretch for the Giants and showed he still needed more time to develop.

There is Steve Smith, who emerged for the Giants in the 2007-08 playoffs, catching key passes in Super Bowl 42 against the Patriots. Smith caught 57 passes for 574 yards and one touchdown in 2008 and he could develop into Toomer's former role.

Then there is Sinorice Moss, who was drafted by the Giants in 2006, but has been injured most of his career. In 2008, he only caught 12 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns. But if healthy, he is seen as a speed threat down the field.

There is also Mario Manningham, who was drafted in the 2008 NFL Draft, but didn't play much, catching four passes for 26 yards. He could develop a bigger role.

The Giants drafted Hakeem Nicks in the first round and Ramses Barden in the third round of the NFL Draft. Both have yet to play in a regular season game, so it's hard to say what either will do in the NFL.

There is a lot of inexperience in that receiver corps for Eli Manning to throw to, so here's the big question between now and Week 6, the trading deadline for the NFL, do the Giants make a trade for a big-time proven wide receiver?

The Giants were rumored to be involved in at least two potential deals before the NFL Draft in April, but they never got done. Those players are still out there and could be traded for the right deal. Let's look at who could be on the market for the Giants in 2009:


Anquan Boldin, Arizona Cardinals

Boldin has been very mad at the Cardinals about not getting a new contract and showed frustration over not getting the ball more in the 2008-09 playoffs.

Before Larry Fitzgerald emerged as possibly the best NFL wide receiver, Boldin was seen as the No. 1 guy in Arizona. He caught 89 passes for 1039 yards and 11 touchdowns.

If he's still looking to make an exit from Arizona, the Giants could still be looking to make a deal. The Cardinals wouldn't feel as forced to hold onto Boldin with Fitzgerald's standout ability plus Steve Breaston becoming an impact receiver for Arizona in 2008.

The Cardinals are not shy about giving angry players the boot, as they did to Edgerrin James.


Braylon Edwards, Cleveland Browns

Edwards probably should have been a Giant in the off-season, but Jerry Reese was unwilling to part with a first-round pick or Mathias Kiwanuka, so Edwards stayed in Cleveland.

The Browns are not expected to have a good season, and if they look to continue their re-building mode under Eric Mangini, Edwards would be a nice trading chip for a team looking to deal.

The Giants could use their 2010 picks to make a deal for Edwards this time. He caught 55 passes for 873 yards and only three touchdowns in a down year, whereas he caught 80 balls for 1289 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2007.

Edwards production lacked because both Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn were out in 2008 with injuries. Edwards wouldn't have to worry about that with Manning.


Brandon Marshall, Denver Broncos

Marshall has expressed his anger with the Broncos, especially after Jay Cutler was traded to the Bears. It's apparent that Josh McDaniels has annoyed people in his short time in Denver and Marshall might not be sticking around.

Reports last week said the Jets were interested in Marshall, but nothing has come from them yet. In 2008, Marshall caught 104 passes for 1265 yards and six touchdowns.

However, Marshall has been in trouble with the law many times and is seen as a trouble maker with a bad attitude, which sounds exactly like what the Giants dealt with in Burress.

Trading for a head case is a risk, so Marshall would have to change his attitude dramatically if he were to fit into the Giants, who have developed a great chemistry on the team. If Marshall did, he could only benefit a team like the Giants.

Training camps and preseason games are about halfway done, so the talent on the Giants are still being evaluated, which means Reese is still determining if he would want to go out and make a deal.

If Nicks and Barden develop quickly, plus get better play out of Hixon, Moss and Manningham, the Giants might not be inclined to make a deal.

But if the passing game struggles, Reese might not be trigger shy the second time around and could make an important trade to bring over a wide receiver.