Giants Rumors: Kayvon Thibodeaux Agrees to 4-Year Rookie Contract

Adam WellsMay 14, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 28: Kayvon Thibodeaux poses onstage after being selected fifth by the New York Giants during round one of the 2022 NFL Draft on April 28, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
David Becker/Getty Images

The New York Giants have reportedly signed Kayvon Thibodeaux to his rookie contract. 

Per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the 21-year-old agreed to a four-year rookie deal with the G-Men on Saturday.

Per Spotrac, Thibodeaux's rookie deal is projected to be worth $31.339 million with a $19.97 million signing bonus. That would count $5.7 million against the cap in 2022. 

He was arguably the most-discussed player among the first-round talents in the 2022 draft. 

Coming into the 2021 college season, Thibodeaux was regarded as the best defensive player eligible for the 2022 draft. His on-field performance at Oregon didn't seem like it would have done anything to turn teams away. 

The Los Angeles native had 12 tackles for loss and seven sacks in 10 games as a junior. His physical traits showed up in predraft workouts. He ranked in the 87th percentile or better in his 10-yard split (1.59 seconds) and 40-yard dash (4.58 seconds). 

A lot of the focus on Thibodeaux leading up to the draft seemed to revolve around his personality. One defensive coach told The Athletic's Bruce Feldman that he has "a big personality."

"If you’re a team that isn’t comfortable with one player pushing himself into the spotlight, he’s probably not for you," the coach said. "The issues to me are gonna come up with the competing focus. Is he too worried about his brand? When we brought him in, I was like, whoa, s--t, this guy is a handful."

The Giants clearly believe in Thibodeaux as a person and player. They selected him with the No. 5 pick to upgrade their defensive line. 

During his introductory press conference, he dismissed any notion that his brand might get in the way of his football career. 

"It’s just so crazy," he told reporters. "So when they handed me the playbook, it was in iPad form. And me, I learn best writing. So for me, it was like the brand went out the window, right. The only thing I can think of now is the playbook and really get into it and dive into it and make sure that I know everything that I can going into training camp."

If the Oregon product plays well, no one will care that he might be interested in crypto or wants to market himself in ways that athletes in all sports have been doing for decades. 

Putting Thibodeaux on the same defensive line as Leonard Williams is a fantastic starting point to improve a defense that ranked 18th in Football Outsiders' DVOA and 23rd in points allowed last season.