After a wild week-plus, NFL free agency and the offseason at large is starting to grind to a halt. But there are still rumors to be had, especially in big markets like New York.
Though the Giants had a relatively uneventful offseason when compared to teams such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Texans, they still addressed positions of need effectively, bringing in James Bradberry and Blake Martinez to fortify a subpar defense and signing Dion Lewis as a change-of-pace backup for Saquon Barkley. And they may not be done yet.
Leonard Williams Not Part of the Future...Yet
One of the Giants' major moves during free agency was keeping trade deadline acquisition Leonard Williams around by slapping him with the dreaded franchise tag.
Given that is widely considered a nefarious stalling tactic, it was assumed from the start that Williams would either be traded or attempt to negotiate a long-term deal with New York.
However, it seems that may not be possible for a while.
Per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, the Giants have until July 15 to sign Williams to a long-term deal, and he believes that the G-Men will call the defensive end's bluff and wait until the deadline is imminent to begin negotiations.
This could all just be traditional theatrics for theatrics' sake. Giants general manager Dave Gettleman stated earlier this year that Williams is happy with the team and would like to stay in town. However, we have seen impasses like this turn ugly time and again over the years.
It seemed incredibly unlikely that the then-Oakland Raiders would turn their back on Khalil Mack two years ago, but somehow he ended up on the Chicago Bears. If it can happen with a player of Mack's caliber, then Williams is susceptible as well.
Keep an eye out for any news on these negotiations as the spring and summer months drag on.
Giants May Not Have Luck Trading Down
The norm for the NFL draft nowadays is that teams in need of a quarterback trade up to acquire one, and teams with a top pick who don't need one move down. With Daniel Jones heading into his second season, the Giants fit the latter category. But potential efforts to trade out of the fourth overall pick may be stunted, says ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.
On a conference call following the release of his most recent mock draft, Kiper expressed skepticism that the Giants and other potential trade-down candidates would be able to do so, citing the league's COVID-19-induced shutdown as the leading factor in this change, saying:
"Right now it's a lot of question marks because of the lack of information from the medical standpoint. I saw a little bit of Tua [Tagovailoa] yesterday, a 10-second clip, but that's going to make it tough. Do you want to give up draft choices for a quarterback who not only has the question with the lower extremity injuries but also has the durability concern even moving forward?"
While a player like Tua would have carried inherent risk to begin with given his recent serious injury history, it makes sense that an even greater lack of knowledge about his health would scare needy teams away from moving up in the draft.
Perhaps the Giants will be able to land a game-changing defender anyway.