After being limited to two catches in Week 1, Giants wideout Kenny Golladay only saw two snaps during Sunday’s win over the Panthers. Naturally, the veteran revealed today that he’s not satisfied with his limited role.
“Of course I don’t really agree with it. Or like it,” Golladay told reporters (via ESPN’s Jordan Raanan). “But I can only control what I can control, which is to come to work every day.”
Things haven’t gone as planned for Golladay during his time in New York. He inked a four-year, $72MM deal last offseason, but he finished the campaign with 521 receiving yards and zero touchdowns. With a new regime in place, Golladay found himself on the outside looking in throughout this year’s training camp and preseason. As Raanan notes, the writing was on the wall when Golladay was one of the few veterans to play in the team’s preseason finale.
While the 28-year-old appears to be buried on the depth chart, coach Brian Daboll and several Giants teammates told Raanan that Golladay has handled the situation “like a pro.” However, the receiver did hint that he may look to get out of New York if his situation doesn’t improve.
“We’re going to see how it goes. Yeah, we’re going to see how it goes,” Golladay said. “I came here to play. I’m pretty sure they’re also paying me to play. I guess they want to see more or get whatever situated on their end. I just keep doing what I got to do as far as coming in each day.”
Of course, moving Golladay is easier said than done. He’s still owed more than $11MM this year, and the Giants are on the hook for $4.5MM in 2023. It wasn’t too long ago that Golladay led all NFL receivers in touchdowns, and Daboll has continually stated that the WR depth chart is fluid. If the veteran doesn’t start acting out, he could end up seeing a role sooner than later.
September 20th, 2022 at 10:10pm CST by Sam Robinson
Although the Giants’ setup was not exactly conducive to impressive receiving statistics last season, Kenny Golladay has not rebounded from his disappointing 2021 slate. The Giants have reduced the high-priced veteran’s playing time significantly.
The former two-time 1,000-yard receiver played just two snaps in the Giants’ Week 2 win over the Panthers, seeing his usage plummet drastically from a 46-snap opener in Tennessee. With the Giants’ new regime not being the staff that authorized Golladay’s four-year, $72MM contract, the ex-Lions standout faces an uncertain Big Apple future.
Golladay, 28, joins Darius Slayton in failing to impress Brian Daboll‘s coaching staff. Long a trade candidate, Slayton has played four offensive snaps this season. The Giants’ 2019 and 2020 receiving leader took a pay cut, one that essentially negated his proven performance escalator contract-year bump, to stay on the team. But a Giants team seemingly flush with receiving talent has not seen too much from that contingent, beyond Sterling Shepard bouncing back early from his 2021 Achilles tear.
The team appears interested in shaking up the situation. Daboll has FaceTimed with free agent wideouts, according to ProFootballNetwork.com’s Aaron Wilson. Help is limited at this point on the NFL calendar, and the Giants do have a highly touted player acquired by their current regime — second-round pick Wan’Dale Robinson — preparing to make his debut. Robinson has missed the team’s first two games due to injury. Daboll passed on a Cole Beasley reunion; the ex-Bills slot joined the Buccaneers on Tuesday. Will Fuller and Odell Beckham Jr., an unrealistic Big Apple return candidate, headline the available receivers. As it stands, Big Blue’s wideout situation has produced some interesting on-field configurations early in Daboll’s run.
Daboll informed Golladay last week the team was effectively benching him for David Sills, a 2019 Bills UDFA who landed with the Giants later that year. Despite Daboll’s former team not having room for the Delaware product three years ago, this reunion has led to the most work of the young player’s career. Sills played 67 offensive snaps against the Panthers, catching three passes for 37 yards. Sills primarily worked alongside Shepard and Richie James, who led the Giants in receiving with five catches for 51 yards last week.
“I told him during the week that we were going to go with Sills,” Daboll said of Golladay’s demotion. “He acted like a pro. I said, ‘Be ready to go.’ Does that mean it’s going to be next week? No. It takes a lot of mental toughness, too. That’s not an easy thing to hear. I appreciate them being professional.”
A 2019 Pro Bowler, Golladay is known more for his contested-catch abilities than separation skills. The 6-foot-4 target drew interest from the Bears, Ravens, Dolphins and Bengals during the 2021 free agency period — one overshadowed by the COVID-19-induced salary cap drop — and signed with the Giants on a deal that included $28MM fully guaranteed and doubled as the top contract given to a UFA wideout last year. In an offense that saw both an OC change (from Jason Garrett to Freddie Kitchens) and Daniel Jones‘ injury give way to overmatched backups Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm, Golladay caught 37 passes for 521 yards and no touchdowns.
He did not put together a good offseason this year — one that featured an unspecified surgery — and is an obvious 2023 release candidate. For now, Golladay’s contract makes such a move prohibitive. The Giants can get out of the deal with a $7.9MM 2023 dead-money hit, should they designate Golladay as a post-June 1 cut. Golladay’s $21.2MM cap hit is not only tops among Giants; it ranks as the league’s eighth-highest 2022 cap number.
Golladay’s swift decline comes as the Giants are barely using 2021 first-rounder Kadarius Toney. The oft-injured wideout played seven snaps in the team’s opener and caught two passes for zero yards in Week 2. The Giants hoped to involve Toney more in Week 2, per Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post, but a hamstring tweak changed those plans. Toney still played more against the Panthers (28 snaps), however. Trade rumors encircled Toney this spring, and though those quieted quickly, the Dave Gettleman-era draftee’s status rounds out one of the league’s more interesting position groups through two weeks.
The Cowboys were extremely relieved to see quarterback Dak Prescott return for a full season last year after only playing five games in 2020. Still, the 29-year-old’s prolonged absence two years ago instilled a sense of importance in the backup quarterback job for Dallas. This year, the No. 2 passer for the Cowboys will be Cooper Rush, according to Clarence Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Dallas made a puzzling move by only leaving one quarterback on the team’s initial 53-man roster last Tuesday. When the Cowboys’ practice squad was announced the next day, it was seen that the other quarterbacks from the roster, Rush and Will Grier, were signed to the practice squad. As of the writing of this post, Rush remains a member of the practice squad.
Head coach Mike McCarthy is the person who broke the news to the media, so the Cowboys must have some intention of using Rush from the practice squad. Due to COVID-19, a rule was established allowing teams to promote practice squad players to the active roster for gamedays. Unless McCarthy and the Cowboys plan on elevating Rush to the active roster sometime before the season starts, they may just intend on fully dedicating one of the those weekly promotion spots to Rush or Grier to serve as a gameday backup.
Here are a few other rumors from around the NFC East, starting with another rumor from the Lone Star state:
We wrote recently about the recently extended timeline for the recovery of Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith. With Smith sidelined, Dallas will turn to rookie first-round pick Tyler Smith to start at left tackle. Dallas drafted the younger Smith to start alongside the older Smith on the offensive line, but owner/president/general manager Jerry Jonesseems content with the current situation, according to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. “Do I wish we had Tyron?” Jones posed to the media. “Yes. Will we get Tyron back? Likely. But, in the meantime, (Tyler is) going to come in and get a Harvard Doctor’s degree in playing left tackle between now and then. Will we pay some price with it? Yes. Can we win with him paying the price? I think so, yes.”
While talking to the media on Friday, Giants general manager Joe Schoen revealed a tidbit about wide receiver Kenny Golladay. Golladay apparently missed most of the spring after undergoing a “procedure,” according to Dan Duggan of The Athletic. Golladay didn’t ever provide any specifics about a procedure and was a full participant through camp, so, whatever the procedure was, it must’ve been minor.
New York was looking to bring back a former player in their scouting department this offseason in Chris Snee, but it appears that he will be working elsewhere this season, according to Duggan. When Snee was with New York, he served as an All-Pro guard and won a Super Bowl. Instead of joining the staff in New York, Snee accepted a role at his alma mater as an analyst for Boston College.
The Giants have a number of options to choose from at receiver, each of whom is more experienced than Wan’Dale Robinson. The second-round rookie is currently making a case for a starting role right away, however.
The veteran found himself in trade talks once again this offseason, one marked by the plethora of cost-cutting moves new general manager Joe Schoen was forced to make given the team’s salary cap situation. Slated to carry a charge of nearly $2.6MM this season, he could find himself amongst the team’s roster cuts if a trade partner can’t be found.
That leaves Robinson a path to significant reps early on his career, especially considering the disappointing first seasons in the Big Apple displayed by Golladay and Toney. Veteran Sterling Shepardwill return for a seventh campaign after taking a pay cut this offseason, but his latest injury concern clouds his future beyond 2022. Robinson therefore faces little competition in terms of known commodities at a position of great importance to the Giants’ desired offensive turnaround.
After posting 1,445 scrimmage yards last season, the Kentucky product demonstrated his ability to produce significant numbers. The five-foot-11 slot man presents plenty of long-term potential for New York, but his inclusion with the starters ahead of Slayton in particular points to a heavier workload to begin his career than some would have expected.
After the COVID-19 pandemic led to the second reduction in NFL salary cap history last year, the 2022 cap made a record jump. This year’s salary ceiling ($208.2MM) checks in $25.7MM north of the 2021 figure.
While quarterbacks’ salaries will continue to lead the way, a handful of blockers and skill-position players carry sizable cap numbers for 2022. A few of the quarterbacks that lead the way this year may not be tied to those numbers once the regular season begins. The 49ers, Browns and Ravens have made efforts to alter these figures via trades or extensions.
Here are the top 2022 salary cap hits on the offensive side of the ball:
The Chiefs’ cap sheet looks a bit different this year, with Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu off the roster. But Mahomes’ cap number rockets from $7.4MM in 2021 to the league’s second-largest figure in 2022. This marks the first time Mahomes’ 10-year contract is set to count more than $10MM toward Kansas City’s cap, with the AFC West champs not yet restructuring the deal this year.
Tied to a few lucrative extensions since relocating to Minnesota, Cousins’ third Vikings deal dropped his cap number from $45MM. The fifth-year Vikings QB’s cap number is set to climb past $36MM in 2023.
The 49ers are aiming to move Garoppolo’s nonguaranteed money off their payroll. That figure becomes guaranteed in Week 1, providing a key date for the franchise. San Francisco is prepared to let Garoppolo negotiate contract adjustments with other teams to facilitate a trade.
Wilson counts $26MM on the Seahawks’ 2022 payroll, due to the dead money the NFC West franchise incurred by trading its 10-year starter in March.
Jackson, Darnold and Mayfield are attached to fifth-year option salaries. Jackson’s is higher due to the former MVP having made two Pro Bowls compared to his 2018 first-round peers’ zero. The 2020 CBA separated fifth-year option values by playing time and accomplishments. The Browns and Panthers have engaged in off-and-on negotiations on divvying up Mayfield’s salary for months, while a Jackson extension remains on the radar.
Golladay’s cap number jumped from $4.47MM last year to the highest non-quarterback figure among offensive players. The Giants wideout’s four-year deal calls for $21MM-plus cap hits from 2023-24.
The Cowboys and Commanders each ran afoul of NFL offseason rules during their OTA workouts this year. As a result, each team will lose 2023 practice time and each squad’s head coach received a six-figure fine. Both Mike McCarthy and Ron Rivera received $100K fines for workouts deemed over the line, the Dallas Morning News’ Calvin Watkins and ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano note (Twitter link). Washington will be short two OTA days in 2023 due to excessive contact. This marks the second consecutive year McCarthy received a fine for offseason overwork. He received a $50K fine last year, with the Cowboys being docked $100K and a 2022 OTA for 2021 violations. The Cowboys will be docked one OTA day in 2023. OTAs do not hold the role they once did, and teams have begun to limit offseason activities on their own. The Eagles will go into training camp after not holding a mandatory minicamp. But Dallas and Washington will need to make minor adjustments to their 2023 offseason schedules.
Here is the latest from the NFC East:
Injuries wrecked the Giants‘ offense last season, sidelining starters at just about every position. Some new issues cropped up this offseason. Neither Kenny Golladay nor Kadarius Toney participated fully at any point during Big Blue’s offseason program, per NJ.com’s Zack Rosenblatt, who adds Toney is dealing with a new knee injury (Golladay’s issue is unknown). Toney injuries have become a recurring problem for the Giants. Ankle, oblique and quadriceps issues limited Toney to 10 games last season, one that began after he missed most of training camp due to a hamstring problem. This year’s camp becomes more important for the 2021 first-rounder as a result of last year’s run of setbacks.
Toney still projects as part of Brian Daboll‘s first 53-man roster; Darius Slayton might not. The Dave Gettleman-era investment has been mentioned in trade rumors, and The Athletic’s Dan Duggan views the former fifth-round pick as unlikely to be part of this year’s Giants edition (subscription required). The Giants are likely to continue shopping Slayton up until cut day, Duggan adds, as he would be their No. 5 receiver if everyone is healthy. Almost no one in the team’s top four (Golladay, Toney, Sterling Shepard, Wan’Dale Robinson) being healthy could point to Slayton staying. Shepard is still recovering from the Achilles tear he suffered last season. A two-time 700-yard receiver, Slayton is due a $2.54MM salary in 2022.
Both Shane Lemieux and Nick Gates were lost for the season early in the Giants’ miserable 2021 slate. While Lemieux is favored to start at left guard this season, Rosenblatt notes Gates might not return to action at all this season. This is not an out-of-the-blue development. Then-HC Joe Judge said Gates’ leg fracture sustained in Week 2 of last season could be career-threatening. That said, a report earlier this year gave Gates better odds at returning. The Giants gave Gates — a 16-game center starter in 2020 — a two-year, $6.82MM extension two years ago. But offseason addition Jon Feliciano is ticketed to take over at center.
The Eagles lost nearly all of their high-ranking front office staffers this offseason, seeing four of them leave for assistant GM gigs elsewhere. One of those, Andy Weidl, is now Omar Khan‘s right-hand man in Pittsburgh. Weidl worked with the Eagles for more than six years, and although he took over the team’s VP of player personnel post after Joe Douglas became the Jets’ GM in 2019, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer notesHowie Roseman did not give Weidl as much input as Douglas had. This became an understandable source of friction for Weidl. The Eagles went in a different direction with their new Roseman right-hand men, promoting staffers without traditional scouting backgrounds (Jon Ferrari and Alec Hallaby) to assistantGM posts.
Giants running back Saquon Barkley will miss today’s matchup with the Raiders, the fourth straight game he will be forced to sit out after sustaining an ankle sprain in New York’s Week 5 loss to the Cowboys. The day after that game, head coach Joe Judge indicated that Barkley had avoided a serious injury and was considered week-to-week, but the fact that he has yet to return to the field suggests that his recovery has not gone particularly smoothly.
Indeed, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com says he heard several weeks ago that Barkley’s ankle was not healing as quickly as hoped (Twitter link). On Friday, Judge declined to say whether his RB1 had suffered a setback, and Barkley himself has not spoken to the media in about a month. The Giants are on a bye next week, so Barkley’s next chance to return to the field will be in Week 11 against the Bucs.
After a stellar rookie campaign that helped to justify GM Dave Gettleman‘s decision to make Barkley the No. 2 overall pick of the 2018 draft, things have not gone all that well for the Penn State product. An injury to his other ankle forced Barkley to miss three games in 2019, and though he still produced at a fairly high level that year, he admitted that the ailment nagged him for most of the season. Then, in 2020, ACL and MCL tears ended his season after just two games.
Despite all that, New York elected to exercise Barkley’s fifth-year option for 2022, so he will get one more chance to post a fully healthy year and to return to his 2018 form prior to becoming eligible for unrestricted free agency. In four-plus games in 2021, the 24-year-old has shown some flashes but has posted a mediocre 3.6 YPC average on 54 carries. He has caught 14 balls for 130 yards and has scored three total TDs.
In brighter news for Big Blue, WR Kenny Golladay is expected to play against the Raiders today. Golladay, the Giants’ top free agent acquisition this offseason, suffered a hyperextended knee in the same game that Barkley sustained his injury. As Raanan tweets, the knee has held up well in recent practices, and Golladay is set to return after a three-game absence.
THURSDAY: Despite getting knocked out of last weekend’s loss to the Cowboys with a concussion, Daniel Jones could be on the field for Sunday’s game against the Rams. Coach Joe Judge told reporters that his starting QB is “on track with everything” as he looks to clear concussion protocol (via ESPN’s Jordan Raanan).
Jones completed five of his 13 pass attempts before exiting Sunday’s loss. Following a helmet-to-helmet hit, Jones stumbled off the field before getting carted to the locker room. Jones is currently in concussion protocol, and he was ruled out of practice on Wednesday. However, he was seen participating in work outs on a side field.
That would seemingly open the door to Jones clearing concussion protocol and playing on Sunday. Even if the QB doesn’t see the field this week at practice, Judge indicated that his starter could still be in the lineup against Los Angeles (per Raanan).
The former first-round pick has had an unremarkable start to the 2021 campaign, completing 64.3-percent of his passes for 1,282 yards, four touchdowns, and only one interception. He’s also added another 197 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. If the 24-year-old isn’t able to play this weekend, Mike Glennon would be under center for the Giants. The veteran made his first appearance of the season in Week 5, completing 16 of his 25 pass attempts for 196 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.
It sounds like Saquon Barkley avoided a serious injury. The Giants star running back is believed to have suffered a low-ankle sprain, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter).
The injury will knock him out of Sunday’s contest against the Rams, but he’ll otherwise be considered week-to-week. Earlier today, Giants head coach JoeJudge seemed to confirm that Barkley avoided a serious injury.
“In terms of the X-rays that came back, (it was) better news than it could’ve been for us,” Judge said (via ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Twitter). “[S]o it was a little bit of a sigh of relief with a couple of things just knowing the player and what he’s battled through.”
After being limited to only two games in 2020, Barkley had started each of New York’s first five games in 2021. The 24-year-old has collected 325 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns on 68 touches.
More injury notes from around the NFL:
One of Barkley’s teammates was also lucky. Giants wideout Kenny Golladay will miss Sunday’s game, but the free agent acquisition avoided a “major” injury, per Rapoport (on Twitter). There was a “major sigh of relief” following the diagnosis, which has since been confirmed as a hyperextended knee (via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Twitter). Golladay has disappointed to start his career in New York, hauling in only 17 receptions through five games.
Another Giants player wasn’t so lucky. Rookie Rodarius Williams tore his ACL against the Cowboys yesterday, according to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post (via Twitter). The rookie sixth-round pick has seen time in all five games this season, collecting one tackle.
Texans left tackle Laremy Tunsil suffered a torn UCL in his thumb during yesterday’s loss to the Patriots, reports Rapoport (via Twitter). The Pro Bowler will eventually need surgery, but the organization is hoping Tunsil can play through the injury and hold off surgery for the time being. The former first-round pick has missed at least one regular season game in each of his five full seasons.
Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski could end up playing on Thursday against the Eagles. Head coach Bruce Arians said Gronk is “very close” to returning to the field (per NFL.com). After collecting four touchdowns through his first three games of the season, the 32-year-old has missed the past two games while he recovered from a rib injury.
Giants running back Saquon Barkley had to be carted off after suffering an ankle injury in the first quarter on Sunday. Barkley was later ruled out for the game, along with quarterback Daniel Jones (concussion protocol) and wide receiver Kenny Golladay (knee).
Barkley’s left foot bent the wrong way after a collision with Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis. An overhead shot of the injury (Twitter link via Will Brinson of CBS Sports) showed severe swelling. That likely indicates a lateral inversion sprain, according to Dr. David J. Chao (on Twitter). Additional testing will confirm what Barkley is dealing with, but it sounds like he’ll miss a few games at minimum.
Jones was the next star to go after clashing helmets with linebacker Jabrill Cox. Mike Glennon stepped in for Jones, and he may get the call again next week if Jones needs additional time to recover. Now, Golladay has also been ruled out for the game, leaving the Giants offense severely shorthanded. Beyond those three, they’re already without wide receivers Sterling Shepard (hamstring) and Darius Slayton (also hamstring), plus left tackle Andrew Thomas (foot).
The Giants entered today’s game at 1-3, dead last in the NFC East.