A former Pro Bowler worked out for the Jets yesterday. Per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, wide receiver Kenny Golladay auditioned for the Jets. However, a signing isn’t imminent, with Pelissero reporting that the Jets aren’t signing the free agent “at this time.”
Golladay is persona non grata in New York following a brutal tenure with the Giants. Golladay inked a four-year, $72MM contract only two offseasons ago, and following a first season in New York where he was limited to 521 yards in 14 games, he had only six catches in 12 games last year. Following those two forgettable seasons, Golladay was cut loose by the Giants back in March.
The Jets were banking on Golladay still possessing some of the talent he showed during his time in Detroit. Between the 2018 and 2019 campaigns, Golladay had 135 catches for 2,253 yards and 16 touchdowns.
The Jets haven’t done much to fill the spot previously held by Corey Davis, so there could be a role in New York for Golladay. Behind Garrett Wilson and Allen Lazard, the Jets are eyeing Mecole Hardman and Randall Cobb as their top backup wideouts. The team is also rostering IrvinCharles and UDFAs JasonBrownlee and XavierGipson.
Golladay wasn’t the only free agent who worked out for the Jets yesterday. Per Pelissero, the team also hosted quarterback Anthony Brown, running back EllisMerriweather, and wide receivers James Proche and Jeff Smith.
MARCH 15: The move is official, according to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan (on Twitter).
MARCH 8: Although a post-June 1 cut would create more savings for the Giants, GM Joe Schoen said (via ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan) the team is unlikely to take this route. The Giants could up their savings to $11.6MM by designating Golladay as a post-June 1 release, but that would also push money onto New York’s 2024 cap. Not doing so would lead to a significant dead-money hit this year ($14.7MM) but also allow the team to be rid of this contract by 2024. Teams can designate two players per year as post-June 1 cuts.
FEBRUARY 28: The Giants are in the midst of navigating a complex financial situation with their top two offensive priorities. In a move which will save them a modest amount of cap space, though, they are making the expected decision to release wideout Kenny Golladay. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that New York will cut the veteran on March 15, the first day of the new league year.
This news come as no surprise, given the struggles Golladay had during his two years as a Giant. By waiting until the official opening of free agency, New York will see $6.7MM in cap savings. That figure is countered by a dead cap charge of $14.7MM owing to the guaranteed money on his deal, but both parties will no doubt be satisfied with a parting of ways in this situation.
The 29-year-old enjoyed a productive four years to begin his career with the Lions. His time there included a 2019 campaign in which he led the NFL in receiving touchdowns and earned a Pro Bowl nod. That season marked his second in a row in which he eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark. When he hit the open market in 2021, then, he drew notable interest and headed to the Big Apple on a four-year, $72MM contract. That deal led to substantial expectations for himself and the team, but things have not at all gone according to plan.
Golladay put up 521 scoreless yards in his first Giants season, one in which he operated as a full-time starter. That changed early in the 2022 campaign under new head coach Brian Daboll, who dropped his playing time to just a pair of snaps in Week 2. That led the former third-rounder to lament his circumstances, and was followed by a continued drop in his usage. Golladay was named as a trade candidate in September, further suggesting that a separation would be coming at some point.
The Northern Illinois alum totaled just six catches and one touchdown during the regular season, despite the markedly improved play of Daniel Jonesand the Giants’ underwhelming WR corps suffering multiple significant injuries. He will look to rebuild his value on a new team this offseason, through a deal which will surely be short-term in nature and carry a far lower financial commitment than the one the Giants gave him under previous GM Dave Gettleman. Golladay will still be owed the $4.5MM in guaranteed money he is due for 2023, however.
The Giants have made it clear they will be seeking additions at the receiver position. That could include a reunion with Odell BeckhamJr., who sat out the entire 2022 season despite significant interest from a number of teams. New York could also be seeking a wideout in the first round of this year’s draft, as they look to upgrade their pass-catching corps around Jones. In any event, Golladay will have no part in the team’s 2023 plans.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter), Golladay suffered a sprained MCL during Sunday’s win over the Bears. It sounds like this would be a temporary absence for the veteran wideout, although the Giants won’t have any extra time following their trip across the Atlantic. Despite earning his first start of the season on Sunday, Golladay still isn’t a major factor in the Giants’ offense. Through four appearances, he’s hauled in two catches on six targets.
Toney has been dealing with a hamstring injury that’s forced him to miss the past two games. There was some optimism that he could return this weekend after he was a limited participant on Wednesday, but he didn’t practice today.
“He’s done everything we’ve asked,” offensive coordinator Mike Kafka said today (via ESPN’s Jordan Raanan). “He’s practiced hard when he’s practicing. It’s unfortunate, but he’s one of those guys that does everything we asked and is working his tail off in the training room and in the meeting rooms. He does a great job with that.”
There is some good news on the injury front. Per Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com, Daniel Jones is “trending in the right direction” for this weekend. The QB has been a limited participant this week while nursing an ankle injury, but he made the flight to London and is expected to give it a go. With backup Tyrod Taylor likely sidelined with a concussion, the Giants will probably promote Davis Webb from their practice squad for some extra depth.
September 27th, 2022 at 2:11pm CST by Sam Robinson
Of the top Dave Gettleman-era wide receiver pickups still with the Giants, Sterling Shepard was the only one to carve out a major role under Brian Daboll. The longest-tenured Giant’s latest significant injury — an ACL tear sustained on the team’s final offensive play Monday night — will change the team’s receiver plans.
The team played its Week 3 game without Kadarius Toney and second-round rookie Wan’Dale Robinson, and Darius Slayton saw 14 snaps behind unlikely regulars David Sills and Richie James. Most notably, Kenny Golladay‘s workload did increase after his two-snap Week 2 game; the disgruntled veteran played 24 snaps against the Cowboys. Golladay’s final-drive drop ended a zero-reception night, and although he will likely continue to have a role, the Giants have already begun discussing him in trades.
The Giants shopped Golladay just before cutting their roster down to 53 players, according to Albert Breer of SI.com (on Twitter). While the Golladay trade rumblings are connected to the team taking on most of the sixth-year wideout’s salary ($13MM) to move him, Breer adds the Giants expressed a willingness to pay a “significant chunk” of that salary during the late-August trade talks. No teams bit, and the $18MM-per-year wideout continues to go through a de facto walk year as a Giant.
Golladay, 28, caught two passes for 22 yards in the Giants’ opener but has not pulled down a reception since. Cutting the former Pro Bowler now would saddle the Giants with $25MM-plus in dead money, but releasing him with a post-June 1 designation next year brings that total down to barely $7MM. A 2022 trade in which the Giants take on much of Golladay’s through-2024 contract would check in between these two figures.
As for the rest of the Giants’ receiving corps, the team might be standing pat at the position for now. Daboll discussed the players on the active roster and practice squad filling the Shepard void, Ralph Vacchiano of Fox Sports tweets. The team pursued ex-Daboll Bills chargeCole Beasley, but Dan Duggan of The Athletic calls a move that poaches Beasley off the Buccaneers’ practice squad a “long shot” (Twitter link). Beasley expressed interest in heading to Tampa, DM’ing Tom Brady. The veteran slot receiver is now one of the numerous vested veterans in the Bucs’ receiving corps, though playing time could be scarce once Chris Godwin and Julio Jones return from injuries.
Robinson should be expected to play a big role, given that the Daboll-Joe Schoen regime acquired him, while the team was intrigued by Toney this offseason. That said, Toney has been unable to stay on the field since being taken in the 2021 first round. Slayton has been a trade candidate for months, and while Shepard’s absence could open the door for the team’s 2019 and 2020 receiving leader, the pay cut Slayton took before the season also reopens the door to a trade.
September 26th, 2022 at 6:52pm CST by Sam Robinson
A Kenny Golladay-Giants divorce will almost certainly take place before the 2023 season, but the team’s new regime appears open to severing ties with the high-priced Dave Gettleman-era pickup earlier.
The Giants trading Golladay before the Nov. 1 deadline is not off the table, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes. This would be a financially difficult transaction for the Giants, but Rapoport adds the team taking on most of Golladay’s contract would be the only way a trade would go down. The former Lions Pro Bowler has fallen well out of favor with the Giants, leading to some notable developments leading up to Big Blue’s Week 3 tilt tonight.
After Golladay played extensively in the Giants’ Week 1 game in Tennessee, Brian Dabolldrastically reduced his workload. The sixth-year receiver played just two snaps in Week 2, leading Golladay to say he is confused by the situation and “should be playing regardless.” The two-time Detroit 1,000-yard pass catcher underwhelmed in his Giants debut. He might be with a third team before this season ends, but this would be an unusual trade to complete.
Golladay signed a four-year, $72MM contract during the 2021 free agency period; that deal was by far the most lucrative pact given to a wide receiver on last year’s COVID-19-affected market. The 28-year-old pass catcher saw the downward momentum created by an injury-plagued 2020 slate follow him to New York; he finished with just 37 receptions for 521 yards and no touchdowns in 2021. The outside receiver joined other Giants in a poor passing attack, with coaching and quarterback play undoubtedly lowering wideouts’ ceilings on last season’s woeful squad. But Golladay has not turned his career around under Daboll.
Last year’s big-ticket accord featured $10MM of Golladay’s 2022 salary being guaranteed at signing. An additional $4.5MM of that salary became locked in on Day 1 of the 2022 league year. Golladay is attached to a $13MM base salary this season. Based on where his career has gone since a 2019 Pro Bowl slate, the 6-foot-4 target does not carry much trade value.
Golladay’s $21.5MM cap number tops the Giants’ payroll by a considerable margin. An in-season release would tag the team with a $25MM dead-money charge. The team making it work with Golladay, whom Rapoport adds has not been a problem in the locker room, until 2023 would lead to just $7.9MM in dead money — if designated as a post-June 1 cut.
It will be interesting to see if Golladay can create some semblance of trade value with on-field contributions for the Giants in the coming weeks. For now, he is behind career practice squad player David Sills, whom the Giants view as a player who can create more separation than Golladay at this juncture. Sills and veteran slot Richie James have played ahead of Golladay and Kadarius Toney this season. Both Toney and second-round rookie Wan’Dale Robinson are inactive for tonight’s Cowboys matchup.
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.