Projecting the N.Y. Giants’ 2022 lineup after the first wave of free agency

The Giants predictably didn’t make any big splashes in the first week of free agency. And with almost no cap space remaining, don’t expect any big additions in the second wave.

Aside from a few minor signings, this is the roster the Giants will bring into April’s draft, where they’ll need to land some impact players with two picks in the top 10 and five selections in the first three rounds. Here’s an early projection of what the Giants lineup will look like after the draft:

 

Quarterback: Daniel Jones

The Giants spent on Tyrod Taylor to make sure they don’t repeat the debacle of last season, but Jones is still the starter. Players don’t typically get more than one make-or-break year, but this is truly Jones’ last shot to prove that he’s the franchise quarterback the Giants thought he was when they took him with the sixth pick in the 2019 draft.

Running back: Saquon Barkley

There have been no indications that Barkley will be traded despite general manager Joe Schoen’s willingness to listen to offers. The Giants added Matt Breida, a veteran with ties to Schoen and coach Brian Daboll from Buffalo, on Monday. This is a position Schoen figures to address with a Day 3 pick to build cheap depth.

 

Wide receiver: Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Sterling Shepard

The Giants have held onto Darius Slayton, but they still have the option to trade or cut the No. 4 wide receiver to create $2.5 million in cap savings. The Giants don’t have much use for a prove-it deal at receiver considering their experience at the position, so a free-agent signing is unlikely.

Even if Slayton is back, the Giants need to start restocking their receiver pipeline in the draft. Slayton and Shepard will become free agents next offseason, and the Giants could dump Golladay if he has another lackluster season. Even Toney’s future is in limbo. If he has a repeat of his injury-plagued rookie season, the new regime could elect to move on from the high-maintenance 2021 first-round pick.

 

Tight end: Ricky Seals-Jones

Seals-Jones is a poor man’s Evan Engram, which is evidenced by their salaries (Seals-Jones: $1.2 million from the Giants; Engram: $9 million from the Jaguars). Seals-Jones is best suited to fill a complementary role as a receiving tight end, but he’s the only NFL-caliber tight end on the roster for now.

The Giants surely will add more at the position, but it may not be a top priority. The Bills used two-tight end formations less than any offense last season with Daboll calling plays. There are some cheap veterans with ties to the coaching staff available (Blake Bell, Tyler Kroft) who would complement Seals-Jones due to their blocking ability.

Author: Lucy Green