ZMI ALPHA:Giants, Kenny Golladay talking contract

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ZMI ALPHA:Giants, Kenny Golladay talking contract

Not all visits go well. This one did.

The Giants and Kenny Golladay spent plenty of time together the past few days, getting to know each other, asking questions and providing answers. The Giants needed to feel that this talented wide receiver could fit into the culture head coach Joe Judge is building. After much interaction, they decided Golladay is a fit.

And now, as so often happens, it comes down to money.

Golladay arrived at the Giants’ facility Thursday afternoon for a visit that included dinner. That visit extended into Friday evening, with Golladay meeting Judge, members of the offensive staff and also general manager Dave Gettleman.

By all accounts, the get-to-know-you went well enough for Golladay, 27, to spend the night in the area while his representatives and the Giants continued to negotiate and set parameters on a contract. There are eight NFL receivers averaging $18 million or more per year and the Giants were not prepared to put Golladay in that group.

There was no guarantee it would get as far as contract talk.

The Giants needed a medical evaluation of Golladay, who played in only five games in 2020, missing two games with a hamstring issue and nine other games with a hip flexor injury. They sent Golladay to the Hospital for Special Surgery to get checked out on Friday morning.

Kenny Golladay makes a catch against the Cardinals
Kenny Golladay
Getty Images

It is not Golladay, the player, who gave the Giants pause. They know if he were to sign, he instantly would become the physical presence lacking in their passing game. They understand the 6-foot-4 Golladay running down the field and hauling in passes from Daniel Jones would change the complexion of their attack. The Giants are also quite aware of the psychic jolt of energy a Golladay signing would inject into their fan base.

The Giants needed to investigate what went down last season, when Golladay hurt his hip during a Nov. 1 loss to the Colts. He did not play again. There was speculation Golladay, looking for a new contract, did not make every attempt to get back onto the field.

Darrell Bevell, the Lions’ interim head coach last season, said that claim was unwarranted. Asked if Golladay was making a business decision by not playing, Bevell told reporters in Detroit: “I can be clear that he is not.’’

A source told The Post that Golladay, during the 2020 season, turned down what was believed to be a long-term extension with the Lions for $18 million a year. Then, top receivers Amari Cooper, Keenan Allen and DeAndre Hopkins all signed new deals averaging at least $20 million per year, and a source said Golladay was eyeing that kind of annual compensation. But he is not going to get that from the Giants, or anyone else.

Golladay staged a media boycott last season. In October, he posted a picture on Instagram along with the caption “This s–t gone cost you!’’ It was believed that was referring to the Lions not anteing up with a new contract. Not long after that, he “liked’’ an Instagram post by the NFL stating Detroit head coach Matt Patricia had been fired.

The Giants needed to hear what went down there. Remember, Judge told Golden Tate to stay home from a road trip to Washington last season for what the coach deemed selfish acts by receiver. That Tate’s wife complained about his usage on social media did not help. Tate was released this offseason.

Judge has a relationship with Patricia from their years coaching together with the Patriots on Bill Belichick’s staff. Judge no doubt has reached out to Patricia about Golladay. Belichick also has Patricia as a resource. That the Giants and Patriots, two teams that went into free agency looking for receivers, did not jump at the chance to sign Golladay is telling. That Golladay, considered by many the top receiver on the market, was still unsigned nearly a week into free agency is also telling.

The Giants, this offseason, added Kyle O’Brien to their personnel department, and he was another source for Golladay information. O’Brien spent the past five seasons with the Lions and was there in 2017 when Golladay was selected out of Northern Illinois in the third round of the NFL draft.

The market did not develop as expected for Golladay and many high-profile receivers. JuJu Smith Schuster returned to the Steelers on Friday on a one-year deal worth $8 million, with an additional $3 million available in incentives. Corey Davis signed a three-year deal with the Jets averaging $12.5 million per year. Will Fuller got a one year, $10.6 million deal with the Dolphins. If Golladay sees those and accepts it, a deal will belikely. If he does not, the Giants will have to move on.

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