Sign up for Giants Extra: Get exclusive news, behind-the-scenes observations and the ability to text directly with reporters
This is a franchise committed to Daniel Jones as its quarterback, and his receivers in particular just weren’t good enough in 2020.
“In terms of adding specifically a receiver,” coach Joe Judge said. “Look, if the right situation is up with a guy in free agency, then we’ll pursue it.”
Luckily for the Giants, this is considered one of the deepest classes of free agent wide receivers in recent memory.
Who will they get?
Here’s a ranking of their Top 15 options:
1. Kenny Golladay, Lions: The pie in the sky. Signing Golladay might ultimately be best-case scenario for his combination of talent, fit and youth. He’s coming off an injury-plagued season but there doesn’t seem to be much concern about how that’ll effect him. When healthy — as he was the previous two seasons — he’s an elite-level wideout with an ideal size-speed combo. This would be akin to the Giants signing Plaxico Burress way back when. He’ll likely cost close to (or more than) $20 million per season.
2. Corey Davis, Titans: Likely a more realistic target than Golladay because of price. If Golladay gets $20 million, Davis should get closer to the $15-17 million per season range. He’s coming off his breakout season (984 yards, 5 TD) and has a similar size/skills package to Golladay, though he’s been far less consistent throughout his career. The former fifth overall pick had his fifth-year option declined because he was such a disappointment his first three years. Still, he’s only 26 and can grow with Daniel Jones. PFF had him graded as the eighth-best receiver in the NFL last season.
3. Will Fuller, Texans: There are plenty of questions with Fuller (injuries, suspensions, maturity) but one thing that is unquestioned is his talent. He has elite-level deep speed and when he’s healthy, few receivers produce quite like him. His numbers over 11 games last season (879 yards, 8 TD) project out to 1,279 yards and 12 touchdowns over a full season. PFF has him getting $17.5 million per season.
4. Juju Smith-Schuster, Steelers: Talent-wise, Smith-Schuster would be the Giants’ best receiver. But he’s primarily a slot receiver, which is ideally where Sterling Shepard — $9M cap hit in 2021 — will line up. He’s only 24 years old, though, and the Giants just need to get better at wide receiver. If they can’t land the top three players on this list and Smith-Schuster is still around, maybe they take a look.
5. Curtis Samuel, Panthers: Dave Gettleman drafted him in Carolina in 2017 and he finally broke out in 2020, getting 1,051 total yards and five touchdowns. He can line up all over the formation, including at running back, but he also is best as a wide receiver in the slot. Plus, it’d be fair to question if offensive coordinator Jason Garrett is the right man to best use a gadget player like Samuel. He’s also only 24, and PFF thinks he can be had for just $8 million per season.
6. Nelson Agholor, Raiders: Once he got out of Philadelphia, Agholor spread his wings. He had his best season as a pro (896 yards, 8 TD) and was one of the best deep threats in the NFL. Getting open has never been an issue for him, like it was for Shepard and Darius Slayton in 2020. He averaged 17.9 yards per reception and is still only 27 years old. PFF has him getting $15 million over two years, which the Giants can definitely afford.
7. T.Y. Hilton, Colts: He’s 31 and a veteran on the decline and not quite a bona fide No. 1 receiver anymore … but he would be on the Giants. He still has impressive speed and an ability to get open on the outside. He started slow last year but came on at the end of the season. His numbers over the last five games (435 yards, 5 TD) project out to 1,160 yards and 13 touchdowns over a full season. PFF has him getting $28.5 million over three years.
8. Marvin Jones, Lions: Not as exciting as Golladay, but still a wildly productive player in his career. He’s averaged 832 yards and seven touchdowns per season since 2013, and had 978 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020, stepping up when Golladay was hurt. PFF has him getting $27 million over three years.
9. Sammy Watkins, Chiefs: The veteran is oft-injured, but when healthy remains an explosive threat on the outside. He played a huge role in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run in 2019. He only managed 421 yards and two touchdowns last season, but could be worth a flier on a one-year deal.
10. Rashard Higgins, Browns: When given the chance, Higgins tends to produce. He’s not especially fast or big, but he gets the job done when called upon. Last year after Odell Beckham got hurt, Higgins steppe dup. From Week 7-17, PFF had him as the 28th-ranked wide receiver out of the 146 who played at least 100 snaps. He had 546 of his 599 yards last season in that nine game stretch.
11. Keelan Cole, Jaguars: He’s primarily a slot receiver so he’s not an ideal fit, but Cole is coming off a nice season (642 yards, 5 TDs). Per PFF, Cole ranks in the 60th percentile at creating separation against single coverage, and won 52% of his contested catches over the past two years. His ability to go up and get the ball is intriguing.
12. Breshad Perriman, Jets: Purely a speed demon that has his bouts with drops, but a low-cost option that would add an element to the Giants offense that it was missing last season. He’s averaged 18.2 yards per catch the last three years.
13. Josh Reynolds, Rams: He’s not a star nor a No. 1 wide receiver, but he’s a solid, low-cost option capable of contributing and at least would add depth the Giants didn’t have last year. He had a career-high 618 yards last season.
14. Kendrick Bourne, 49ers: He’s improved each season and most weeks when he played for the 49ers, he contributed a big play. He finished with 667 yards and two touchdowns last season in an inconsistent role as the 49ers dealt with multiple players coming in and out of the lineup.
15. A.J. Green, Bengals: He was once a star, but that feels like ages ago at this point. Green was a shell of himself last year. He played in all 16 games, and still only mustered 523 yards and two touchdowns, never topping 100 yards in a game. If he can find some of his old magic, perhaps it’s worth a shot. Plus, he’d be a veteran in a young receiver room. But he’s not worth the $10 million per season PFF thinks he could earn.
Get Giants text messages: Cut through the clutter of social media and text directly with beat writers. Plus, exclusive news and analysis. Sign up now for a free trial.
Please subscribe now and support the local journalism YOU rely on and trust.