After starting the first week of 2021 Free Agency by inking standout defensive lineman Leonard Williams to a three-year deal, the Giants continued the momentum by signing former Raiders RB Devontae Booker, former Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph, former Lions LB Reggie Ragland, and taking a flyer on former Bengals WR John Ross.
The Giants then capped the week by signing former Lions WR Kenny Golladay. And the Giants may not be finished as they look to host former Titans CB Adoree Jackson Monday.
Golladay, coming off an injury-plagued 2020 season, was convinced by the Giants to fly to New York to go through physical testing and examination to confirm his injuries, in particular, his hip was fully healed. Head Coach Joe Judge also wanted to ensure Kenny was a good fit for the locker room and the plans for how he would fit into the Giants’ offense.
Friday ended with both sides feeling very good about the progress toward an agreement. Sure enough, the Giants and Golladay agreed to a four-year $72 million contract with $40 million guaranteed (includes a $17 million signing bonus). With the NFL’s magic math, Golladay’s cap hit for 2021 will be just $4.5 million.
While it was clear the Giants’ offense needed backup RBs behind Saquon and a deep threat WR opposite Darius Slayton, the surprise signing was TE Kyle Rudolph.
Rudolph is a proven ten-year veteran All-Pro tight end with excellent hands. The Giants are now deep with TEs on the roster with Rudolph added to Evan Engram, Kaden Smith, and Levine Toilolo. This may lead to another TE move before the draft. Coach Judge has talked repeatedly about Engram’s work ethic and effort.
Despite his Pro Bowl status, Engram had several drops in 2020. Kaden Smith has a similar skill set to Rudolph with good hands and a very good blocker. Toilolo just renegotiated his contract for 2021. He’s a reliable and strong blocking TE. Even though Jason Garrett’s offense loves to use multiple TEs, something’s got to give here.
One of the most notable aspects of this 2021 free agency period is the total team recruiting effort underway. Not just the Giants front office and coaches, but by the players as well. Kenny Golladay stated he received calls from both Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley before his visit to the Giants’ offices Friday and Saturday. Adoree Jackson arrived in New York Sunday and was having dinner with Logan Ryan before meeting with the team leadership on Monday.
Before his trip here, Jabril Peppers and Darnay Holmes reached out to Adoree to urge him to consider the Giants. Things are looking positive to sign Jackson based on the number of current Giants players he is now following on his Twitter account.