It seems silly to say right now, but the Giants entered the 2021 season with playoff aspirations. They felt as though the roster had enough talent to get them to the big dance for the first time in 5 years, and many thought it was possible (including me). Well, a combination of poor play, injuries, and bad coaching have led the Giants to yet another double digit loss season, and after Sunday’s embarrassing loss to the Eagles, the Giants are officially eliminated from playoff contention. Looking back at the start of the 2021 season, a position that was looked at as a strength for the Giants was Wide Receiver. Fast forward to December 28th, 2021, and the question needs to be asked: do the Giants have any receivers on the current roster that they can count on in 2022?
The Giants big splash in free agency was signing former Lions receiver Kenny Golladay to a 4 year 72-million-dollar contract. He was supposed to be Daniel Jones’s go to guy in contested catch situations. Kenny G was supposed to be to Daniel Jones, what Plaxico Burress was to Eli Manning. Well that has not come to fruition, partially due to injuries to both Golladay and Jones, and partially due to the offense that they play in. Despite the failures, Golladay has flashed a lot of his contested catch ability, and he will be here next year due to his massive contract. With a new offense next year, I think the Giants still have a good opportunity to reap the benefits of Golladay’s services. Outside of Kenny G, there is just one other man that will most definitely have a significant role in next year’s offense.
Kadarius Toney has had an…interesting start to his career. He was a bit of a surprise when we picked him, he then chose to miss voluntary OTA’s, had a bizarre cleat issue in his first practice, started training camp on the COVID list, posted to social media early in the season inferring he was unhappy (but later said it didn’t have to do with football), started a news stir with a comment regarding the tragic car accident that Henry Ruggs was involved in, dealt with multiple injuries, and then recently ended up back on the COVID list. Now, not all of this is necessarily his fault, but is a lot for a rookie wide receiver. In the middle of all of this, Toney did flash huge potential, going for a combined 196 yards against the Saints and Cowboys in weeks 4 and 5. Since then, he has been in and out of the lineup, and accounted for just 224 yards and no touchdowns. Toney has had his struggles, but he is electric with the ball in his hands. Toney has shown what he can be, and Golladay has been one of the best in the past, but who else on the current roster can be counted on moving forward?
The Giants came into the season with the aforementioned Golladay and Toney. To go along with those two was veteran Sterling Shepard who has always produced when healthy, Darius Slayton who was the Giants leading receiver in 2019 and 2020, and John Ross who is a former first round pick. That, on paper, looked like a very solid 5 wide receivers to lead your group….until it all fell apart. Part of the problem is once again the offense the Giants play in, which has done little to help anybody who plays on that side of the ball. The other issue is injuries. Sterling Shepard may or may not be back next year due to the financial ramifications of his contract, but regardless, he has shown to be far too injury prone to be completely counted on, and is now going to be looking to come back from a torn Achilles, the worst injury of his career. Darius Slayton has regressed tremendously since his rookie season, and can’t be counted on moving forward. John Ross hasn’t done much outside of one touchdown reception in New Orleans and may not be back next season. Whether these players are back on the team or not, none of them can be counted on to be steady producers for the Giants.
The Giants find themselves looking at yet another position where they may need to bring in some help. Toney and Golladay will be the two main contributors at Wide Receiver, and even they come with question marks. I didn’t even touch upon the fact that the Giants likely don’t have a starting tight end heading into 2022 and the running back position also poses some serious questions. The bottom line is the Giants offense needs more playmakers for whoever the quarterback and offensive coordinator are in 2022.
Heading into an offseason where the Giants need to fill a number of holes, another receiver needs to be added to that list.
(Photo: AP Photo/Matt Rourke)