Trades in the NFL are rare. Unlike other professional leagues where the trade deadlines and start of league new years often feature a huge amount of player movement, the NFL has become more of a free agency-driven league. But every once and a while, that blockbuster trade happens. Here are some trade options the Giants should explore this offseason ...
DT Chris Jones
Jones is currently set to hit the open market as a free agent when the new league year begins, but multiple reports have the Chiefs placing the franchise tag on the 25-year-old. The cost of that franchise tag depends on whether or not the Chiefs classify him as a defensive tackle or defensive end (though he'd likely lose the case if he argued himself as a defensive end), but even if it's above $15 million, Jones' talent would make him an interesting trade target.
Just last season, the Chiefs tagged pass-rusher Dee Ford and then traded him to the 49ers for a second-round pick. The Giants need help with their pass rush, and with the uncertainty of Leonard Williams' situation, adding an elite, interior pass-rusher could be exactly what they need. Jones has totaled 31.0 sacks over the last three seasons, including 15.5 sacks in 2018.
Jones was a big reason why the Chiefs were able to make their run to the Super Bowl, and he could be a huge piece for the Giants' defense.
CB Darius Slay
Slay's name has been on the market for a long time, and while he carries a cap hit just north of $13 million for 2020, he's evolved into one of the league's top corners.
The thing to keep in mind with Slay is that he is 29 years old, and the 30-year mark typically sees NFL players lose a step or two, but Slay's accolades speak for themselves. He's earned Pro Bowl honors each of the last three seasons (while earning first-team All-Pro honors in 2017), and he's racked up 13 interceptions over the last three seasons.
The Giants need a playmaker on the back end of their defense, plus, who wouldn't want to see Darius Slay and Darius Slayton on the same team?
DE Yannick Ngakoue
The Jaguars have officially used their 2020 non-exclusive franchise tag on Ngakoue. The defensive end franchise tag won't be cheap, but Ngakoue is exactly the athletic pass-rusher the Giants need, and he'd be worth the money he's make on any new contract with the team.
Ngakoue will only be 25 years old when next season begins, making him a few years younger than most players typically are when they reach free agency for the first time, and he's never had fewer than 8.0 sacks in any of his four pro seasons.
He's proven, he's young, and he's still improving as a player every season. Big Blue should do whatever it takes to bring Ngakoue to New York.
DE Solomon Thomas
Thomas is a bit of different case. While Ngakoue was a third-round pick who has exceeded expectations, Thomas is former second-overall pick who has not lived up to his.
A standout at Stanford, Thomas has struggled to find his role with the 49ers. After starting for most of his first two seasons, Thomas started just three games for the NFC champions. He only has 6.0 career sacks, but he's also only 24 years old. It's a sports cliche, but sometimes the best thing for players really is a change of scenery. Thomas still could show why he was so sought-after coming out of college, and perhaps Patrick Graham's multiple defense could be the best place for him.
QB Robert Griffin III
The Giants don't need a starting quarterback, as they've handed the keys to the franchise over to Daniel Jones, but finding a solid backup is still on the table. The Giants seem to like Alex Tanney, but they could certainly use a more experienced backup in terms of NFL playing time.
Griffin, the former Heisman winner who had a tremendous start to his NFL career before fizzling out with Washington due to injuries and other factors, had a nice rebound season with the Ravens in 2019. He proved to be a strong complement to Lamar Jackson, and he fits well into Baltimore's offense, but he could also be the right choice to backup Jones in New York. Both quarterbacks are able to move in the pocket to extend plays, and both have strong arms.
Trading valuable assets for a backup quarterback isn't a likely move, but it's worth exploring the possibility.