While Giants GM Dave Gettleman upgraded his defense with players like James Bradberry and Blake Martinez, he didn't address the need of an elite pass rusher. That's why ESPN's Adam Schefter believes the Giants could be a potential landing spot for DE Yannick Ngakoue, the disgruntled edge rusher the Jaguars continue to hold under the franchise tag, in a trade.
Schefter spoke on 97.5 The Fanatic on Ngakoue's status with Jacksonville, saying he can't see the team hanging on to the Pro Bowler after the NFL Draft.
"There will be people in the organization, like the owner [Shad Khan], who will not want to move him," Schefter said, "which means that they'll be firmer in their price. But if they don't trade him, they've got a mess on their hands."
In a trade package, Schefter is saying the Jaguars could be looking for "a first-rounder, maybe then some." But what if it's the No. 4 overall pick in the draft?
That's what the Giants can offer, and it should definitely be enough for Jacksonville. The offer could simply go like this: Jacksonville receives the No. 4 overall pick, while New York gets Ngakoue, the No. 9 overall pick, and the No. 73 pick.
While this might not fit the bill of what the Jaguars are looking for, swapping those first-rounders as well as adding more draft compensation makes sense for a Top 5 selection. Gettleman would be smart to set his price tag high, too, especially knowing the Jags could use a quarterback since Gardner Minshew is the current starter on the depth chart. The Jaguars have three fourth-rounders, so they could be content losing out on that third-rounder at No. 73.
This trade also allows Gettleman to still select someone in the first round, say an offensive tackle at No. 9. Trading down is a strong possibility to begin with, so he fills two needs instead of simply getting more draft picks with this deal.
Now would this make financial sense for the Giants? The only way it does -- and this is the key factor to it all -- is if Gettleman frees up Leonard Williams from his current $16.126 million franchise tag that's been slapped on him. Ngakoue wants a trade that leads to a long-term deal, and according to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, that AAV could be around $18 million. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano is thinking even higher, something like $22 million with $50 million guaranteed.
And remember, Gettleman has pulled a franchise tag before with Josh Norman in 2016. So you can't doubt he won't do it again.
With Williams gone and the franchise tag rescinded, the Giants would have around $33 million to work with in cap room, per OverTheCap. That would be enough to satisfy Ngakoue's request at $18 million per season, unless it is more like Vacchiano suggests. Still, as Gettleman always says, there are ways to make more room.
The only reason we're even thinking about this is because the fit would make sense. He's a young, talented edge rusher who would immediately step in and help that aspect of the defense -- one the Giants have needed consistency in for years now. Also, a long-term deal at his age, even at that price, would be worth the risk for someone who can bring production like his every Sunday.
However, the Giants could be content with heading into the draft and taking their chances with a miracle drop from Ohio State DE Chase Young to No. 4, or Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons stepping up and helping their pass rush. If you're a betting man or woman, you'd probably take this scenario.
But it isn't crazy to think Gettleman could shock everyone on draft day with a deal like this for Ngakoue to lock up an edge rusher right away for the 2020 season.