EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - NFL trades are rare to begin with, especially in the middle of the season. The Giants have only done it once in the Jerry Reese era, when they acquired injury-prone linebacker Jon Beason from the Carolina Panthers back in 2013.
So with the trade deadline set for 4 p.m. on Tuesday, don't expect the Giants to be in on the action.
But they should be, especially with the few marketable veterans they have in the midst of a 1-6 season that is already lost.
Yes, Reese boldly said "Don't count us out yet" in his State of the Giants address on Monday. But with the state of their franchise poor, and Odell Beckham Jr. not returning, the reality is they are already out. At a minimum, the Giants would have to go 8-1 the rest of the way to be in the playoff conversation.
Does anyone really believe they are capable of that?
That's why, if a market materializes, the Giants should be sellers. They should do what Reese has rarely done in his 11 years as the Giants' GM - work to acquire as many extra draft picks as they can. Most likely their most marketable players would only bring conditional late-round picks back in return. But that's fine. The more picks the better. And better than keeping veterans who aren't part of the future around.
So who could the Giants trade away by tomorrow? Here is a look at the most interesting names:
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
On the surface, this makes a lot of sense. The veteran corner is coming off a suspension and an open feud with Ben McAdoo, which makes him the ideal guy an organization would want to purge. He's already been passed on the depth chart by Eli Apple. He's not thrilled with his role, but he's still good enough to contribute. And he's only due another $3.7 million this season, and $6.48 million next (though next season isn't guaranteed and the cap hit is minimal if he's cut).
The Giants do have to be careful, though, because he's very popular in the locker room and dumping him might be seen as a sign of surrender. But if the Giants are willing to take that risk, any contender with a struggling pass defense - the Chiefs, Bills, or maybe the Patriots - should be willing to deal a sixth- or seventh-round pick.
RB Shane Vereen
The Giants have just never figured out how to maximize a player they thought would be a "weapon". Instead, he's been pigeonholed into a third-down, two-minute role. That's a luxury for a team out of contention, but he could be gold for a contender. He's only 28, has low mileage on his body for a running back, and he's only due another $1.13 million in what is the last year on his contract. 2.15M this season…unsigned next season.
The Ravens and Seahawks sure could use him, and he'd be an interesting weapon on the Rams. And while the Patriots have plenty of running backs, would Bill Belichick be averse to one more in his mix?
LB Jonathan Casillas
Casillas has become a valuable player and a big leader in the locker room, and he's an unrestricted free agent (and Jersey boy) who could be back next season. Still, there are contenders who would value his leadership on defense, such as the Bills, Chiefs, or maybe his old team up in New England who just lost Donta' Hightower. Belichick loves having familiar veterans in his room, and Casillas is only due another $1.44 million this season and he could always re-sign with the Giants in March.
Losing his leadership would be a big blow to the morale in the Giants' locker room. Chances are the pick would have to be more than just a token, bottom-of-the-draft pick. It's doubtful the Giants would consider this for less than a fifth-rounder.
QB Eli Manning
The most popular and ridiculous name on the rumor mill - at least the media and social media mill.
First of all, Manning has a no-trade clause and he has no intention of waving it. Second of all, the Giants still think they can make a run behind him in the next couple of years and have no intention of trading him (at least at the highest levels of the organization, though not everyone agrees). And third, he's got 2 ½ years and about $39 million left on his contract, and he'll be 37 in January.
What teams would want that? Only teams that think they are a quarterback away from winning a championship this year or next year. Maybe Denver? Maybe Jacksonville (though Tom Coughlin would have to be a little delusional). And what's the price? A low first-round pick likely wouldn't be enough for the Giants. Multiple first-rounders might be too high for the buyers. There's nothing about trading Manning that would make sense on either side, which is why it was always the dumbest rumor of the year.