When the Giants traded cornerback Eli Apple on Tuesday, it signaled they were open for business and it left everyone wondering "Who's next?" Then on Wednesday morning, the Giants shipped out defensive tackle Damon Harrison.
And now the feeling around the league is that no one on the Giants' roster is safe.
That's not completely true, of course. Odell Beckham Jr.'s recently signed mega-deal makes him virtually untradeable, and Eli Manning has a no-trade clause that he's unlikely to waive. And obviously GM Dave Gettleman isn't going to sell off Saquon Barkley or anyone else from his first draft with the team.
But anything else -- and possibly everything else -- is on the table. As one team source told SNY, the Giants are willing to discuss any player they believe won't be part of their future, no matter how good that player might be. They just proved that by dealing one of the NFL's best defensive tackles (Harrison) and a promising young cornerback (Apple).
So with the Oct. 30 trade deadline still almost a week away, here are some of the other players who might want to keep a bag packed, just in case:
CB Janoris Jenkins
Jenkins hasn't quite lived up to his billing as a lock-down cornerback since his debut with the Giants in 2016. And don't forget that he was suspended for a game last season, so he's had attitude issues too. Yes, the new Giants regime promised everyone a "clean slate," but they had promised that to Apple and Ereck Flowers too, and look where that got them. Dealing Jenkins after trading Apple would destroy the secondary, but it would clear $3.7 million in cap space -- and that wouldn't be a terrible burden for a new team to take. The two years and $20 million left on his contract loom large, though.
LB Olivier Vernon
As a 28-year-old pass rusher, he should be the Giants' most valuable trade chip, but he's been injured a lot the last two seasons and his sack production has diminished. More of an impediment to a trade, though, is the fact that his new team would be responsible for about $7.5 million against their cap. That's a lot. And then consider he's got two years and $30.5 million left on his deal too? If a more affordable Harrison was only worth a fifth-round pick, the Giants probably couldn't get much for Vernon at all.
S Landon Collins
The 24-year-old safety may be the most interesting potential trade chip the Giants have right now. Collins has so much potential that he should be part of the Giants' future. But since he's scheduled to be a free agent in March, that means they'll either have to use the franchise tag on him (at probably around $12 million) or sign him to a lucrative long-term deal. Does that make sense for a rebuilding team -- especially one that isn't exactly overflowing with 2019 cap space? Maybe. I mean, they need to keep some players to build around. But if the Giants have decided it doesn't make sense to keep him -- if -- then better to shop him now than risk getting nothing in March.
LB Alec Ogletree
The Giants gave up a fourth-round pick and a sixth-round pick to get the veteran linebacker (and a seventh-round pick) in March in what was obviously a win-now move. Now they're looking at a rebuild with a 27-year-old linebacker who has three years and $29 million left on his contract and -- most importantly -- is due a $6 million roster bonus next year. That's a lot for a rebuilding team, and the cap burden for his new team ($1.7 million) wouldn't be huge. The Giants also have B.J. Goodson at his position to step right in.
QB Eli Manning
No, no, no and no -- for a million reasons. The Giants don't have his successor in place. He has a no-trade clause and it doesn't appear that he wants to waive it. And even if he did, the cost would be high in terms of draft picks for his new team, plus they'd need about $6.1 million cap space for him. They'd also probably have to provide some sort of incentive to get him to waive his no-trade clause, like maybe guaranteeing the $5 million roster bonus he's due in March. It's also too complicated and it's too hard for any team (like the Jaguars) to work in a new starting quarterback in the middle of a season. (Yes, there's a "But" coming).
But … a quarterback is so important, it's got to be worth a call for a team like the Jaguars, right? And as much as Manning doesn't want to leave, money and another shot at a championship could be a powerful draw -- especially if he doesn't want to endure a slow spiral in New York towards what might become a 1-15 season, especially if he knows -- or his told -- he's likely to be replaced next year anyway. It almost certainly isn't going to happen. But hey, you never know.