Kenny Golladay trade fits: Identifying potential suitors for New York Giants receiver

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Not too long ago, Kenny Golladay was considered the best option on the open market, having received a four-year, $72 million deal from the previous New York Giants regime in March 2021.

But since then, things have not gone according to Golladay’s plan. He struggled at times during an injury-riddled 2021 season and has only caught two passes for 22 yards in two games this season.

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Two shots of Golladey in week 2 were an indicator that he was not part of the plans for the new Giants staff. This led to the receiver expressing dissatisfaction with his playing time.

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Heading into Monday night’s Cowboys-Giants game, it looks like both sides may be headed for a split. Problem? That contract. To be sure, this is a difficult trade in any potential trade. But if the Giants are indeed willing to pay the bulk of this to facilitate the deal, as revealed by NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, then there may be several teams willing to bet on what constitutes an exciting reclamation project.

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In November, Holladay turns 29 years old. Just under a year ago, he had his best game as a giant with six catches for 116 yards against a solid Saints defense. If he’s not happy – and if the G-Men are really willing to eat up most of his contract – then a trade is possible.

Here are some directions that might make sense to him.

Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns

One of the few teams that could theoretically take on Golladey’s full contract, the Browns…won’t. But adding talent to the position might be par for the course.

Three games into the season, 32 of the Browns’ 61 receptions came from WR. Amari Cooper and TE David Njoku. Rookie WR David Bell may eventually grow into this third slot, but has been spoon-fed so far (two hauls). Donovan Peoples-Jones as well as Anthony Schwartz not much done yet this season.

It would be wise to give Jacoby Brisset another big target with vertical ability. Last season, Golladay managed to catch 15 balls for 16 or more yards from the likes of Daniel Jones, Mike Glennon as well as Jake Fromm.

When Deshawn Watson returns from his suspension for 11 gamesThe Browns will want to offer him as many acquisition options as possible. We think it’s more likely they’ll stay the course with current options, or possibly get younger and cheaper with any potential successor, but Golladay can’t be ruled out.

Another interesting connection: When the Lions drafted Golladey in 2017, Detroit’s general manager was Bob Quinn. He is now a senior human resources manager for the Browns.

Chicago bears
Chicago bears

The Bears have won two of their first three games, and the NFC North race may be closer than some expected before the start of the season. But Chicago is lucky to be where he views his anemic passing game – or perhaps we should say his general unwillingness to commit to passing game.

There are many reasons for this, including the development of Justin Fields, the state of the offensive line, and an unfinished reception area. This is a team that has made clear its intentions to create a base for young, hungry (and cheaper) players as it returns to respectability.

But there aren’t many intimidating games on the schedule, and if the Bears think they could be a surprise opponent, adding a veteran to the waiting room might make some sense. It could also help with Fields’ assessment of the new regime – how can they really tell how good he is if he’s working with an incomplete offensive team?

Perhaps Golladay and some of the current Bears wide receivers overlap too much in terms of skills. The deadpan Saint Brown and Byron Pringle are made from the same fabric as the longer deep threats. But they only have 11 wide receivers in three games, and Pringle has been held back by an injury.

Golladey might want to go home too. He’s a Chicago native gone to Northern Illinois, and if he’s looking for a chance to get revenge on his former Lions team he never faced, the Bears still have him twice later in the season. When he played for the Lions, Golladay was a notorious bear killer.

Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys

Intra-unit deals are rare, especially in the hot NFC East.

But desperate times and all.

If the Giants are very interested in moving him, they will likely prefer it to be a team they don’t face twice a season. Even so, if they thought Golladey could help them, the Giants would play with him. It is so simple.

So maybe Dallas can offer to pay for a little Holladay’s contract, which other teams may not want to do. This may seem like an odd approach given how desperately they tried to move Amari Cooper, but now it’s water under the bridge.

Golladay also has ties to Cowboys WR coach Robert Prince, a demanding assistant. Not every receiver he has coached has done well as he can be tough on younger players. But Golladay not only survived as a rookie with Prince every day, but had some brilliant seasons under Prince’s watch.

In 2020, Golladay said that Prince is “huge” in terms of helping him develop.

“RP played a huge role in just believing in me from the jump. He didn’t fill my head with smoke when he was a rookie.” – Golladay told that year. “… It taught me how to be a professional. How to come to work every day, you know?

Dallas can get help in the position of Jalen Tolbert and Michael Gallup, who will step up their activities after injuries. But Golladay could be a fallback if problems arise and if the two rival franchises can strike a deal.

Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts

Sunday’s victory over the Chiefs saw an encouraging return of rookie pass catchers Alec Pierce and Jelani Woods, helping to complement what Michael Pittman Jr. is offering as a lead dog.

But could they still use some help? Absolutely, we say.

Parris Campbell had many moments. Ashton Doolin is a good story, but he seemed to concede a few snaps after Pierce returned to the lineup. Mike Strachan is also charming, but clearly not yet perfect.

Is Golladey a panacea? This might be a stretch. But giving Matt Ryan more variety feels like a must. The Colts’ season may have been on the verge of going off the rails, but Sunday’s win and the fortunes of AFC South give them a chance to keep fighting.

Another playmaker or two and the return of a few injured players could quickly get them back on the hunt. But the Colts can’t suddenly think they’re right after defeating the Chiefs. Perhaps there is currently no team more hungry for WR talent than Indianapolis.

Three suitable candidates

  1. What about chargers? Keenan Allen was beaten. Mike Williams has a long injury history. They might think they have enough catching opportunities with a healthy Allen and Williams as well as Josh Palmer, DeAndre Carter and a few good targets for RB and TE. But bad news about injuries could change their minds.
  2. Will the Falcons be interested? They have a basketball line-up on offense: Kyle Pitts and Drake London in the frontcourt, Marcus Mariota as point guard and Cordarrell Patterson as… shooting guard? But they could still use another longer wing that Golladey could provide. This is an option to consider that would move Olamide Zacchaeus into the role of the “sixth man”. Okay, maybe we didn’t need the hoops metaphor, but you get the idea.
  3. Green Bay has been looking for long, sporty wide receivers in the style of Golladey for years, and demand for them could be high now if they’re worried about the availability of Sammy Watkins. He is now on injury reserve, out for at least three more games. Young WR Romeo Daubes and Christian Watson are developing at different rates, and the Packers don’t want to stall that process. In just four games against the Packers, Golladay has amassed 371 yards, so they know exactly what he’s capable of when he’s healthy.

To follow Eric Edholm on Twitter.


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