UNBELIEVABLE: New York Giants Are Considering McKinney or Barkley In Replacement Of…

The rather surprise choice to not tag safety Xavier McKinney or running back  was made by the New York Giants. Giants Nation is left to wonder if the organization will keep both players or if they would just let them go.

The Giants are unlikely to be able to afford both Barkley and McKinney unless a weak market develops for their respective positions. This is despite the surprisingly generous boost in salary cap space, which has given them $38+ million in total space and just slightly under $30 million in effective cap space (the space necessary to fit the top 51 highest cap numbers under the cap).

The Giants would naturally want to wait to see whether such a move becomes required, even if they could restructure one or both of Dexter Lawrence’s and Andrew Thomas’ contracts to create extra salary space, which would alleviate the problem. However, for the time being, if it’s between Barkley and McKinney, who should it be and why? As offensive line and edge rushing support are high on general manager Joe Schoen’s “to-do” list.

Prior to our analysis, Dan Benton of Giants Wire chose McKinney, writing, “McKinney, in spite of his shortcomings, was an important member of the Giants’ defense in 2023, playing every snap and putting up career-best stats. If he were to go, general manager Joe Schoen would have yet another huge hole to fill. With little money to spare, it would be preferable for an every-snap player rather than a running back who is constantly hurt and wants a price over market.

Although we believe that the Giants shouldn’t be letting young players who made such a significant contribution as McKinney did last year go, we also can’t ignore the fact that the majority of his output appeared to come on strongly in the second half of the season in an apparent attempt to strengthen his case for a high-paying contract.

We are likewise unable to go past the wounds. Due to an unavoidable foot fracture during training camp, McKinney missed the majority of his first year.

However, he participated in a dangerous behavior that led to the hand injury he sustained in his third season, even though it was plainly not anticipated. Given that the Giants were attempting to make a playoff run at the time, it might have been wiser for him to postpone his involvement until after the season.

Although McKinney’s adaptability is a plus, it’s important to remember that his career has been unpredictable for reasons other than injury. He hasn’t been selected to the Pro Bowl or the All-Pro team yet. Even if he hasn’t reached his ceiling, McKinney’s belief that he would rank among the most paid safety is an ambitious one given that, despite the financial bonanza, we don’t see the Giants blowing the cash to give McKinney the highest salary for his position.

Barkley already has the task of demonstrating his value above the current going rate at a position in the NFL that is quickly losing value. The Giants have stated that they would want to see Barkley return, but it’s important to keep in mind that they wanted to take a more committee-based strategy last season and actually did so for a period by taking Barkley out of the third-down role.

Does it make sense for the Giants to spend a lot of money on a player who has a history of injuries and may get less touches given that they are allegedly trying to choose a No. 1 receiver in the draft?

The short answer is no—that is, unless you intend to bring Barkley back, restrict his touches to no more than 15 a game, and use him mostly as a prop.

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