In exactly one week, the NFL will reach its Nov. 3 trade deadline, and the Giants starting lineup could look noticeably different if general manager Dave Gettleman holds a fire-sale.
Really, many teams will make their trade decisions by the end of this week, especially with COVID-19 protocols making the process of adding new players last at least five days. Either way, the Giants are more likely to subtract players (and add draft picks) than add new ones at this year’s deadline.
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The names garnering the most noise in recent days: wide receiver Golden Tate, offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler and tight end Evan Engram.
But what can the Giants get for those players?
We came up with 10 different trade proposals that make sense for the Giants at this year’s deadline, involving Tate, Zeitler, Engram and others.
GROUP 1: Evan Engram section
TE Evan Engram to Patriots for 2021 fourth-round pick.
The Patriots are always liable to make a splash at the deadline, and the Giants have two players (Engram and Golden Tate) that should interest them. Ultimately, it comes down to if Bill Belichick truly believes they are a team good enough to compete this year. Thus far, there’s no evidence of that. Either way, Engram makes sense as a target because he’s a player that would instantly provide an upgrade at tight end and give Cam Newton a weapon he lacks. Engram, who has had a rough year, is still only 26 and can be under contract in 2021 on his fifth-year option.
The Cardinals would also be an interesting landing spot for Engram.
GROUP 2: Golden Ideas (a.k.a., trades involving Golden Tate)
WR Golden Tate to Browns (or Patriots, Packers, Saints) for 2021 sixth-round pick
Tate has been brutal this year — 20 catches, 195 yards, one touchdown — but he’s a proven veteran and can still get some yards after the catch, as he showed on a 39-yard touchdown in Week 7. The Browns are 4-2, but just lost Odell Beckham for the season and their wide receiver group outside of Jarvis Landry isn’t exactly awe-inspiring.
The Patriots and Packers both have obvious needs at wide receiver, while the Saints are in win-now mode and have been without both Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders recently.
Whoever trades for Tate will have to pay him $4.7 million for the rest of the year and cut him in the offseason to avoid his $8.5 million salary in 2021, which is why he likely won’t garner any better than a sixth-round pick.
WR Golden Tate, 2022 seventh-round pick to Lions for WR Marvin Jones
This is a swap of two struggling wide receivers who could use a change of scenery. Jones (19 catches, 226 yards, one touchdown) is in the final year of his contract and had nine touchdowns just last season. Tate isn’t in the final year of his deal but can be cut after the season without issue. It would return Tate to the franchise where he had the best years of his career. The Lions (3-3) are still technically in the playoff hunt and if they view Tate as an upgrade, it’s not an outlandish idea.
TE Evan Engram and WR Golden Tate to Packers for CB Josh Jackson and a 2021 fifth-round pick.
This is a little more of a blockbuster. The Packers aren’t typically active at the deadline, but Aaron Rodgers desperately needs more weapons outside of Davante Adams. This gets him two. Jackson, a 2018 first-round pick, has been a disappointment but the Giants need to try and unearth somebody better than Ryan Lewis to start opposite James Bradberry at cornerback.
The Packers would be adding about $5.5 million in salary in this deal.
GROUP 3: Hog Mollies
DT Dalvin Tomlinson to Bills for 2021 fifth-round pick, 2022 fourth-round pick
Tomlinson is in the final year of his contract and will be a free agent after the season. If the Giants don’t intend to re-sign him, it’s worth at least exploring his market. He could be expensive in free agency as a well-regarded run-stopping defensive tackle and he’d put a real dent into the Giants’ 2021 cap space, especially if they re-sign Leonard Williams. If they can get a package from a contender like the Bills willing to pay up for a one-year rental, it’d be worth it.
G Kevin Zeitler, 2022 seventh-round pick to 49ers for WR Dante Pettis, 2021 fifth-round pick
The 49ers still look like possible contenders, but they have a hole at right guard with Daniel Brunskill not quite good enough. Zeitler isn’t playing at his typical high-level, but he’d still be an upgrade over what San Francisco has currently. He’s owed $6 million for the rest of the season, and $12 million in 2021.
The Giants might be able to get better than a fifth, but they should be trying to find weapons for Daniel Jones and Pettis (4.32-second 40-yard dash) is a worthy buy-low option. He’d also be an upgrade in the return game. The former third-round pick has zero catches this year.
The Giants have rookie Shane Lemieux, a fifth-round pick out of Oregon, waiting in the wings if Zeitler is traded.
G Kevin Zeitler to Bears for 2021 fifth-round pick, 2022 sixth-round pick
This one is simple — the Giants need a fifth-round pick after losing theirs in the Leonard Williams trade, and the Bears desperately need help on the interior of their offensive line after some injuries.
The Chiefs are another intriguing potential destination for Zeitler.
GROUP 4: Random backups
RB Wayne Gallman, LB David Mayo to Eagles for WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, 2021 seventh-round pick
Gallman (4.9 yards per carry, one touchdown) has played well over his last four games, but he’s likely not part of the Giants’ future plans. Mayo surprisingly has barely played on defense since returning from injury. The Eagles have needs at running back and linebacker, and both Gallman and Mayo would help them.
Arcega-Whiteside was a second-round pick in 2019 and has been a massive disappointment (12 catches in 22 games) for Philadelphia. The Giants simply need wide receiver talent, so it’s worth trying to strike gold on a player another team is giving up on.
OT Cam Fleming to Chargers for 2021 sixth-round pick
The Chargers are only 2-4 but they have a rising star at quarterback in Justin Herbert, and weak protection in front of him. It’s not as if Fleming would be a massive veteran, but he’s capable (in spurts) and can help at left or right tackle. The Giants should be turning his right tackle job over to rookie Matt Peart any day now.
RB Dion Lewis to Bears for 2021 seventh-round pick
The Bears lost Tarik Cohen for the season and don’t have much depth behind David Montgomery. Lewis hasn’t done much for the Giants, but he can still be a capable pass-blocker out of the backfield and would be a fine backup for a contender like Chicago.
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