Now that the Giants have extended kicker Graham Gano’s contract, who is next?
Gano was playing 2020 on a one-year contract, as the replacement for Aldrick Rosas, whom the Giants cut after his hit-and-run arrest. Gano is now under contract through 2023.
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So let’s rank the Giants’ best options to get an extension soon — from least to most likely, with the final year of each player’s contract noted.
8. OLB Lorenzo Carter (2021): The 2018 third-round draft pick was performing well this season before he tore his Achilles tendon. But he played in just five games this season. So he’s not going to get a new contract next offseason. He’ll have to play out his rookie deal in 2021.
7. RG Kevin Zeitler (2021): He turns 31 years old in March, so extending him doesn’t make sense. Either cut him or let him play out his contract, and then make a decision. Cutting Zeitler would free up $12 million in salary cap space, with $2.5 million in dead money attached. Zeitler is currently ranked 34th among offensive guards by Pro Football Focus.
6. LG Will Hernandez (2021): Also zero reason to extend him. Let him play out his rookie contract. He hasn’t lived up to his draft status (34th overall pick) so far. He is 47th among guards this season, after ranking 45th last season, according to PFF.
5. TE Evan Engram (2021): He would be entering his fifth-year option season in 2021. But the option doesn’t become fully guaranteed until next offseason, so the Giants need to decide if they even want to retain him for 2021. Engram hasn’t impressed this year. He is 28th in PFF’s tight end ratings. Might be best just to trade him next offseason and get a draft pick.
4. SS Jabrill Peppers (2021): Same situation as Engram, with the fifth-year option coming up in 2021. And like Engram, Peppers hasn’t played well enough this season to earn an extension before next season. He is 46th among safeties, but 12th in run defense, according to PFF. He is 54th in coverage. He is a solid enough player, but not a star.
3. RB Wayne Gallman (2020): Maybe he opts against hitting free agency, and signs a modest contract to return to the Giants, if they offer him a deal. His playing time has increased the past four games, and he has actually started to perform better — 50 yards per game (3.7 per carry) and five touchdowns. He surely knows he isn’t starter material, so he’d happily return as Saquon Barkley’s understudy next season. He’s an affordable No. 2 back.
2. DL Dalvin Tomlinson (2020): The Giants can’t extend Leonard Williams until after the season because he’s playing on the franchise tag. They’ll surely offer Williams a contract. But can they keep Tomlinson and Williams? They’ve both had very good contract years. So this could get expensive. Tomlinson, finishing out his rookie deal, is ranked 18th among interior defensive linemen by PFF, compared to 12th for Williams. Tomlinson is worth keeping.
1. DB Logan Ryan (2020): Effective veteran leader who has stepped in for injured rookie Xavier McKinney, the Giants’ free safety of the future. Still, Ryan can play multiple spots in the secondary. He’ll be 30 next season, but is worth retaining, even though he hasn’t been spectacular this season — 29th among safeties, including 33rd in coverage, per PFF.
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