This past season showed us the apparent need to propel the Giants into the playoffs and beyond. All in all, the Giants are a good football team. Not a great one, but the building blocks are present. They possess a resilient coach in Joe Judge, a formidable defense under the helm of Patrick Graham, and young raw offensive talent across the board. To some surprise, Dave Gettleman is sticking around as the General Manager for the 2021 season. We know he is a bold guy who is willing to make eye-opening trades. He shipped off OBJ and also acquired Leonard Williams. Both moves at first glance were negative, but it turned out to be quite positive for the Giants.
There are two huge names on the "trade block", amongst many, that could be extraordinary additions to New York. Seven-time Pro Bowler Julio Jones and three-time Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt. Are the Giants in the position to land a star offensive threat and a proven defensive leader?
It is very clear that the Giants need a No. 1 receiver. Darius Slayton is on the rise, and Sterling Shepard can be very productive when healthy. Evan Engram is a Giants fan's headache, but he is now a Pro-Bowler and can provide some explosiveness. Even Dante Pettis flashed some potential while on the field. That is a fine receiving core, but not a playoff one. They currently hold the 11th pick, which could equate to a Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, or Ja'Marr Chase, but it is too soon to tell if they will even be available at that selection. The Giants are in a position to afford a trade like this, and I don't think that it would take a first-rounder. How cool would it be to witness a Jones-to-Jones connection each week in the Big Blue?
Julio Jones has had an elite career while in Atlanta. He is arguably one of the league's best. Although he was injured last season and played for a poor performing Falcons, e still eclipsed over 700 yards. With the emergence of Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage, the rumors of Matt Ryan also being on the trade block, and a new head coach and general manager on the horizon, Jone's time as a Falcon could be coming to a close. The Falcon's owner, Arthur Blank, actually confirmed that he is willing to hear offers for the star receiver.
Jones has three years and $38 million left on his current deal. He has been consistent, but his production has dropped. He is also turning 32 in the coming weeks. With all of that being said, it wouldn't cost the Giants a first-round pick to trade for Julio. The Falcon's franchise is seeking a rebuild, and maybe a third and fourth-rounder, plus the inclusion of a player would be the highest offer. Realistically, a 2nd and a 5th could be enough for the Falcons to send him to New York.
Photo: Bill Kostroun | AP Images
Regarding J.J Watt, the perception amongst his team and around the league is that Watt played his last game as a Texan. Watt deserves so much more than what he is given. He played his tail off for the team and has given so much for the city of Houston. Watt enters the final year of his contract, and the Texans are expected to be in full rebuild mode once a Deshaun Watson trade occurs. The tricky part of a deal in this matter would be the cap hit, as J.J would bring along a $17.5 million dollar charge in 2021. A new deal could be renegotiated. Watt would be a mentor to the defensive and a leader in the locker room. It would place him in a high-value market, and a team that is heading in the right direction.
Watt has had his injury woes and he is also on an expiring contract. Given those details and his age, I don't think a first-rounder would be necessary. Similar to Julio Jones, the Texans would take on middle-round draft capital to help move a contract and begin their rebuilding efforts.
These scenarios are more of a fantasy, but they aren't too far off from reality. In order for these to work, decisions will need to be made and money will have to be moved around. Cutting Nate Solder and Golden Tate, plus possible trades of others would help make the cap work for the Giants. When two players of this caliber are available without giving up the house, you make things work. Adding Julio Jones and J.J. Watt would be a low risk-high reward situation for the GMen, and ultimately would push them to a contender level.