It's official! The New York Giants have just signed arguably the best wide receiver in free agency, Kenny Golladay.
Golladay spent the past four years with the Detroit Lions, where he acquired two 1000+ seasons, and in 2019 he led the NFL in receiving touchdowns with 11. Despite those outstanding seasons, Golladay played just five games last season with a hip injury. Over the course of his time in Detroit, Golladay played in 47 games, starting in 39 of them.
With Golladay in New York, he becomes the tallest WR on the roster. His towering figure measures in at 6-4 and 214 pounds. In his four-year career, Golladay has 183 receptions, over 3000 yards, and 21 trips to the endzone.
Golladay was a constant bright spot for the ever-struggling Detroit Lions. The 27-year-old is right in the sweet spot of his prime and will add much-needed receiver depth for New York.
Why did Golladay want New York?
The former Lion avoided being tagged before free agency, which left him with 31 teams to look into. From the beginning of the 2020 season and with the injury to Saquon, it was obvious the Giants needed more playmakers around Daniel Jones. Anyone could have predicted they'd go after a WR in free agency or through the draft. Knowing Golladay was set to hit the market if he avoided the tag, New York showed clear interest in the 27-year-old.
On Wednesday, it was announced that Golladay would go through free agency the old-fashioned way by flying out to New York in person. Talks seemed to be going pretty steadily, however for many fans negotiations took longer than expected. The visit began on Thursday and on Saturday NFL Insider, Ian Rappaport (@rapsheet), tweeted, "FA WR Kenny Golladay is picking the #Giants."
In his first interview as a member of Big Blue, Golladay was asked why he chose the Giants. His response was, "Just the pieces on offense. Those guys actually kind of reached out to me and I liked the vision that [Head] Coach Joe Judge had and [Offensive Coordinator] Jason Garrett, as far as the offense, and I was all the way in." Those pieces he talked about are, on paper at least, looking to become pretty lethal. Veteran TE Kyle Rudolph who hasn't dropped a pass in the last two seasons is a model of consistency, John Ross who ran a 4.22 at the combine in 2017, Pro-Bowler TE Evan Engram, star RB Saquon Barkley, veteran receiver Sterling Shepard, and the young WR Darius Slayton who lead the team in receiving last year are set up to become a powerhouse behind a young offensive line. If his turnovers are fixed, Daniel Jones becomes a solid QB. He had the highest completion percentage in the NFL for deep balls, 20 yards or more.
Golladay was asked about the third-year QB, and why he thought he was a good fit. "Well first off, he’s still kind of fresh in the league a little bit and I kind of want to grow with him. I’m still growing as a player and I feel like me and him can do some good things. We haven’t gotten on the practice field yet, but me and him both are very excited." Golladay expressed his want to grow with Jones who still shows signs of promise in Gettleman and Coach Judge's eyes. This reads very promisingly for Jones' and Golladay's chemistry.
What does Golladay's contract look like?
Besides Golladay clicking with the coaching staff, the other main factor was obviously the money. Golladay's agents released to the media before his signing that he was aiming for $18 million.
The Giants gave him a four-year $72 million deal. Golladay received a $17 million signing bonus and a fully guaranteed base salary of $1 million for 2021.
For the 2022 season, Golladay will earn $13 million with $10 million guaranteed. On the third day of the 2022 league year, Golladay will receive $4.5 million in roster bonuses as well as the $3 million remaining from his base salary.
For the 2023 season, Golladay earns $13.25 million in a base salary along with a $4.5 million roster bonus.
In 2024, he will earn $14.25 million as a base salary along with $3.5 million in a roster bonus.
Golladay is earning $28 million guaranteed at signing along with another $12 million that becomes fully guaranteed in the 2022 season. If New York wanted to avoid paying him $40 million they'd have to cut him after the 2021 season.
With Kenny Golladay added to this Big Blue roster, the Giants get a big, strong, capable receiver to add to the perimeter. Although some may question the money side of this signing, if the Giants hit on this, expect this offense to look much stronger this year.