With new management in place and a difficult cap situation to handle, there is sure to be plenty of roster turnover for the Giants in the coming days. Two of the biggest names to watch are Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram, players whom the team have very different levels of interest in keeping.
It was reported last week that the Giants are asking the former to take a significant pay cut as part of the team’s larger cost-cutting agenda. Dan Duggan of The Athletic reports, however, that the 29-year-old won’t accept the financial hit, at least to the degree the team has proposed (subscription required). His salary is currently set to be $8.5MM, but a drop all the way to the $1.1MM veteran minimum is therefore off the table.
Duggan adds that there is “mutual interest” for the former second-rounder to stay in New York, his only home in six seasons spent in the NFL. He reports that the parties “have been trying to find a middle ground” with regard to compensation so he can stay. When healthy, Shepard has been Daniel Jones‘ favorite target, but injury troubles (such as the torn Achilles he is currently rehabbing) have landed the wideout in this situation.
As for Engram, Duggan reiterates the notion that he is headed elsewhere in free agency. Whether teams view him as strictly a tight end, or as someone capable of lining up as a slot receiver will be key to how much his market develops. Duggan notes that he’s heard a wide range of possibilities for the 27-year-old in terms of the value of a new contract, from a short-term deal around $7MM or $8MM, to the longer, more valuable pacts signed by the likes of Jonnu Smith last year. Interestingly, he names the Bills as potentially being “a top suitor for Engram”.
With more work to be done to get under the cap, there are still plenty of moving parts for the Giants to handle. The situations with Shepard and Engram will go a long way to determining the rest of the team’s offseason, and in turn, their long-term roster re-tooling.