The New York Giants must spend their money wisely in 2024. They only have approximately $21.8 million in available cap space according to Over the Cap, and there are still plenty of holes to fill on their roster.
On that note, Bleacher Report writer Kristopher Knox advised Big Blue to steer clear of Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar Mike Evans in free agency despite their desperate need for a true WR1.
“Mike Evans, who is coming off his 10th straight 1,000-yard campaign, is the most proven receiver scheduled to hit the market. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers star is still playing at a Pro Bowl level, and he can fill a team’s need for a No. 1 target,” Knox acknowledged.
“However, Evans will turn 31 in August and could hit the dreaded cliff at any time,” the analyst went on. “He’s also going to be one of the priciest options in free agency, with a projected market value of $23.8 million annually.”
Knox explained that in order to land Evans — who is expected to have several suitors if he makes it to the open market — the Giants would “likely have to overpay” the veteran playmaker.
“At this stage in his career, Evans likely wants no part of an uncertain quarterback situation like New York’s,” he noted, hinting that only money could probably get the 2020 Super Bowl champion to join Big Blue.
The Giants have already been floated as a potential destination for Evans by multiple media outlets this offseason.
Giants Would Be ‘Better Served’ to Find WR1 in NFL Draft
Spotrac’s $23.8 million projection that Knox cited might be on the conservative side considering the Houston Chronicle reported that Evans is expected to command anywhere from $25 to $30 million per season for his upcoming contract on February 2.
And why not? No pass-catcher in the NFL has been as consistent as Evans over the past decade.
Knox mentioned the 10-straight 1,000-yard seasons, which is ridiculous, but Evans’ last contract is another great indicator of his consistency. Per Over the Cap, the Bucs wideout earned 116% of his five-year extension that was worth $82.5 million. Instead, the deal paid out over $95.6 million after incentives.
So, if Evans is so reliable, how come the Giants shouldn’t just throw the bag at him and hope for a similar level of productivity?
“The Giants aren’t close enough to title contention to consider overpaying for a receiver who may or may not still be elite in a year or two,” Knox voiced. He concluded that “New York would be better served by targeting complementary receivers in free agency and seeking a new No. 1 target in April’s draft.”
Giants QB Rumor Points to WR Position in First Round of NFL Draft
During a mock draft on February 5, ESPN NFL draft scout Matt Miller relayed that “the rumors swirling at the Senior Bowl among agents is that the Giants are more likely to add a veteran free agent QB to compete with Daniel Jones than draft one early.”
That chatter led Miller to select a wide receiver at No. 6 overall. His choice was Washington product Rome Odunze, but there are only three players that are currently projected to go top 10 if the Giants choose to target a pass-catcher at their current spot in the order — Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr., LSU’s Malik Nabers or the aforementioned Odunze.
Having said that, Harrison falling to six would be nothing short of a miracle for general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll.
So, it’s really Nabers or Odunze as far as top 10 offensive skill position prospects are concerned — unless the Giants think outside the box with pass-catching tight end Brock Bowers.
The other route NYG could go is offensive line. Schoen has already spent premium picks on Evan Neal and John Michael Schmitz in back-to-back drafts, and Andrew Thomas was selected fourth overall by ex-GM Dave Gettleman in 2020.
Will the organization stick with the plan of fortifying the trenches through the draft?