Everything we know about Giants' pursuit of Kenny Golladay, including why he'll visit with team

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Ralph Vacchiano
·3 min read
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Kenny Golladay running with ball Lions white jersey
Kenny Golladay running with ball Lions white jersey

The Giants are taking their shot at signing one of the top receivers on the free-agent market, and they’re doing it with a decidedly old-school approach:

They’re going to actually meet with Kenny Golladay and talk with him first.

That’s not the way it’s usually done in the modern NFL’s fast-paced world of free agent signings, but before the Giants spend the money and cap room on the 27-year-old receiver, they have some questions that need answers. The Giants have been talking with Golladay’s agent since the market opened on Monday and a source said there is strong mutual interest which could lead to a contract.

But that’s only if the visit actually happens. The two sides were in the process of scheduling it on Wednesday and a source said that Golladay is determined to give the Giants their shot. But the Cincinnati Bengals have reportedly made Golladay a one-year offer for a “prove it” deal that would allow him to hit free agency again next year when the cap presumably goes up.

The Giants have discussed financial parameters with Golladay, a source said, but it’s not believed they have made an offer yet. Obviously if he decided to sign with the Bengals, the visit would be off.

But the Giants are unlikely to make an offer without the visit. That’s because, according to a source, they want to check out his hip since what he called a “hip flexor strain” forced him to miss the final nine games of last season. Perhaps more importantly, though, things did not end well for Golladay in Detroit, and the Lions seemed eager to let him go. They even talked with some teams – including the Giants – about trading him at the deadline last year.

Giants coach Joe Judge, who is extremely concerned about players fitting into his “culture”, wants to meet with Golladay before any decision is made, a source said. Judge won’t sign off on signing the receiver, unless he is confident Golladay will be a fit for the team he’s trying to build.

The Giants certainly could use the 6-4, 214-pound Golladay, who would be the big receiver the Giants have been looking for since the days of Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer. He’d instantly be their No. 1 receiver and would be a huge help for struggling, young quarterback Daniel Jones in what could be a critical year for his career.

Golladay only had 20 catches for 338 yards and two touchdowns last season, but injuries limited him to just five games. In 2019, when he played all 16, he had 65 catches for 1,190 yards and 11 touchdowns and seemed to be on the verge of becoming one of the elite receivers in the NFL. He was definitely one of the best ones available on the free-agent market, especially after Allen Robinson and Chris Godwin both got the franchise tag from their teams.

The receiver market, however, crashed quickly in part because so many good receivers are going to be available in the NFL draft. It’s unclear what Golladay was looking for, but early projections had the top receivers getting contracts worth $18-20 million per year. But so far, the biggest deal was the three-year, $37.5 million contract Corey Davis got from the Jets.

Knowing that, the Giants stayed in contact with Golladay’s representatives throughout the first three days of free agency. Their interest was described by one source as “mild," but a source said they wanted to make sure they were in the mix in case Golladay’s asking price came down.

It appears now that’s exactly what happened. All that’s left is for the Giants to look Golladay in the eye and see if they can – or even want to – close the deal.