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Giants need to go get Gabriel Davis if they have the chance

It might mean nothing, or it could mean everything. Fan cell phone caught Gabriel Davis, injured and unable to play in the Bills’ loss to the Chiefs, returning fire on those berating him from the stands of Highmark Stadium, angered by another Buffalo premature postseason exit.

Cole Beasley, Davis’ former teammate, feels it’s the latter. He took to social media with a simple message for Bills Mafia: "Fans don’t understand what they are about to lose."

If Beasley’s right, and Davis hits free agency, it shouldn’t take long for his phone to light up with a call from Giants general manager Joe Schoen. This team needs him.

If presented the opportunity, they need to go get him.

This offseason isn’t off to the start the Giants hoped, but if there’s a benefit to the seemingly endless string of sourced material oozing out of 1925 Giants Drive questioning the culture and working environment cultivated by Brian Daboll, it’s that the roster’s shortcomings haven’t been analyzed.

The Giants were among the league’s feel-good stories in 2022. They shocked many to not only make the playoffs, but then beat the Vikings in the first round. The fact they were blown out by the Eagles in the divisional round didn’t matter, as John Mara told the New York Post after the game: “We’re back.”

Narrator: The Giants were not back.

The 2024 season was a big blue rude awakening. Give Daboll credit: While his staff fractured, he kept the locker room together. The Giants fought until the end, but they were overpowered far too often because of the foundational issues left from Dave Gettleman’s reign of terror. They finished the season 6-11. More alarming: They began it 2-8.

You don’t finish with that poor of a record unless you have a multitude of issues. Among them: A lack of playmakers. Schoen improved the group from a year ago with the signings of tight end Darren Waller and drafting of Jalin Hyatt. They still need more. Davis would be more.

This was a bit of a down year for Davis. It wasn’t bad (45 catches, 746 yards, seven touchdowns), it just wasn’t the breakout many expected. He was better in 2022 when he caught 48 passes for 836 yards and seven touchdowns. Some of this likely had to do with quarterback Josh Allen still favoring Stefon Diggs (team-high 107 targets), the development of first-round pick tight end Dalton Kincaid (73 targets) and the overall sluggish start to Buffalo’s year that ultimately led to the firing of offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey.

Still, they don’t make many like Davis. He’s 6-2, 210 and just entering the prime of his career at 24 years old. He’s averaged more than 15.7 yards per catch every year he’s been in the NFL, highlighted by a 17.4 mark in 2022.

There’s no doubt the Bills would love to keep Davis, even after his outburst with those who attended the loss to the Chiefs. They drafted him in the fourth round. They developed him. He’s a weapon on an offense that, as long as Allen is under center, will be as deadly as any in the NFL. The issue is the Bills’ flexibility to do just that.

The Bills' championship window is not shut, but their path to a Super Bowl will be harder moving forward. They went all-in on an attempt to get a ring within the last two years. Falling short now has financial repercussions. The Bills are projected to be $43.7 million over the estimated league salary cap of $242 million, per OverTheCap.com. The bigger issue is that there’s no real obvious avenues to put the Bills in a position to add legitimate pieces to a roster that hasn’t reached the AFC Championship game since 2020.

Allen is the most obvious. The Bills must restructure his contract. He has a cap number of $47 million. Diggs ($27.8 million cap hit), Von Miller ($23.79 million), Dion Dawkins and Tre’Davious White ($16.4 million) are other potential restructures. The problem with restructuring is that it simply pushes money down the road. The Bills will be fine doing that with Allen and Dawkins, but do they really want money tied to Miller and White? Miller failed to record a sack this season in 12 games, while White tore his Achilles in October and hasn’t played a full season since 2018.

Most teams in financial turmoil have an obvious cut or two to get them under the cap. That’s not the case with the Bills. Just Mitch Morse ($8.5 million freed), Jordan Poyer ($5.7 million), Deonte Harty ($4.06 million) and Nyheim Hines ($4.6 million) fit that category. The Bills can absolutely cut them, but then they need to replace them.

Davis will likely fetch a contract similar to that of Allen Lazard, whom the Jets signed to a four-year, $44-million deal last offseason. He could, potentially, get more as his physical skills are superior. It’s hard to imagine that coming from Buffalo.

That means the wideout will be there for the Giants.

The Giants are still in need of a legitimate No. 1 receiver. There are some around the league who question Davis' ability to develop into that. He would, unquestionably, make them better. He’s a bigger, better, more physical version of Darius Slayton. Team him with Hyatt and you have two receivers split wide who can stretch the defense. That opens up room for Waller to work the middle and Wan’Dale Robinson to man the slot.

Davis shouldn’t be the only receiver added by the Giants. They could go with one early in the NFL Draft, or be in the running for Tee Higgins if he sneaks out of Cincinnati. He’d be a good get, though.

As the Giants showed this season: They could use a few more good players.

So go get this one.