Giants will not use franchise tag on Xavier McKinney, allowing safety to become free agent

The Giants will not be using the franchise tag on safety Xavier McKinney ahead of Tuesday's 4 p.m. deadline, according to multiple reports.

The Giants also chose not to place the transition tag on the safety – which carried a salary floor of $13.8 million for the 2024 season and would have given the club five days to match any higher offer he received from another team.

McKinney, 24, will now hit free agency after he set a career-high in tackles (116 combined with 78 solo) and pass deflections (11) in his fourth season with New York.

The legal tampering period for free agents begins on Monday, March 11 at noon.

The Giants decided earlier on Tuesday they would not tag running back Saquon Barkley for the second consecutive year, allowing him to test the free-agent market as well.

A second-round pick (36th overall) in 2020 out of Alabama, McKinney was one of two defenders (along with linebacker Bobby Okereke) in the NFL to not miss a single snap the entire season.

In 49 career games (46 starts), he totaled nine interceptions, 279 tackles (180 solo), 27 passes defended, 1.5 sacks with two forced fumbles and one touchdown.