Should the Giants prioritize re-signing Xavier McKinney?

In less than one month, the 2024 NFL free agency season begins.

The New York Giants have had a lot to consider this offseason, and not just on the coaching side. They have 30 players entering some form of free agency — that’s more than half of their 53-man roster.

General manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll have to prioritize who to keep and who to let test the waters.

One of those free agents is safety Xavier McKinney, whose rookie contract is coming to a close. Selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft, McKinney is coming off his best season by far. He appeared in every game and, alongside linebacker Bobby Okereke, was one of four defenders in the entire NFL to not miss a single snap all year.

With all of the players the Giants have to consider, though, should McKinney be a priority to re-sign during free agency?

The short answer is yes, they absolutely should. It’s not just about his stats, which were the best he’s had in his career, but it’s about his leadership on the field. His tenacity. His desire to be out there and do his job.

Even if the Giants use a franchise tag, they have to find a way to keep McKinney around. He recorded 116 tackles (78 solo) this season, 0.5 sacks, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and 11 passes defensed.

The only player who had more tackles than McKinney was Okereke (149, 92 solo).

The Giants simply cannot afford to lose that production on the defensive side of the ball. McKinney should absolutely be a top priority for the Giants during free agency.

Story originally appeared on Giants Wire