The New York Giants entered the summer in need of additional linebackers — both inside and outside. Through two-plus weeks of the preseason, that hasn’t changed.
In an effort to shore up their lack of depth, Giants general manager Joe Schoen hit the phones and landed another body via trade.
Trade: Isaiah Simmons is being traded from the Cardinals to the NY Giants for a seventh-round pick in 2024, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 24, 2023
The Giants have since made the trade official.
The 25-year-old Simmons was a first-round pick (8th overall) of the Cardinals in the 2020 NFL draft and was widely considered one of the most athletic prospects not only in that draft, but in decades. He scored a 9.97 RAS out of a possible 10.00, which ranked him seventh out of 2073 linebackers dating back to 1987.
Leading up to the 2020 draft, Simmons had drawn interest from the Giants but they ultimately went with left tackle Andrew Thomas at No. 4 overall.
Although Simmons was named to the 2020 PFWA All-Rookie Team, his NFL career has fallen off a bit since then. He’s never really found a fit in Arizona and has been cycled through several different systems. He’ll have a fresh start under Wink Martindale and his “positionless” defense.
While the 6-foot-4, 238-pound Simmons is less likely to help out on the inside, he does add legitimate pass rush potential and he’s more than capable in coverage. He’s due to earn only $1.01 million (base salary) this season, which makes it a low-risk, high-reward trade for Schoen and the Giants.
In 50 career games (37 starts), Simmons has recorded 258 tackles (181 solo, 13 for a loss), 11 QB hits, 7.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles, 16 passes defensed, four interceptions and one defensive touchdown.
Last season, Simmons earned an overall grade of 67.9 courtesy of Pro Football Focus. He was also given an 83.5 pass rush grade. Both represented career highs.