The 2020 New York Giants season showed signs of progress, marking the first time in years the franchise had something positive to look forward to heading into the offseason. Despite finishing 6-10 under new head coach Joe Judge, the Giants finished one game behind the Washington Football Team for first place in the NFC East, and recorded their most wins in a season since 2016.
New York didn't score a lot of points (280 was the franchise's third lowest point total in a season since 2003), but the Giants had a resurgent defense under new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. After allowing the most points in the NFL in 2019, the Giants ranked ninth in points allowed in 2020 and 12th in yards allowed (they finished 28th in 2019). The Giants still aren't exactly sure if Daniel Jones is the franchise quarterback, but by adding playmakers on offense to help their young signal caller this offseason, they can find out before ultimately making a decision on him.
Getting back Saquon Barkley will be paramount, and the Giants must continue to build an offensive line that has been struggling for years. Expect to hear names like T.Y. Hilton, Corey Davis, Will Fuller and other pass-catching targets throughout the offseason as the Giants enter free agency looking to improve the offense and make a run at the NFC East title in 2021.
Our Giants offseason hub is below, and it will give you all the information you'll need to stay caught up. We'll have all the latest rumors and news for the Giants along with the important dates that you'll want to circle on your calendar.
Key upcoming dates
- April 19: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.
- April: 23: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign.
- April 28: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.
- April 29 - May 1: 2021 NFL Draft (Cleveland).
2021 regular-season opponents
Here's a brief explanation of the NFL scheduling formula, which was implemented in 2002 but will undergo a slight tweak in 2021 (we'll get to that in a bit). Here's a breakdown of how each team's opponents are set:
- Six games against divisional opponents -- two games per team, one at home and one on the road.
- Four games against teams from a division within its conference -- two games at home and two on the road -- on a rotating three-year cycle (four games). The Giants will play the NFC South in 2021.
- Four games against teams from a division in the other conference -- two games at home and two on the road -- on a rotating four-year cycle (four games). The Giants will play the AFC West in 2021.
- Two games against teams from the two remaining divisions in its own conference -- one game at home and one on the road. Matchups are based on division ranking from the previous season. These conference games are based on the prior year's standings.
- Example: A first-place team will play against the first-place teams in the two same-conference divisions that the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place, and fourth-place teams in that conference are matched in the same way each year. The Giants will play the second-place team in the NFC North (Chicago Bears) and second-place team in NFC West (Los Angeles Rams).
- The NFL incorporated another interconference game to the mix, pinning a first-place team from a NFC division against a first-place team from an AFC division and so forth. One interconference game based on the prior year's standings on a rotating four-year cycle (one game). These games match a first-place team from one division against a first-place team in an opposite conference division that the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place and fourth-place teams in each division are matched in the same way each year. The home conference for this game will rotate each season.
Home: Dallas Cowboys, Washington Football Team, Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Las Vegas Raiders, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams
Away: Dallas Cowboys, Washington Football Team, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins
*The actual 2021 schedule will be released later this offseason.
2021 NFL Draft picks
- First round (11th overall)
- Second round (42rd overall)
- Third round (No. 76 overall)
- Fourth round (No. 116 overall)
- Sixth round (No. 196 overall)
- Sixth round (No. 201 overall) -- from Markus Golden trade
*The Giants owe the New York Jets a conditional draft pick from the Leonard Williams trade in 2019. If the Giants re-sign Williams to a contract extension before the start of the 2021 league year, they owe the Jets a fourth-round pick in this year's draft. If they don't, the Jets get their 2021 fifth-round pick (No. 154 overall).
The Giants did not receive any compensatory picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Pending in-house free agents
Unrestricted free agents:
- Leonard Williams (DT)
- Kyler Fackrell (OLB)
- Cameron Fleming (T)
- Colt McCoy (QB)
- Nate Ebner (FS)
- Dion Lewis (RB)
- Austin Johnson (DT)
- Dalvin Tomlinson (DT)
- Jabaal Sheard (DE)
- Alfred Morris (RB)
- Casey Kreiter (LS)
- Adrian Colbert (FS)
- Wayne Gallman (RB)
- Da'Mari Scott (WR)
- Joe Webb (QB)
The Giants have plenty of free agents they need to retain on a defense that continued to improve under Graham as the 2020 season went on. They reportedly are working on keeping one of them from testing the market as the team will place the franchise tag on Williams while working toward a long-term deal. The Giants certainly know the production they will get out of Williams, but will he be worth the price for several seasons?
Will the Giants be able to retain their other free agents? Fackrell and Tomlinson both had solid seasons, and both could get a pay raise from 2020 (other teams will certainly be in the market for Tomlinson). Gallman was excellent filling in for Barkley last season and would be an upgrade for many teams if he's seeking an expanded role.
The Giants may have to part ways with Tomlinson and Fackrell if they choose to upgrade the skill positions in free agency, which is vital if they wish to make a run at the NFC East. If they pass on giving Williams premier money, expect a massive overhaul on offense.
Restricted free agents:
- Ryan Lewis (CB)
The Giants need help at cornerback and it wouldn't hurt to bring back Lewis in 2021 -- for depth at the very least. In 271 snaps last season (three starts), Lewis allowed just 10 catches on 19 targets for 169 yards with no touchdowns. The Giants could do so much worse here for a player that made just $920,000 last year.
Teams may take a shot at signing Lewis unless the Giants place a right of first refusal restricted free agent tender on him -- they would have to pay Lewis a projected $2.133 million if no team were to sign him. If another team did sign Lewis, the Giants would get a draft pick back.
Exclusive rights free agents:
- Austin Mack (WR)
- C.J. Board (WR)
Exclusive rights free agents are players on expiring contracts who have three or fewer accrued seasons in the NFL. They can only negotiate with their original team ahead of the new league year, and if they're not tendered a contract, they become unrestricted free agents.
Madre Harper and David Sills were exclusive rights free agents, but the Giants designated Harper to return in December and gave Sills a renegotiated deal in January. Mack and Board are likely to return since neither player will cost much to bring back.
Free agent scorecard
Free agents the Giants retained:
- Leonard Williams (DT)
- Austin Johnson (DT)
- Casey Kreiter (LS)
- Devante Downs (LB)
Free agents the Giants signed from another team:
- Devontae Booker (Raiders)
- Mike Glennon (Jaguars)
- Ifeadi Odenigbo (Vikings)
- Reggie Ragland (Lions)
- John Ross (Bengals)
- Kenny Golladay (Lions)
- Ryan Anderson (Washington)
- Zach Fulton (Texans)
- Danny Shelton (Lions)
Free agents the Giants lost to another team:
Players the Giants signed who were cut by another team:
- Kyle Rudolph (Vikings)
- Adoree' Jackson (Titans)
Players the Giants cut:
- Golden Tate (WR)
- David Mayo (LB)
- Kevin Zeitler (OG)
*It's important to differentiate between the players signed as unrestricted free agents and those signed after being cut by another team. Players who are signed after being released by another team do not count in the compensatory draft-pick formula for the team that signs them.
Rumors, reports, updates
March 24: Kyle Rudolph signs with Giants after potential snag in deal is resolved
Rudolph signed his two-year deal with the Giants after both sides hit a snag in finalizing Rudolph's contract after the team's medical staff became concerned when his physical revealed the former Pro Bowl tight end may need foot surgery, per NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.
Rudolph will have surgery on his foot, but is expected to be ready by Week 1. The Giants will honor the two-year, $12 million deal initially agreed upon with Rudolph and the deal has been signed, per Garafolo.
March 22: Giants sign Adoree' Jackson to a three-year deal
The Giants have signed cornerback Adoree' Jackson to a three-year, $39 million deal, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The deal includes a $13.5 million signing bonus and $26.5 million guaranteed. It can reach up to $44.5 million with incentives.
March 21: Giants schedule free agent visit with Adoree' Jackson
According to ESPN's Jordan Raanan and Jordan Schultz, the Giants have made it a "high priority" to add cornerback Adoree' Jackson, recently released by the Titans, and are the early frontrunners to land the former first-round draft pick.
March 20: Giants agree to terms with Kenny Golladay
The star wide receiver has agreed to terms on a deal that will make him the newest member of the New York Giants, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora confirms. As for the contract, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network adds that the Giants have given Golladay a four-year, $72 million deal. It has a max value of $76 million and includes $40 million guaranteed.
This decision from Golladay comes after an aggressive free agent pitch by the Giants, who hosted him in New York this week and stayed around town until this deal was completed. By the looks of the contract, GM Dave Gettleman and the rest of the New York brass were not afraid to pay Golladay top receiver money and he'll now be looked at as the top option for quarterback Daniel Jones in 2021 and beyond. This signing also officially puts an end to Golladay's tenure with the Detroit Lions. He spent his entire four-year career with the franchise after they selected him in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
March 18: Giants agree to terms with Reggie Ragland
Ragland's deal is for one year. His career totals include 210 tackles (130 solo), 3.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in 58 regular season games (38 starts), and 30 tackles (21 solo) and one interception in six postseason games (four starts).
March 18: Giants sign Kyle Rudolph to two-year deal
The contract is expected to have a max value of around $14 million. In 12 games played last season, Rudolph caught 29 passes for 334 yards and one touchdown. In New York, he'll look to become a more involved piece in Jason Garrett's offense and work alongside fellow Giants tight end Evan Engram, who saw 109 targets in 2020 (second-most of his career).
March 18: Giants sign Mike Glennon to deal
Glennon started five games for the Jaguars in 2020. He completed 111 of 179 passes (62.0%) for 1,072 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions. He'll back up starting quarterback Daniel Jones.
March 17: Giants agree to terms with Ifeadi Odenigbo
Odenigbo started all 15 games last season for the Vikings and had a career-high 35 tackles (16 solo) and 3.5 sacks. The Vikings did not tender Odenigbo, the former seventh-round pick. The deal with the Giants is for one year.
March 16: Giants agree to deal with John Ross
The Giants agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal with Ross -- the former first-round pick from theBengals. Ross had two catches for 17 yards in three games last season.
March 16: Leonard Williams agrees to new contract with Giants
The Giants will be keeping Leonard Williams as their franchise pillar on defense for the next several seasons. Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Giants and Williams agreed to a three-year, $63 million deal to keep him in New York past the 2021 season. The $21 million average annual salary is higher than the projected $19.4 million Williams would have received under the franchise tag in 2021.
Williams will also drop his grievance with the NFLPA that would have paid him as a defensive end with the tag instead of defensive tackle last season, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Williams will receive $45 million guaranteed from the Giants. This guaranteed salary will be the largest given to a player in franchise history. Per CBS Sports NFL analyst Joel Corry, Odell Beckham Jr. had $40.959 million fully guaranteed at signing while Olivier Vernon and Eli Manning had $40 million and $37.5 million, respectively.
March 16: Dalvin Tomlinson agrees to terms with Vikings on multiyear deal
Tomlinson's deal with the Vikings is for two years and worth up to $22 million, with $20 million of it fully guaranteed. He'll reportedly earn $16 million in Year 1, and have an opportunity to immediately negotiate a new deal one year from now -- for 2023 and beyond
March 15: Giants agree to terms Devontae Booker to two-year deal to back up Saquon Barkley
The Giants found their No. 2 running back, agreeing to terms with Booker to a two-year, $6 million deal to back up Barkley in 2021 (per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler). Booker finished with 93 carries for 423 yards and three touchdowns while having 17 receptions for 84 yards. A versatile option out of the backfield, Booker will back up Barkley -- spelling the Giants top back when needed.
March 10: Giants release Kevin Zeitler, saving nearly $10 million in salary cap space
The Giants released Zeitler Wednesday, clearing $9.6 million in cap space ahead of the start of the league's new year. The 27th overall pick in the 2012 draft, Zeitler spent his first five seasons with the Bengals before signing a five-year, $60 million contract with the Browns that made him the NFL's highest-paid guard. After two years in Cleveland, the Browns traded Zeitler, Jabrill Peppers and two draft picks to the Giants in exchange for Odell Beckham Jr. and Olivier Vernon.
Zeitler, who turned 31 years old earlier this week, started in each of his 31 games with the Giants.
March 9: Giants expected to franchise tag Leonard Williams, per report
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Giants are expected to place the franchise tag on their standout defensive lineman. While this tag does ensure that Williams will be in New York in 2021, both sides view this as a placeholder as they continue to work toward a long-term deal. The tag simply gives the Giants an exclusive negotiating window until the summer to get a bigger deal done while at the very worst locking in Williams for one more year.
March 8: Giants restructure contract of Levine Toilolo
Toilolo was set to make $2.95 million in 2021, but both sides agreed to a restructured deal that will save the Giants some cap space -- per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The No. 3 tight end, Toilolo had five receptions for 46 yards and played special teams.
March 5: Giants release Golden Tate, David Mayo
In two seasons in New York, Tate caught 84 passes for 1,064 yards and eight touchdowns. Tate endured a rocky 2020 season that saw him catch just 35 passes for 388 yards and two touchdowns, his lowest totals since his second NFL season. The 32-year-old Tate was in the middle of a four-year, $37.5 million contract with the Giants. His release will save the Giants $6.147 million in salary cap space.
March 4: Giants trying to trade Kevin Zeitler
CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora is reporting the Giants are looking to move Zeitler, while other teams are anticipating him being released. The Giants save $12 million in salary cap space with a Zeitler release.
Feb. 22: Nate Solder intends to return in 2021, per reports
Solder, who opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, plans to be back with the Giants this year. Getting Solder back would be a huge boost to the Giants offensive line, as Solder has two years remaining on his deal. The Giants could save $6 million in cap space if they decide to release the 32-year-old tackle.