The past 10 years have not been a great one for New York Giants fans.
After two Super Bowl wins against the Patriots Giant fans were forced to sit through a winning drought.
It wasn’t just the record that was bad. Giants fans were beginning to lose hope. There just seemed to be dysfunction.
Coach after coach nothing seemed to work.
That all changed last season.
A new GM and new coach brought the Giants back to the playoffs…in just one season. Not only that but the Giants got themselves a playoff victory as well!
Hope is back.
Throughout the season there were patches where people questioned if the season would end up as a success.
One of those moments was the trading of Kadarius Toney.
I remember the backlash to the trade. Fans were upset a team with a lacking wide receiver core traded away a talent like Toney for just a third-round pick.
Those haters don’t look great.
That pick was just used to bring in Dallen Waller. When healthy, Waller is an elite tight end who can make this offense.
He is a great fit for the Giants.
Instead, the Giants parlayed a third-round draft pick into a Pro Bowl-caliber tight end in Waller who immediately upgrades Jones’ pass-catching weapons. Making matters even better, the Giants still have their own third-round pick at 90th overall and were simply dealing the 101st overall pick, which they had acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for receiver Kadarius Toney.
Waller’s upside was on full display in 2019 and 2020, when he surpassed 1,100 yards in back-to-back seasons, including a nine-touchdown year in 2020. In 2021, he remained highly productive in 11 games available — 60.5 yards per game and 12.1 yards per reception, including an average of 4.4 yards after the catch per target — before injuries including a 2022 hamstring strain limited him to just nine games and 31.4% of Las Vegas’ offensive snaps.
The Giants now have the ability to create a dynamic trio with Jones, Barkley and Waller. They’ll pay the latter between $10 million and 12 million each of the next three years if he stays healthy enough to warrant it, a more palatable number than the $17 million average the Raiders signed him for last training camp. And if Waller can’t fight his spell of injuries, he’ll cost nothing to cut after the 2023 season.
The Raiders’ recent moves reflect a franchise not yet fully ready to contend, and thus one that can benefit from a deep tight end class that should offer talented players over the course of their rookie contracts but perhaps not as quickly as the Giants, guaranteed Barkley’s services just one more year thus far, would hope.
This is the Giants team I know and love. They have a plan that is long term.