Although there are 10 more games in the season following the Panthers game, there’s no reason to believe the team will be able to turn things around. Their 19-51 record since the start of the 2017 season is a classic example of their recent struggles.
While it would behoove the franchise to trade a few players before the trade deadline, they do not need to do a fire sale and trade everyone whose contract will expire at the end of this season or next.
Here are two players the Giants definitely need to trade and two players they need to keep.
Players the New York Giants need to trade
There’s no denying that Engram is a talented football player. But he has been inconsistent, and his poor blocking and drops have come at the most inopportune time.
He is also entering the final year of his contract and no matter who the general manager is for Big Blue, Engram will not be part of the team’s plans in 2022.
The athletic Engram is only 27-years old and there might be teams that believe a change of scenery can bring out his full potential. The Buffalo Bills could be a possible trade partner depending on the severity of tight end Dawson Knox’s fractured hand.
Peppers was one of the biggest pieces in the blockbuster Odell Beckham Jr. trade in March of 2019.
In his first two seasons with Big Blue, Peppers recorded 167 tackles, two and a half sacks, and two interceptions. However, this season he’s slowly being phased out of defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s scheme.
Just as the case is with Engram, the 26-year-old Peppers is in the final year of his contract, and there’s no indication that New York plans to bring him back. The fact that Peppers can also be used as a kick returner could make him attractive enough that a contending team may try to acquire him.
Players the New York Giants shouldn’t trade
Taking Barkley with the second pick in the 2018 draft was probably Dave Gettleman’s biggest error during his tenure as GM. Eli Manning was 37 years old and the Giants had one of the worst offensive lines in the league.
So it made no sense to take Barkley with the second pick. Following his rookie season when he won Offensive Rookie of the Year, Barkley’s career has been derailed by injuries. He missed three games in 2019 due to a sprained ankle and 14 games last season due to a torn ACL.
He will miss his second straight game on Sunday against the Panthers due to a sprained ankle. With the uncertainty of when Barkley will return, teams will not be willing to trade more than a mid-round pick for him.
This is why the Giants need to play the waiting game and hope Barkley comes back and is productive so they can entertain trade offers in the offseason when his value will be higher than it is now. Barkley has one year left on his contract, but it’s far from a lock that he’ll be back with Big Blue in 2022.
Teams are always interested in quality offensive linemen, and Hernandez is definitely a quality lineman.
There will certainly be teams interest in acquiring the former second-round pick. Although Hernandez is in the final year of his contract, the last thing New York needs to do is make their offensive line worse by trading away arguably their best lineman.
As horrific as the line has looked this season, can you imagine how it would look without Hernandez? The Giants need to protect quarterback Daniel Jones as best as they can to prevent him from suffering another injury. Keeping Jones upright is key, so they need to keep their left guard for the remainder of the season.
It’s possible the Giants might be able to re-sign Hernandez in the off-season depending on his contract demands.