Skip to main content

New York Giants reportedly could soon try unusual but clever strategy to hold on to a top free agent

new york giants
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It seems the New York Giants are making Xavier McKinney a priority this offseason and could likely use an unexpected but smart strategy to hold on to him for at least 2024.

In recent days, the future of Giants star running back Saquon Barkley has been a hot topic among the team’s fan base. And the discourse is understandable since the two-time Pro Bowler is the heart of their offense and is one of the most gifted offensive players in the league when at his best.

However, a strong case can be made that he is not the team’s top free agent this spring and that bringing back safety Xavier McKinney is a far bigger goal. Over the last four seasons, the 2020 second-round pick has evolved into the team’s best and most reliable talent in the secondary.

He is also an impending free agent and is sure to get offered more expensive contracts than Barkley this offseason.

Related: NFL mock draft 2024- – Projecting New York Giants pick in Round 1

new york giants
Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, the New York Giants decided to use their franchise tag on Barkley to avoid him hitting free agency. They could do the same in 2024, or use it on McKinney. However, the franchise tag price for running backs in 2024 will be $12.1 million while the tag cost for safeties will be $16.2 million.

  • Xavier McKinney stats (2023-24): 116 tackles, 3 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 11 passes defended

Well, when it comes to McKinney it seems that the franchise tag won’t be an option and the organization is considering a different route. According to the New York Post the Giants “will negotiate with McKinney’s representatives and if a deal cannot get done — there is no reason to believe an agreement will be reached — they have until March 5 to apply the lesser-used transition tag on him. That is a possibility, the Post has learned.”

The transition tag in 2024 will be $13.9 million. However, it allows other teams to make McKinney an offer, and the organization will have the option to match it. Similar to the restricted free agent contract in the NBA, but with a one-year pact already set if he doesn’t get better offers.

Related: 2024 NFL salary cap tracker – Where New York Giants stand heading into offseason

Mentioned in this article:

More About: