Kenny Golladay enjoying a fulfilling visit and coming to the realization he wants to continue his NFL career by signing with the Giants are not the only checkpoints that must be crossed to get a deal done. The Giants need to be convinced the tall and talented wide receiver is right for them, and that is no sure thing.
It is not Golladay, the player, that gives the Giants pause here. They know he would instantly become the physical presence lacking in their passing game, understanding Golladay running down the field and hauling in passes from Daniel Jones changes the complexion of their attack. They also realize the guy is not the second coming of Randy Moss. Still, the Giants are also quite aware of the psychic jolt of energy a Golladay signing would inject into the fan base, and, no doubt, into those who roam the halls and work in the building where the Giants work and practice.
The Giants insisted on an in-person visit with Golladay, 27, because they want to get in a room with him and get a feel for who he is as a person, if he will accept hard coaching from a demanding Joe Judge staff and how willing he is to buy into Judge’s sense of team and sacrifice. The visit began Thursday evening and continued into Friday.
This is not to say the Giants think Golladay is a bad guy or that there are red flags flying with this player. They simply need answers to questions they have and those answers can only be gleaned by old-fashioned interpersonal contact.
The medical concerns stem from a hip flexor injury that limited Golladay to only five games for the Lions in 2020. He missed the first two games with a hamstring issue and then hurt his hip in a Nov. 1 loss to the Colts. He did not play again, but was not put on injured reserve, as the Lions held out hope for his return. There was speculation Golladay, looking for a new contract, was not rushing back onto the field.
Darrell Bevell, the Lions interim head coach at the time, said last season that claim was unwarranted. Asked if Golladay was making a business decision by not playing, Bevell told reporters in Detroit, “I can be clear that he is not.”
A source told The Post that during the 2020 season, Golladay turned down what was believed to be a long-term extension with the Lions for $18 million a year. He saw top receivers Amari Cooper, Keenan Allen and DeAndre Hopkins all sign new deals averaging at least $20 million per year, and a source said Golladay was eyeing that annual compensation. He is not going to get that in free agency, and probably will not come close.
Golladay last season staged a media boycott lasting longer than a month. In October, he posted a picture on Instagram along with the caption “This s–t gone cost you!” It was believed that was referring to the Lions not anteing up with a new contract. Not long after that, he “liked” an Instagram post by the NFL stating head coach Matt Patricia has been fired.
The Giants need to hear about what went down here. Remember, Judge told Golden Tate to stay home on a road trip to Washington for what Judge deemed selfish acts by Tate. That Tate’s wife complained about his usage on social media did not help. Tate was released this offseason.
Late last season, Golladay broke his media silence and said “I mean, everybody knows what I’m capable of doing. I wasn’t worried about like, ‘I need to play, man. I got to show the people.’ People know who Kenny Golladay is and I was really trying to make sure my body was right. I don’t want to go out there and put bad stuff on tape.”
Judge has a relationship with Patricia from their years coaching together with the Patriots on Bill Belichick’s staff. Judge can reach out to Patricia – and no doubt has – about Golladay. Belichick also has Patricia as a resource. That the Giants and Patriots, two teams that went into free agency looking for receivers, did not jump at the chance to sign Golladay is telling. That Golladay, considered by many the top receiver on the market, was not an early signing by anyone in the league is also telling.
The Giants this offseason added Kyle O’Brien to their personnel department and this is another source for Golladay information. O’Brien spent the past five seasons with the Lions and was there in 2017 when Golladay was selected out of Northern Illinois in the third round of the NFL Draft.
Judge will meet with Golladay, as will general manager Dave Gettleman. Spending time together could assuage the Giants’ concerns with Golladay and a signing could follow. They have to like what they see and hear. The same with Golladay. This is not a sure thing.
Originally published at https://nypost.com/2021/03/19/the-giants-questions-kenny-golladay-must-answer-in-nfl-free-agency/ on .