By Michael J Basile, @MdoubleJB
GM Dave Gettleman has made BIG headlines in recent weeks. After trading away lightening rod superstar NYG wideout Odell Beckham JR, he signed WR Golden Tate to a 4 year $37 million contract. This may signal the end of Sterling Shepard. But why not both?
When you put the pieces together at that position: Tate and Shepard play similar roles as slot guys who run great routes, and fearlessly go over the middle of the field whenever their number called upon. Neither guy has serious speed but it seems they’re always gaining critical yards after the catch and making big plays. Replacing one with the other almost seems interchangeable and it’s not like Tate was brought in to be Beckham.
Mike Reiss has tweeted how the Patriots could have interest, and Shepard is in the last year of his rookie deal. It seems unlikely that the Giants would pay him big money after the season, so trading him now makes sense while you can still get some value in return.
Many in the organization have spoken about how Engram seems primed to breakout in 2019 which would make this a lot easier to pull the trigger. Then there’s Saquon Barkley as the focal point of the offense anyway; Dave Gettleman has a plan to acquire draft picks as assets and build the roster in his vision with HIS guys, and this would be the next logical step for the franchise.
The age of Tate and his future health may come into play. Shepard has progressed year after year moving from 683 yards his rookie year to 872 in 2018. His yards per catch have trended up from 10.5 (rookie year) to 13.2 in 2018 on the same amount of receptions.
He is also guaranteed to see more touches without Odell in Giants blue.