Giants Making a Big Mistake By Letting Star Defender Hit Free Agency

The New York Giants are taking a big risk by letting their star safety hit the open market.

Aug 26, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll (right) and
Aug 26, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll (right) and / Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Free agency is almost upon us. The time of the year that is supposed to be the most hopeful and exciting for fanbases continues to be quite the opposite as Giants fans have to deal with the stress of potentially losing two key starters.

After not using the franchise tag on star running back Saquon Barkley, the Giants are also letting safety Xavier McKinney hit free agency.

There was an expectation that the Giants were going to transition tag their star defensive back, allowing them to match any offers McKinney received. Instead, they are choosing to risk losing him for nothing in free agency.

Giants News: Xavier McKinney Hitting Free Agency

This doesn't necessarily mean McKinney is gone. The Giants still have until Monday to reach a deal with the former second-round pick before the negotiating period begins.

The franchise tag on McKinney would have costed New York $16.2 million for 2024 while a transition tag would have been $13.8 million unless a team offered more. That range of annual salary is probably where McKinney's next multi-year deal is going to be around.

Losing a 24-year-old promising defender who played every snap a season ago would be disastrous for the Giants, especially considering how much the new defensive coordinator Shane Bowen likes versatile safeties.

McKinney has expressed his desire to be properly compensated as an elite safety. As the fourth-highest graded safety in 2023 by PFF, he likely sees himself at the top of the market, closer to $20 million average annual value.

If the Giants continue to lowball him and there is a team willing to break the bank for him, McKinney could be out the door this time next week.

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