Giants Reportedly Not Planning Trade of Young Defender

Even with the acquisition of Brian Burns, the New York Giants aren't ready to give up on former second-round pick Azeez Ojulari.
Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The New York Giants are in a state of transition this offseason as general manager Joe Schoen is putting his stamp on this roster. The Giants didn’t re-sign Xavier McKinney or Saquon Barkley but acquired star pass rusher Brian Burns in a blockbuster trade from the Carolina Panthers.

With Burns in the fold for the foreseeable future, as New York signed him to a five-year contract, they have a formidable defensive line with Dexter Lawrence and Kayvon Thibodeaux. However, that doesn’t factor in former second-round pick Azeez Ojulari .

The former Georgia Bulldog defender has dealt with some injuries over the last two years, but it appears the Giants aren’t ready to give up on Ojulari yet.

Dan Duggan of The Athletic reported on Friday that the Giants aren’t planning to trade Ojulari, who will enter the final year of his rookie deal.

"“Ojulari may seem expendable, but the Giants aren’t planning to trade the 23-year-old as he enters the final year of his rookie contract, according to a league source. Having a third edge rusher with 16 sacks over the past three seasons gives the Giants much better edge depth than they’ve had in years. It’s not ideal for Ojulari to have his contract year crashed by Burns. But even pass-rush specialists cash in, so Ojulari could secure a solid payday if he’s productive in a reduced role.”"

The 6-foot-3 linebacker exploded onto the scene as a rookie in 2021, recording 13 quarterback hits, eight tackles for loss, and eight sacks. However, Ojulari has yet to replicate that success over the last two seasons, with eight combined sacks, six total tackles for loss, and 14 total QB hits.

Nonetheless, Ojulari has a great opportunity to make a good first impression on new defensive coordinator Shane Bowen. If the Giants use Ojulari in a limited role as a pass rusher, this could be his best season yet as a professional.

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