EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – New York Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay didn’t like coach Brian Daboll’s decision to play him for just two shots in Sunday’s 19-16 win over the Carolina Panthers.
“Obviously I don’t really agree. Or I like it,” said Golladay, who was speaking to the media for the first time since the game, on Wednesday. “But I can only control what I can control, which is to come to work every day.”
Golladay, the Giants’ treasured free agent acquisition in 2021, didn’t see it coming. He said everyone in the organization told him that he was a professional and that he did things right.
This makes it all quite confusing for Golladay.
“I should play regardless,” he said. “This is a fact.”
Golladay, 28, was supposed to be the number of the Giants. 1 receiver when signed by the regimen prior to last offseason. He has signed a $ 72 million four-year deal and is paid $ 18 million this season.
But Golladay had a difficult first year with the team where he was hampered by injury and didn’t score a touchdown. He had a procedure that kept him out this spring.
The marks were actually on the wall this summer when, despite being consistently on the pitch, Golladay seemed compromised by the string of injuries. Surprisingly he was one of the few veterans to play in the preseason finale and received two passes for 22 yards in 42 snaps (most among the Giants wide receivers) in the opening win of the season over the Tennessee Titans.
Daboll said he told Golladay in the middle of last week he would go with David Sills V on him against the Panthers. Sills entered the game with two career captures for 17 yards. He is making $ 825,000 this season.
Golladay has 222 receptions for 3,611 yards and 21 career touchdowns. He led all receivers in 2019 with 11 receiving scores. But it is not beyond all reason to think that he has lost a step. Golladay received two touchdowns and less than 900 yards received over the next two seasons.
The veteran catcher was asked to request a change of scenery after being on the bench for most of Sunday’s game.
“We’ll see how it goes. Yes, we’ll see how it goes,” Golladay said. “I came here to play. I’m pretty sure they are paying me to play as well. I guess they want to see more or get whatever is on their side. I keep doing what I have to do until I get there every day.”
It seems unlikely that Golladay could be moved at this point, not least due to the lack of production and his contract. They still owe him $ 11.6 million in base salary for the rest of this season and another $ 4.5 million next year.
It’s not a problem to keep it around for now. Daboll and several Giants players told ESPN that they handled it like a pro.
“It is what it is. It is a business,” Golladay said. “I’m not here to make friends with the coaches. They are just business associates for me.”
Daboll was consistent in saying that the wide receiver location is open competition and business-minded. Richie James leads the Giants with 10 catches and 110 yards on reception.
James was an off-season acquisition that many believed was in the roster bubble. Sills made his way into the team.
Daboll has used the same line on the competition from the start. He took a similar stance when Golladay was one of the few veterans to play in the third and final game of the preseason. It was also his reasoning behind last year’s first-round pick, Kadarius Toney, who only played seven snaps in the opening and Golladay barely entered the field against the Panthers.
“It’s a constant competition on the receiver. I’ve been saying that since when? I’m not an idiot, I’m saying that from the midfield, right?” Daboll said Sunday. “It hasn’t changed. It will be a continuous competition.”
On Monday, he added: “Once again, whether it’s the highest paid player, the lowest paid player, the highest pick in the draft, an un-drafted free agent, we’re going to go out there and let the boys compete. One week off. it necessarily means that this is what will happen next week. I think everyone understands what we are trying to do as an organization in terms of continuing to improve, compete for places, work as hard as possible. “
Daboll doesn’t play favorites based on salary or draft status and has attracted the attention of his team.
“It’s rare, but the manager has always told us that he doesn’t care where you were drafted in the first round, round two, not drafted. Talk about what he’s talking about,” said veteran wide receiver Sterling Shepard.
Shepard has played the most shots (102) of any Giants wide receiver so far this season. He is coming out of a torn Achilles he suffered last season. Sills is second with 91.
If Golladay has a role this season, it will have to be earned, not given based on his past achievements. This new regime is unrelated to Golladay, who was the Lions’ third round pick in 2017.
Golladay was optimistic about how Wednesday’s free practice went. He said he believes his role this week will probably be a little different.
The Giants (2-0) may need him more on Monday night against the Dallas Cowboys. Toney did not participate in Wednesday’s free practice due to a hamstring injury that continues to persist.