The Giants are not the only team that suffered injuries during this preseason. The Carolina Panthers lost wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin to a torn ACL last week, while the Green Bay Packers will be without wide receiver Jordy Nelson in 2015 due to the same injury. Benjamin suffered his injury during a training camp practice, while Nelson collapsed while planting his leg to turn up field following a catch in the Packers preseason game yesterday afternoon with the Pittsburgh Steelers. While these injuries are unfortunate, they create an opportunity for Jerry Reese, who has a surplus of wide receivers and needs along the offense line and in the secondary.
With Odell Beckham, Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle, Dwayne Harris, and Geremy Davis on the roster, the Giants are stacked at wide receiver. Tom Coughlin is also fond of veteran Preston Parker, and Corey Washington, while not performing at as high a level as he did in the 2014 preseason, has enough talent to warrant another season of development. Veteran James Jones leads the team this preseason with 7 receptions for 94 yards and demonstrated that he has plenty of gas left in his tank. He’s a luxury to the Giants, and one they can afford to trade. As a veteran receiver familiar with the Packers offense, he would have particular value to Green Bay, but shopping him to both wide receiver needy teams would be prudent.
While a draft pick would be a viable return for Jones, it’s unlikely he would bring back more than a fifth round pick, given his age (31) and the one year contact he signed with the Giants. An offensive lineman or a safety would more valuable and provide an immediate return on investment for Reese, rather than waiting until the 2016 season for satisfaction.
Lane Taylor is a third year player from Oklahoma State University. Backing up guard Josh Sitton, Taylor sees little playing time for the Packers, but has rated out well this preseason according to Pro Football Focus. By adding another guard to the Giants offensive line mix, Geoff Schwartz could be moved to right tackle and it would give Offensive Line Coach Pay Flaherty another young veteran lineman to work into the mix. In addition, it would allow both Marshall Newhouse and John Jerry to return to backup positions, where they are best suited to reside.
Kurt Coleman is a 27 year old backup free safety for the Carolina Panthers. Having signed with the Panthers as a free agent after spending four season with the Philadelphia Eagles and one with the Kansas City Chiefs, Coleman is an experienced coverage safety who would fill the Giants need for a veteran at the position. With Ted Ginn, Jerricho Cotchery, and Corey “Philly” Brown as the next men up for the Panthers to replace second year receiver Benjamin, the Panthers need at wide receiver is significant. Jones is not as familiar with the Panthers’ offensive system as he is with the Packers’, but a saavy veteran will pick up any offense in short order.
Reese needs to strike while the iron is hot and make his move early this week before another General Manager beats him to the punch. Jones has shown he can still play at a high level in the NFL and both the Packers and Panthers would benefit from his services. The Giants need help along the offensive line or at safety more than they need Jones to play third or fourth wide receiver. Trading him just makes sense, so Jerry, pick up the phone and start dialing.