Aside from the constant rumors surrounding Deshaun Watson — there is another big time player on the team that may be on the move from the Houston Texans this offseason.
Key defensive linemen Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson are both scheduled to be pending free agents this offseason for the New York Giants and that would severly hurt their defense in 2021.
If they do indeed lose those two key players, there could be two other pass rushers making their way to New York.
Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox is linking JJ Watt to the Giants as a “top-trade target.”
“While most of the focus in Houston has been centered on Watson’s situation, future Hall of Fame pass-rusher J.J. Watt could also wind up on the trading block. Like the Giants, the Texans are facing a tough cap situation—they’re projected to be more than $17 million over the cap—and they could save $17.5 million by dumping the final year of Watt’s contract.
This is a potential move that would make the most sense if New York is unable to re-sign emerging pass-rusher Williams. However, bringing back Williams wouldn’t negate the need for an improved pass rush.
Williams was responsible for more than one-fourth (11.5) of New York’s 40 sacks in 2020.
The Giants featured the league’s ninth-ranked scoring defense this season. Adding a prolific pass-rusher to the equation is at least worth consideration, even if it would take some serious financial finagling to get a deal done.”
Another move being linked to the Giants would be for his teammate Whitney Mercilus.
G Men HQ’s John Makuch enlisted Mercilus among his “5 Trade targets” for the team:
“The Giants could use a bit of a boost in the pass rush, and Mercilus is another player who has been thrown around in trade rumors for quite some time.
The NY Giants will potentially have to restructure Mercilus’ contract to make this trade work, but if possible he will be a nice fit in that role as a pass rusher he likes to play from the outside linebacker spot.
Now, Mercilus is no Lawrence Taylor, but he will still be able to provide an impact that may not show up as much in the stat sheet as fans may expect.
Having to worry about a guy like him will open up the game for a young Dexter Lawrence, or even Dalvin Tomlinson if he is still on the team after a trade like this.
Mercilus could use a change of scenery, and the Giants would be a good spot for him to potentially finish out his career and maybe have one of his better seasons this year.”
Mercilus has 54 career sacks and four 7.0-plus sack seasons to his name, but he did seem to fall off a cliff into irrelelavancy during the 2020 season. A change of sceneray made be needed.