Could this be Sterling Shepherd’s Last Year with the Giants?

There are many question marks surrounding the New York Giants entering this season. Following a moderately disappointing 6-10 season, the Giants are essentially entering a make or break year. Quarterback Daniel Jones must prove his worth after two dismal years, although he has shown promise. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett must prove that he is capable of calling a modern NFL offense. Perhaps most interesting of all, though, is the situation surrounding the Giants’ wideout situation.

At the time of writing, the Giants carry eleven wide receivers on their roster. Notably: Darius Slayton, Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepherd, John Ross, and Kadarius Toney. Each of these players has shown tremendous potential at one point or another throughout their football careers. A borderline superstar, Golladay looks to help elevate the Giants’ offense. Similarly, the shifty Kadarius Toney lit up SEC defenses in college. In 2021, he will look to do the same in the NFC East.

While these two receivers are both great in their own right, it is their acquisition this offseason that creates an interesting situation amongst the wideouts on the Giants’ roster. By this, I mean that by adding two receivers that will be with the team for at least four more years, the Giants will probably have to let go of at least one other wideout at the end of this season to save roster spots and capital. The most likely choice to be let go is Sterling Shepherd.

In four years with the Giants, Shepherd has shown promise. However, he has never really taken the leap to the next level. He has never totaled more than 900 yards. Aside from his rookie season, he has never scored more than four touchdowns.  He is not a bad player by any means, but he has never really proven during his tenure with the Giants that he is worthy of an extension.  His contributions have not elevated the offense the way that other Giants receivers, such as Odell Beckham Jr. had. He will certainly have many eyes on him this year.

There are several options for the Giants next year.  Shepherd is not a lost cause yet. If he proves to be a star in 2021, he could be deserving of an extension. However, if he continues to simply record average numbers, he will likely walk. Shepherd will have to compete with the other receivers on the roster.  Playing alongside talents such as Golladay and Toney is no easy task. If he wishes to find himself on the roster in 2022, Shepherd will have to have his best season yet, and by far.

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