So here’s the question: In paying Golladay $18 million per year, which team(s) were the Giants competing against?
Based on discussions with multiple sources, the answer seems to be no one. The Bengals, we’re told, were willing to pay $13 million per year. The Bears, as reported by Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, were in the range of $11 million to $12 million per year. We’re currently aware of no one who was pushing for Golladay at $14 million, $15 million, $16 million, $17 million, $17.5 million, and/or $17.99 million per year.
The Ravens were mentioned as potential candidates for Golladay, but that seems to be a smokescreen aimed at enhancing the team’s effort to get receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. (He eventually took less to stay in Pittsburgh.)
In New York’s defense, it’s impossible to have certainty or clear reliability when trying to close a deal. The price is the price, even if the alternative wasn’t some other team. If Golladay wasn’t going to take less than $18 million per year from the Giants, the Giants needed to pay $18 million per year to get him.
It’s no different than what New York’s other team did two years ago, paying $13.5 million per year to running back Le’Veon Bell at a time when no one else was at $10 million or more. The price was the price, and the Jets paid it. (In that case, false claims of Baltimore interest in Bell helped seal the deal with the Jets.)
The Giants surely hope that the Golladay deal will work out better than the Bell deal did for the Jets. It can’t work out much worse.