The New York Giants are dangerously headed toward another lost campaign. With just one win throughout their first six contests, general manager Dave Gettleman finds himself at a crossroads. With the NFL trade deadline fast approaching, the Giants would be wise to explore the possibilities of acquiring draft capital in exchange for players that do not factor into their future plans.
We have officially reached a point where safety Jabrill Peppers falls into that category. Planning for 2022 and beyond is now of the utmost importance for both parties. The 26-year-old Peppers has featured less frequently in 2021 and is currently playing on an expiring contract.
With Peppers currently serving as a backup, the relationship between the former Michigan standout and the Giants appears to be irreparable. New York has refused to give Peppers the long-term security he’s seeking, while also demoting him to a diminished role. A divorce seems likely. Here are three teams that could be the first to inquire about Peppers’ availability with the deadline under a fortnight away.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
You’d be hard-pressed to find a secondary across the NFL that has dealt with more injuries than the Buccaneers. Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting currently reside on injured reserve. Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman, who was signed to help circumvent these injuries just weeks ago, is now dealing with a hamstring injury of his own. Star sophomore safety Antoine Winfield Jr. has been dealing with a concussion and was absent from Tampa’s Week 6 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
All of this turnover and uncertainty in the secondary has led to some sloppy performances from the Buccaneers’ defense, who are currently allowing opponents to move the ball through the air to the tune of more than 280 passing yards per contest. The Buccaneers have their eyes set on successfully defending their Super Bowl title. Acquiring Peppers would improve their chances of achieving their lofty goals.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
A unit that has been shockingly poor throughout the first six weeks of the season, the Chiefs will need to tighten things up on the back end if they hope to salvage what has thus far been a disappointing campaign. The Chiefs have made changes in their secondary, recently benching Daniel Sorensen in favor of Juan Thornhill, but could use an injection of talent at all levels of the defense. Kansas City is currently giving up more than 277 passing yards per contest, to go along with an astounding 29.3 points per game.
The Chiefs’ secondary has been banged up with the likes of Charvarius Ward and Tyrann Mathieu playing through recurring quad and toe issues respectively. The Chiefs must find a way to stop the bleeding before it’s too late. Kansas City has the positional need necessary to explore a deal for the ever-versatile Peppers, who would immediately upgrade their defensive personnel.
The Colts are still in the playoff hunt. Frank Reich's men are very much in the mix for the AFC South title and a wild-card spot following last Sunday's four-score victory over the Houston Texans. With a crucial rematch against the division-leading Tennessee Titans looming in Week 8, it’s now or never for Carson Wentz and the Colts.
It hasn't been all good news in Indianapolis as of late, as star safety Julian Blackmon reportedly suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in Wednesday's practice. Now tasked with replacing the versatile Blackmon, general manager Chris Ballard may be tempted to acquire the services of Peppers, who would immediately slot into their starting lineup.
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