Wayne Gallman will likely find himself in a hard-fought battle for a roster spot in 2020, something he probably didn’t envision when he was drafted by the NY Giants.
When the NY Giants drafted runningback Wayne Gallman in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, most agreed the team had gotten a steal and potentially a starting ‘back for the future.
After a decent rookie campaign that saw him average 4.3 yards-per-carry and 34 receptions in a disaster of a season for the NY Giants, he had shown enough promise to be considered the leader in the clubhouse to be the starter heading into 2018 barring any offseason moves.
Well, then Saquon Barkley and a new GM happened. Then a new coaching staff, and then another one just for good measure.
Now, Gallman finds himself pretty much in no man’s land, after back-to-back disappointing seasons (3.5 and 3.8 YPC), playing behind what many consider the best runningback in all of football, a new GM and an entirely new offensive staff.
When Barkley went down with an ankle injury last year, it finally looked like Gallman would get his second chance to prove his worth to the organization and the new folks in charge. After a strong first game against the Redskins that saw him compile 118 total yards and 2 total touchdowns, the wheels fell off again when he was injured the following week against the Vikings.
From there, Gallman only received two more carries the entire season, which is a pretty good indication of where he stands with the NY Giants.
The offseason signing of Dion Lewis only further muddied his waters, and he’ll now be fighting for his life for the third and final runningback spot, and that’s even if the team officially carries three halfbacks as fullback Elijhaa Penny can play halfback in a pinch and we’ve seen the team take that approach before (using Penny as the fullback and the emergency halfback).
What are the chances that Wayne Gallman makes the 2020 NY Giants?
Although I’ve been a fan of Gallman all the way back to his heroic days as the workhorse of Clemson’s 2016 National Championship team, if you were an oddsmaker right now you’d have to set the odds pretty high that the fourth-year pro is waiver wire fodder come late August/early September.
He’ll likely be snatched up quickly by another team, but that doesn’t really matter much to the NY Giants. The team has to look at their individual situation and make decisions based on who will be here for the long term at the beginning of this rebuilding stage.
The practice squad doesn’t make much sense for Gallman or the NY Giants, as he’d just be taking up a spot for a potential youngster with a future with the team in the last year of his rookie deal.
At that point, a guy like UDFA Javon Leake looks much more attractive in a developmental role while Barkley and Lewis eat up close to 100% of the runningback action.
Wayne Gallman couldn’t have predicted where he would be drafted when he left Clemson early in 2017, but you have to wonder if he could do it all over again that he’d make a different decision.
He’s managed to be one of the only players to stick around from the Jerry Reese era – mainly due to the nature of his contract – but the group looks like it is about to get even smaller this offseason.
Gallman may be able to bounce back elsewhere and be a productive ‘back in a tandem or committee situation, but his days with the NY Giants are likely over.
Chances he sticks with the team: 20%