Since he was drafted in 2017, NY Giants’ defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson has steadily improved each year. With his potential about to reach a zenith, his best years should be in blue – not a different uniform.
Before joining the NY Giants, defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson only knew winning in the game of football. As a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide, Tomlinson was a part of the dynasty – a four time SEC champion and two time National Championship winner.
It’s easy for players to buy-in when you’re winning – everybody sees the immediate results of their work pay off. It’s what helps coaches like Alabama’s Nick Saban and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney consistently pull in five star recruits.
On the other hand, when you’re consistently a bottom dweller, coaches and players alike will question their own methods. The Giants have done a lot of losing since Tomlinson’s arrival – an 18-46 record since 2017, but he embodies the solution a lot more than the problem.
Even in the midst of turmoil, the Giants’ source of consistency has been their interior defensive line. Players like Linval Joseph, Jonathan Hankins and Damon Harrison set a strong precedent for Tomlinson coming into the league.
In his four years in the NFL, Tomlinson’s risen above and become an impact player on the Giants’ new found strength – their defense. After starting his career as a rotational piece, he’s evolved into a force – stopping the run, captaining the defense, and even registering a couple sacks to his name.
He may not be the flashiest player on the team, but he’s one of the most important – one that the Giants shouldn’t let walk away.
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Stop me if you’ve seen this movie before – the Giants’ let a young, rising defensive tackle leave, and he becomes an absolute force. It’s not time to make a Linval Joseph sequel with Tomlinson – his potential should be realized in Giants’ blue.
The Giants almost parted ways with Tomlinson at the trade deadline – there were rumors that teams like the Green Bay Packers tried to acquire him, but coach Joe Judge cited his importance to the team’s culture.
“We want to keep building with the guys we have. We have a lot of confidence in the guys we have, and their hard work is paying off,” said Judge. It’s time for the Giants to reward Tomlinson – and their faith in the big man.
The real question – can the Giants’ fit both Tomlinson and defensive star Leonard Williams on their payroll? Even with plenty of cuts coming and needs galore, it’s still a lot of money to invest in your inside defensive line.
Maybe the franchise tag is an option for Tomlinson – his number would be cheaper than the number Williams got this year as a defensive end. It could be a good stop gap while the newly minted ‘cap-wizard’, assistant general manager Kevin Abrams, makes it work.
When you’re trying to build the foundation that coach Judge and general manager Dave Gettleman are, you need to identify the players who fit that core. By not trading Tomlinson at the deadline, it’s obvious they feel Tomlinson is one of those players.
Tomlinson loves being a Giant – “I’ve been in the Giants’ organization for the last four years and I’ve been blessed to be here,” said the former second round pick. “I love this organization.”
He’s been a part of some of the darkest days in Giants’ history, but he far from holds responsibility for those years. He knows what it’s like to be part of a winning program, and he wants to be a part of one when the team that drafted him reaches those heights again.
There’s a lot of variables going into the off-season this year – a multitude of different paths the Giants can take. They all should include bringing back their homegrown captain.
One of Tomlinson’s nicknames was ‘The Renaissance Man’ – given to him by his high school coach due to his diversified interests and skills. He still fits the bill, developing into a player who helps the team in a bevy of different areas.
The NY Giants are hoping to enter into their own renaissance – Tomlinson should be their to help lead the charge.