Giants reportedly considering 'rare' move to keep Xavier McKinney in town

Will general manager Joe Schoen go this route?
Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

A lot of the offseason focus for NY Giants fans has been on Saquon Barkley and a potential franchise tag, but it doesn't look like the G-Men will be going that route. Could Joe Schoen save said franchise tag for standout safety Xavier McKinney?

That's what a lot of people have been discussing, as a long-term extension with No. 29 doesn't seem overly likely at this point - McKinney is hoping to be paid like one of the top safeties in the league, but the Giants may not be able to afford giving him what he wants.

Leave it to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post to provide an update on another plan of action for McKinney. According to Schwartz, the Giants are considering using the transition tag on McKinney. So, what on earth would that entail?

The Giants are reportedly considering the transition tag for safety Xavier McKinney

"There is another option the Giants will consider. They will negotiate with McKinney’s representatives and if a deal cannot get done — there is no reason to believe an agreement will be reached — they have until March 5 to apply the lesser-used transition tag on him. That is a possibility, the Post has learned."

Paul Schwartz

With the transition tag, per Schwartz, McKinney would be able to negotiate a new long-term deal with other teams, but the Giants would have the opportunity to match an offer and sign McKinney to that contract instead. If Schoen decides he doesn't want to match things, then McKinney would be free to sign elsewhere.

If McKinney were to play on that tag, it'd cost the G-Men a little under $14 million for the 2024 season. McKinney's franchise tag price is north of $16 million. McKinney, coming off a stellar campaign in '23, has made it quite clear he wants a major payday in the coming weeks.

Having said that, the Giants have loads of other needs they need to address, with the pass-rush and offensive line surely being high on the list. Schoen could be hesitant to break the bank for McKinney, which is why something like the transition tag could be quite beneficial for him. McKinney is a star defender, but it's quite uncertain if he'll be back in East Rutherford next season or not.