NY Giants shockingly don't tag Xavier McKinney, leave door wide open for him to bolt

The expectation was Xavier McKinney would be placed on the franchise tag
Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

This feels like a bit of a surprise. Leading up to the tag deadline, there was growing buzz the NY Giants would place the transition tag on Xavier McKinney - the franchise tag was all but ruled out. However, that's not the case.

According to NFL insiders Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo, the Giants aren't placing either of the tag options on the superstar safety. With this, McKinney will now be allowed to hit the open market and sign with any team he wants. This feels like a bit of a head-scratcher from Schoen and Co.

The NY Giants will let Xavier McKinney hit free agency

Had the Giants placed the transition tag on McKinney, he still would have been able to negotiate with other teams in free agency, but the G-Men would have had the chance to match an offer. If McKinney would have played 2024 on the transition tag, it would have cost NY a $13.8 million cap hit. We now know that won't be the case.

The former Alabama superstar is coming off a brilliant campaign in 2023, posting a career-high 116 tackles. McKinney, who added three interceptions, was as steady as can be for former defensive coordinator Wink Martindale. McKinney also provided veteran leadership for a young secondary.

A quick look on social media shows that Giants fans can't believe McKinney is being allowed to hit free agency. Not long before this news dropped, it was also revealed that Saquon Barkley wouldn't be tagged either.

With this, that's now two of the Giants best players, and veteran leaders, who can now sign with new teams in the near future. McKinney was a monster on defense for NY in 2023, playing every single snap (as did Bobby Okereke). Now it's starting to feel pretty damn real that he won't be back in '24. There are plenty of people questioning Schoen right now and the list of unhappy Big Blue supporters is only going to grow.