EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New York Giants wide receiver Kenny Gallardi wasn’t exactly fond of coach Brian Dabol’s 19-16 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. His decision to play twice.
“Of course, I don’t really agree with it. Or like it,” Galadi, who spoke to the media for the first time since the game, said Wednesday. “But I can only control what I can control, which is coming to work every day.”
Golladay, the invaluable free agent the Giants acquired in 2021, didn’t foresee that. He said everyone in the organization was telling him that he was a pro and was doing things the right way.
This puzzled Golladay.
“I should have played no matter what,” he said. “This is a fact.”
Galadi, 28, was supposed to be the Giants’ No. 1 player. 1 receiver when he was signed by the former regime last offseason. He signed a four-year, $72 million contract that will pay him $18 million this season.
But Golladay was underwhelming in his first year with the team, he was plagued by injuries and scoreless. This spring, he had a procedure that kept him out of competition.
The signs were actually on the wall this summer, when — despite being on the court all the time — Galadi looked to be affected by a spate of injuries. Surprisingly, he was one of the few veterans to make the preseason finale, catching two 22-yard passes for 42 steals in the season-opening win over the Tennessee Titans (Mostly are Giants wide receivers).
Dabor said he told Gorradi midway through last week that he would be with David Hills V against the Panthers. Sills entered the game with two career catches for 17 yards. He earned $825,000 this season.
Golladay had 222 catches for 3,611 yards and 21 career touchdowns. He leads all receivers in 2019 with 11 catches. But it’s not unreasonable to think he’s lost a step. In the more than two seasons since, Gorradi has two touchdown receptions for less than 900 yards.
The veteran receiver was asked for a change of scenery after sitting on the bench for most of Sunday’s game.
“We’re going to see how it goes. Yes, we’re going to see how it goes,” Golladay said. “I’m here to play. I’m pretty sure they pay me to play too. I guess they want to see more or get whatever is on their end. I just keep doing what I have to do until I come in every day.”
At this point, Gorradi seems unlikely to be moved, partly due to a lack of production and his contract. He still owes him $11.6 million in base salary for the rest of the season and $4.5 million next year.
Keeping him for now is not a problem. Dabore and several Giants players told ESPN that he has handled it like a pro.
“That’s it. It’s a business,” Galadi said. “I’m not here to be friends with coaches. They’re just my colleagues.”
Dabor has always said the wide receiver spot is an open competition, and he means it. Richie James led the Giants with 10 receptions and 110 yards.
James is an offseason player who many consider to be on the roster. Sears earned his way into the team.
Daboll has used the same line about competition from the start. Goradi took a similar stance when he was one of the few veterans to play in the third and final game of the preseason. That’s also his reasoning for last year’s first-round pick Kadarius Toney, who had just seven dunks in the opener and Golladay barely playing against the Panthers.
“It’s a constant competition for receivers. Since when did I say it? I’m not a jerk, I said it from the middle of training camp, right?” Dabore said Sunday. “It hasn’t changed. It’s going to be an ongoing game.”
He added on Monday: “Again, whether it’s the highest paid player, the lowest paid player, the highest draft pick or the undrafted free agent — we’re going to be out there and have them compete. A ‘this week doesn’t necessarily mean That’s what’s going to happen next week. I think everyone understands what we’re trying to do as an organization, which is to keep getting better, to fight for places, to work as hard as you can. “
Dabore didn’t play favorites based on salary or draft status, which caught his team’s attention.
“It’s rare, but coaches always tell us he doesn’t care where you get drafted in the first round, second round, undrafted. He’s about what he says,” veteran wide receiver Sterling Shepard said.
Shepard has hit the most smashes by a Giants wide receiver so far this season (102). He is coming off the torn Achilles he suffered last season. Sears was second with 91 points.
If Golladay is to make a difference this season, it will be a must-win, not based on his past accomplishments. This new regime has nothing to do with Gorradi, the 2017 Lions third-round pick.
Golladay was optimistic about Wednesday’s training performance. He said he believed his role could be different this week.
The Giants (2-0) may need him more on Monday night against the Dallas Cowboys. Tony missed Wednesday’s practice due to a hamstring injury.