“I should be playing, regardless.”
That is the opinion of New York Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay, clearly unhappy with his reduced role on the Giants’ offense.
While Golladay’s candidness is appreciated, that one line underscored what is potentially at the root of this entire situation. Simply put, it makes Golladay sound like he’s entitled to playtime, regardless of whatever else might be happening around the team.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is not only a poor attitude to have, but it’s also one that, if head coach Brian Daboll lets slide, would be surprising.
Right from the start, Daboll has made it clear that he doesn’t care about a player’s draft status, contract status, amount of money they’re making, or anything of the sort.
What he is interested in–and he has said this repeatedly–is who is showing up to work ready to roll and delivering the best version of himself. This includes excelling in the classroom and then translating what was taught to the playing field.
Those are the players Daboll wants on the field, and if it means playing someone who is perhaps less skilled or talented than another individual, then hey, let that player’s hunger help drive him to be the best he can be.
That’s why in a receivers room with guys like David Sills, who finally made it to a 53-man roster, and Richie James, who is trying to show the league that he’s a worthy adversary, are getting snaps.
Golladay claims that he’s been told by just about everyone in the building that he’s doing the right things, which is, he claims, what makes his situation so baffling. But is Golladay really delivering the best version of himself? That appears to be where there is a difference of opinion.
The Athletic took note of a situation that occurred in last week’s practice worth mentioning (emphasis added):
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At the start of every practice, quarterbacks throw passes to receivers running routes on air. Golladay ran a go-route, and quarterback Daniel Jones launched a pass about 40 yards downfield. Golladay didn’t come close to catching the pass, which landed a few yards beyond his grasp. It was impossible to tell initially if Jones had overthrown the receiver, but the reaction from Giants coaches signaled frustration with Golladay’s inability to catch up to an accurate pass.
If the coaches were upset with Golladay’s failure to haul in the pass, that certainly would explain why, despite saying to the contrary, the coaching staff didn’t have enough faith to play Golladay much last week.
But back to Golladay’s statement. Some will say that it’s the competitor in him, but the truth is it smacks of entitlement–it’s as if he’s saying regardless of what kind of day he has, it doesn’t matter because he should be out there playing regardless.
That’s not going to fly with Daboll, who has been trying to eradicate a losing culture in the locker room.
So now what? Now that the toothpaste is out of the tube –and yes, it was obvious that Golladay wasn’t happy with things, but his confirmation has created a distraction that the team probably didn’t want or need with a big division game on tap Monday night–where do the Giants go from here?
Ultimately, a divorce is coming between Golladay and the Giants. That general manager Joe Schoen, in his most dire need of salary cap space, would probably rather contribute part of his own salary if such a move were allowed to give the team cap space than to rework Golladay’s $13 million base salary is telling.
Unless things reach the point of no return to where Schoen and Daboll throw up their hands and say, “Enough!” Golladay and the Giants are stuck with each other for the rest of this year.
And it might also behoove the receiver to understand that nothing in life is automatic other than death and taxes.