The Giants are re-signing a top receiver, and this time they probably won't trade him.
Sterling Shepard and the Giants on Wednesday were finalizing a four-year, $41 million contract extension with $21.3 million guaranteed, according to a source.
Shepard, 26, a 2016 second-round pick, is the rare Jerry Reese draft pick to be retained and re-signed by current GM Dave Gettleman, who has jettisoned many others from Odell Beckham Jr. to Landon Collins to Justin Pugh to Jason Pierre-Paul and more.
The Giants had signed free agent wideout Golden Tate to a four-year, $37.5 million contract with $23 million guaranteed in mid-March. That seemed like a possible precursor to a Shepard trade, since he and Tate are similarly undersized, primarily slot receivers.
There was a market for Shepard's services elsewhere, too. Shepard's frustration with an Eli Manning Week 5 interception against the Panthers last season also could have tilted the scales toward Shepard being shipped out of town.
The Giants value Shepard's versatility as an outside or inside receiver, however, and coach Pat Shurmur also loves him as a hard-nosed blocker. So they re-signed him even before he entered the fourth and final year of his rookie contract, an uncommon move by the club.
When Shepard and Beckham hung out in L.A. recently, then, they truly were ex-teammates headed in different directions. Beckham is going to play with Shepard's former college QB Baker Mayfield in Cleveland, while Shepard continues to catch passes from Eli Manning.