Giants WR Kenny Golladay confused by lack of playing time: 'I should be playing ... that's a fact'

They say one is the loneliest number, but two sure wasn't much better for Kenny Golladay on Sunday.

That's the total number of snaps the receiver played in the Giants' 19-16 win over the Carolina Panthers. Golladay remains perplexed at the current situation, one in which the Giants appear to be icing him out of the action, and is anticipating -- perhaps hopefully more than anything -- things will change for him in Week 3.

"Nah, I think it's probably going to be a little different," Golladay said Wednesday. "But like I said, I really, I still really don't know. I'm preparing like I'm going to be playing, but who knows."

Golladay arrived in New York as a lauded signing for the Dave Gettleman-led front office in 2021. Seen as an up-and-coming receiver who had two 1,000-yard seasons to his name and just needed to get out of Detroit, Golladay happily put pen to paper on a four-year, $72 million deal to join Big Blue.

Since then, he's caught 29 passes for 543 yards in 16 games. He's yet to score a touchdown as a Giant, and with playing time as limited as it was Sunday, it doesn't seem likely that will change.

Instead of playing their well-paid receiver, head coach Brian Daboll and the Giants' staff have decided to go with a cast of lesser-known individuals like Richie James, former collegiate quarterback David Sills, Kadarius Toney (who has caught two passes, but gained zero yards) and rookie slot receiver Wan'Dale Robinson. Golladay, meanwhile, remains mystified by his lack of playing time, which he doesn't see as punishment for an unspecified reason.

"No, I mean that's what I said, the GM, head coach, all these coaches keep saying 'you do everything right, you handle yourself the right way,' " Golladay said. "So like I said, it's a little confusing."

If you take Golladay's $17.75 million in cash due to him in 2022 and divide that into 17 regular-season game checks, that means he's making $1.04 million per game. Obviously, this isn't entirely accurate math as it pertains to the specifics of his contract, but for this exercise, we'll equate it as such.

That math would mean each Golladay snap in Week 2 was worth roughly $522,000.

It's the opposite of a return on investment. It's wasted money.

The bigger issue here is what the Giants will do to remedy this situation. New York, a team that is already buried by a necessary roster turnover that saddled the franchise with $44 million in dead cap for 2022, is operating with just $5.4 million in available cap space, per Over The Cap.

Cutting Golladay would add $25.4 million in dead money for the year, making it unfeasible.

A way out remains in the form of a trade. New York would carry just $3.4 million in dead cap if the Giants can find a trade partner willing to take on Golladay's deal, which has two years remaining after 2022, accounting for $21.4 million in cap space per season. He also has a void year on his current deal that would tack on $3.4 million in dead cap in 2025 after his contract expires.

That financial burden, combined with whatever it is keeping him off the field, tanks his attractiveness on the open market -- at least for now. Should a team with enough cap space suddenly need a receiver, he could probably be had for a Day 3 draft pick.

For now, though, he remains a Giant with no exit route in sight. He only wants a path back to the field.

"I should be playing regardless," Golladay said Wednesday, via SNY's Connor Hughes. "That's a fact."

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