News & Info/Headlines

Shepard Thinks He's Ready For A Leading Role
Golden Tate has more NFL experience, but Sterling Shepard is the only wide receiver on the Giants’ roster who has been with the team for more than one season. And his designation as the team’s longest-tenured wideout is going to last for a while.

Shepard today signed a four-year contract extension that will keep him in a Giants uniform for another five years (he has one season remaining on this rookie deal). According to, the deal is worth $41 million.

Shepard has played three seasons with the Giants since being selected in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He played every game as a rookie and last year (he missed five games in 2017), and has totaled 190 catches for 2,286 yards (12.0-yards per catch) and 14 touchdowns.

This year, the receivers room will have a new look -- to say the least.

Three-time Pro Bowler Odell Beckham, Jr. was traded last month to Cleveland, leaving Shepard and Tate, the 10-year veteran who has played for Seattle, Detroit and Philadelphia, as Eli Manning’s top wideout targets. They will be supported by Cody Latimer, Bennie Fowler, Corey Coleman, Jawill Davis, Alonzo Russell, Brittan Golden and Russell Shepard (who has agreed to terms on a new contract and will sign on Monday.

The Giants could also select one or more receivers in the draft in two weeks.

But for now, Shepard is looking to play a leading role. In fact, Shepard told the team's official website he intends to contribute beyond just catching passes and he believes his status as the receiver with the longest stint in Giants blue places him in a natural leadership position.

“I’m ready,” he said. “With Odell going down the last two seasons (with injuries), that time definitely helped me get a grasp of what being a leader is all about, and being that lead guy in the room. I think it prepared me for this moment. I was pretty vocal anyway. I’m a pretty vocal guy. That will be no problem.

“I’m no longer a young guy. I’m a vet now. This contract says a lot, so I’m going to handle it the right way.”

Expecting his production to ramp up considerably seems like a reach with Tate, Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley all available as similar short-to-mid-range targets for Manning. But considering Beckham averaged better than 10 targets per game, there will be opportunities for all involved to get something done.