That can still happen, even after the former Pro Bowler is coming off an injury-plagued 2020 season. However, Golladay and the Giants have an unexpected legal hurdle they may need to clear first.
Golladay is at risk of being held in contempt of court
If an NFL player is making significant news in July, they’re likely signing a new contract, injured, or in serious legal trouble. Golladay, at least for now, falls into that final category.
According to the New York Post, Golladay is at risk of being held in contempt of court later this month after ignoring a subpoena and failing to appear for a virtual deposition last December. The 27-year-old is a non-party with no potential liability in a civil case involving his former agent, Jason Bernstein, and memorabilia company Redland Sports and MVP Authentics.
Bernstein is suing the memorabilia company for allegedly teaming up with Todd France, another NFL agent, and violating an exclusive rights contract to set up an autograph signing in 2019. Bernstein believes he lost out on more than $10,000 in Golladay’s marketing and is seeking damages of more than $1.7 million.
France, who works at Creative Artists Agency, currently represents Golladay. The veteran receiver has until July 22 — five days before the Giants open training camp — to explain why he did not comply with the subpoena in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
As of publication, neither Golladay nor the Giants had commented on the situation.
The Giants need Golladay to stay healthy and avoid any legal issues
Let’s go back to December 2020 for a second. At the time, Golladay is out for the season on a disappointing Lions team that already fired head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn. He’s preparing to hit free agency and try securing a large contract even after missing most of the season with injuries.
That doesn’t excuse why Golladay failed to appear for a virtual deposition. He’ll need to explain why he didn’t show up in a way that the court will understand.
Golladay and the Giants need to get these legal issues out of the way. The Giants did not give him a four-year, $72 million contract with $40 million guaranteed so he could face legal discipline, and even potential action by the NFL, for not attending a deposition.
According to the court filing, Golladay has not replied to inquiries since a motion was filed on May 14. Nearly two months later, he needs to put this behind him and get everything sorted out before the 2021 season begins. Golladay is exceptionally talented, and the Giants need him on the field when the season starts on Sunday, September 12.
Golladay isn’t the first Giants receiver with issues this offseason
The Giants made it an offseason priority to add more firepower on offense, and signing Golladay was only part of the plan. They also used the 20th overall pick in the draft on Florida receiver Kadarius Toney.
So far, the biggest storylines this spring involving those two have had nothing to do with their play. Golladay has his legal issues, and Toney had a rough start to his NFL career during offseason workouts.
He literally began his professional career on the wrong foot because of an equipment issue. When Toney practiced in rookie minicamp, he did so with only one shoe. Toney later missed three weeks of voluntary workouts because he hadn’t signed his rookie contract.
Ideally for the Giants, they’ll open play on September 12 with both receivers in the lineup and ready to elevate Jones’ play at quarterback. Otherwise, the Giants should start preparing to miss the postseason for a sixth straight season despite playing in a weak NFC East Division.