There was a time in April when it seemed possible that Kerry Wynn might not be back with the Giants. The defensive end was a restricted free agent, and although the Giants had placed a tender offer on him, he was free to visit other teams.
He took advantage of that and spent some time with the Patriots.
It undoubtedly was flattering, but Wynn declined to rehash the experience.
“I don’t remember,” he said with a wry grin Sunday when asked about the trip to Foxborough. “It was so long ago.”
Wynn recently saw that the Patriots became the first NFL team to buy its own airplane, decked out with all first-class accommodations, to travel to road games. He shrugged at what could have been. “I heard it wasn’t too comfortable in there anyway,” he said.
Wynn is more of a coach-class player anyway. The kind of guy who can squeeze into any tight seat without complaining, fill a variety of roles for a team and provide production without being high-maintenance.
Frills are for other players, big-time free agents and high draft picks. Wynn, who came into the league as an undrafted rookie and has kept that attitude going into his fourth season, doesn’t mind the middle seat.
That is where he likely stands on the Giants’ roster right now. He played very well Friday night in a 20-12 preseason loss to the Steelers (he had three tackles, including a sack; made another tackle for a loss and batted down a pass), but he is part of a logjam at defensive end.
Romeo Okwara, who started in place of Jason Pierre-Paul on Friday, appears to be ahead of him on the depth chart. The Giants added free agent Devin Taylor and draft pick Avery Moss at his position in the offseason. He eventually signed that one-year tender from the Giants for $1.797 million, but it’s not a guaranteed contract. He still can be cut.
Wynn is used to that.
“I’m an undrafted guy,” he said. “I’m going to ride with that until my days in the league are done. I come in every day trying to prove something, trying to continue to get better.”
Wynn insisted that he will never lose that mentality.
“I couldn’t take that chip off my shoulder,” he said. “There are so many that if you take a few off, I’d still have tons of them on there. That’s the way it is. Even if I took the one on the left off, I got three of them on the right.”
The Giants like Wynn and all that he provides.
“Kerry Wynn is a valuable player,” Ben McAdoo said. “He’s been around. He can play inside, he can play outside. He can play on mixed downs, first, second, third down. He can play on special teams. Smart football player.”
Smart enough, apparently, to recognize that his spot on the Giants’ roster may seem secure but really is not.
Somebody will have to get bumped from the flight that is the Giants’ 2017 season come early September. The roster can hold only 53 players. Wynn hopes he can keep his seat on this plane. It may not be a first-class ticket, but he likes the destination.
“Everybody in that [defensive] room knows that we didn’t really achieve our goal [in 2016],” he said. “We’ve set our minds that we’re going to go out and be even better than we were last year and just go after that fifth trophy . . . We definitely we know we have a chance. It’s just taking care of the things we should take care of and we should be good.”