The Giants may no longer have Odell Beckham Jr., but Sterling Shepard is locked up for the foreseeable future.
The Giants and Shepard officially agreed to a four-year extension on Friday and the 25-year-old wide receiver is ready to step in as a leader in the wide receiver room.
"I'm ready," he told the team website. "With Odell going down the last two season [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."
Shepard has been a consistent and reliable receiving option for the Giants the last three years and had a career-high 66 catches for 872 yards, although just four touchdowns in 2018.
After trading Beckham to the Browns earlier this season, the Giants signed veteran receiver Golden Tate but Shepard will be the only receiver who has been with the organization for the last three years.
"I'm no longer a young guy," he said. "I'm a vet now. This contract says a lot, so I'm going to handle it the right way."
The contract is worth $41 million, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano reported on Wednesday, and is expected to be worth $21.3 million in guaranteed money.
Yet Shepard is not going to put extra pressure on himself now that he received his big pay day.
"I'm just excited," he said. "An opportunity to be in such a great place for another five years, it's a blessing. I'm looking forward to this opportunity. I'm not going to put so much weight on my shoulders. I'm just going to attack every day like I have been.