Before safety Jabrill Peppers‘ season came to an end with a torn ACL, he fielded questions about reduced playing time and the possibility that he’d be traded before Tuesday’s trade deadline.

Neither of those topics nor Peppers’ expiring contract suggested that he was a good bet to remain with the Giants in 2022. On Wednesday, however, Giants head coach Joe Judge said that he valued Peppers’ “leadership and experience” and wants him to remain with the team.

“Look, this guy is in a contract year, it’s something I’ve talked to him about directly,” Judge said at his press conference. “He’s a guy that I value a lot in this program. I’d love to have this guy going forward, I’ve told him that directly. He’s been a very good leader for us. You can talk about him being local, that the Giants mean something to him. I think that’s very important. He’s a guy that loves football, he loves this organization, he loves this area. Those are things we talk about building as cornerstones and pillars of this program and he’s a very important part of our program.”

It’s a long time until the offseason and the Giants are not on track to have a lot of cap space in the offseason, so Judge’s hope may go unrealized once it becomes time to try to hammer out a new deal.