New York Giants: GM Jerry Reese Free Agent Options at TE
By Michael Stewart
The New York Giants haven’t had a productive TE since Martellus Bennett as current Giants TE Will Tye finished the 2016 season with 48 receptions for only 395 yards (8.2 per catch). Since becoming the GM for the Giants, GM Jerry Reese hasn’t viewed the TE position as a vital weapon in the Giants’ offense and although they do have weapons in WR’s OBJ and rookie Sterling Shepard; having a TE who could be a threat in the passing game would certainly give QB Eli Manning another valuable weapon to have in the middle of the field. The current FA market for TE’s is not very deep, nor do we have a star in waiting. However; GM Jerry Reese could find a reliable TE that could produce in a committee type- setting along with Will Tye, Jerrell Adams or even Matt LaCrosse.
TE-Martellus Bennett (30) 6’6/275 (New England): Bennett had a solid season in New England with 55 catches for 701 yards and 7 TDS. Bennett would instantly improve the TE position for the Giants not only in the passing game, but also in the running game as he is lights out better than any current Giants TE in blocking. Bennett played briefly with the Giants and had a good season, so playing under the New York spot light would not be an issue. GM Jerry Reese let Bennett walk before and may not bring him back if he feels the Giants need to improve at other positions on the offensive side the ball. However; letting Bennett walk was a mistake (IMO) and now Reese has a chance to improve the TE position for the Giants and give Eli Manning a big red zone target to throw to.
TE-Jared Cook (29) 6’5/254 (Green Bay): Cook’s career has sky rocketed this season in Green Bay and especially making “the catch” in the final seconds in the playoffs against the Cowboy’s has raised his value. Cook has excellent hands, runs good routes and was a dangerous receiver in the middle of the field. GM Jerry Reese can look at Cook or Bennett to make a big splash or go after the lower tier TE’s available. Cook would not cost as much as Bennett, so he could be the logical choice by Reese as the Giants do have other positions to consider on the offensive side of the ball in improve.
TE-Ryan Griffin (27) 6’6/265 (Houston): Griffin was a dependable TE in the passing and run game for the Houston Texans. Similar production to current Giants TE Will Tye (50/442) and would be TE by committee system if GM Jerry Reese decides to go this route. Griffin is a better blocker than any of the TE’s currently on the Giants roster and would certainly be a low cost investment.
TE-Levine Toilolo (25) 6’8/265 (Atlanta): The Falcons have rookie Austin Hooper penciled in as their TE for 2017 and perhaps will not entertain bringing Tollolo back. If so, GM Jerry Reese could show some interest in the TE as another option in a platoon setting. Tollolo only had 13 receptions for 264 yards, but averaged 20.3 per catch. Now perhaps this could be an result to the Falcons other offensive weapons (Julio Jones, Sanu, Freeman), if so, this could be a TE that might be ready to get to the next level and would certainly be a low cost/high return move. Tollolo’s size and deceptive speed could be a welcome addition for the Giants.
TE-Dion Sims (25) 6’4/271 (Miam)i: Very similar to Ryan Griffin and for the most part Levine Tollolo that Sims will not overwhelm you with his athletic ability, but he is a useful depth TE that he add needed bulk at the TE position in the running game. Sims is probably the best blocking TE among names listed and has the ability to be useful receiver (26/256).
Final Thoughts: As I mentioned in my opening statement, the free agent TE’s are not household names (aside from Martellus Bennett and Jared Cook)and they certainly aren’t considered future Hall of Famers. However; they are also not considered to be high priced and out of the Giants market. If Giants are looking to add a TE to compliment his current TE group, then these three candidates certainly fit the bill. However; if Reese wants to change tradition and the way he perceives the TE position and find a more dynamic one to add to the Giants offense; then perhaps he will look to either Bennett or Cook or the draft. Regardless; Reese needs to improve the TE position for the Giants and give Eli Manning another weapon in his arsenal.