The newest member of the New York Giants is also sort of an old member. Wide receiver/kick returner Ed Eagan spent a couple of weeks with the Giants in the preseason, but was cut when 53-man rosters were formed.
Eagan was brought back this week to fill an opening on the team’s 10-man practice squad.
Eagan, 5-foot-11, 183 pounds, converted from cornerback to receiver as a sophomore at Northwestern State. He finished his career there with 175 catches for 2,229 yards and 13 touchdowns, 42 punt returns for 435 yards (10.4 yards per return) and 125 kickoff returns for 2,922 yards (23.4 yards per return). He returned four kicks for touchdowns and was named an FCS All-American as an All-Purpose Player in 2014.
Eagan landed with the Dallas Cowboys last season as an undrafted free agent, was cut, spent a couple of weeks with the Cleveland Browns during preseason, was cut again, and landed on the practice squad of the Buffalo Bills. He did not have an NFL job this year until the Giants signed him on Aug. 18, only to cut him when the roster was trimmed to 53.
I caught up with Eagan this week. Let’s get to know him a little bit with a “Five Questions” segment.
Did he know he might be brought back?
Eagan: “Yes. I was on their short list. I stayed ready.”
Was it tough to make a real impression in the short time he had with the Giants in preseason?
Eagan: “It’s definitely easier when you’re there all through the summer and OTAs and everything. I still had opportunities. I think I did enough to make them like me and bring me back.”
Would kick return be the place where he thinks he might be able to contribute first?
Eagan: “Yes. I think that is the easiest thing for me. Keep learning the slot position and outside and go from there.”
Dwayne Harris recently said not everyone can do punt return. What is it about punt return that makes it difficult?
Eagan: “It takes a certain type of guy. You have to be fearless. Also you have to have skills. Not everybody can do that. I feel like that’s one of the toughest things to do on a football field.
“You have to have elusiveness and vision. There’s a lot that goes into it.”
How tough is it to bounce from team to team continually looking for an opportunity?
Eagan: “It’s definitely tough. But if you take it as a learning experience and just keep improving you can turn it around and make it work in your favor.
“I definitely feel like I have a lot more to give to the game. I’m not done any time soon.”
Eagan was impressive in a brief stint with the Giants during preseason. He wasn’t signed until Aug. 18 and the Giants cut him two weeks later when 53-man rosters were formed. The 5-foot-11, 183-pound 24-year-old did enough in his short time with the Giants, however, to remain on their radar.
Eagan caught one pass for 19 yards. He averaged 9.0 yards on three punt returns, with a long return of 18 yards. He also averaged 22.5 yards on four kickoff returns. He could be a name to remember if the Giants need to jump start their return game at some point this season.