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Ryan O’Malley was a Giant, then he wasn’t, now he is again

Former Penn tight end competing in crowded field

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Jacksonville Jaguars
Ryan O’Malley with Oakland in 2016
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have been collecting tight ends throughout the offseason. They already had Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison and Jerell Adams. They also added Kyle Carter via waivers and Garrett Dickerson as an undrafted free agent.

Then there is Ryan O’Malley.

The Giants signed the former Penn tight end to their practice squad in mid-December, the time when injury-ravaged teams are just trying to collect healthy bodies to finish out the year. They promoted him to the 53-man roster for the final game of the season vs. the Washington Redskins.

The Giants then chose not to tender O’Malley, making him a free agent. In April, they changed their minds ands brought him back on a one-year deal. Perhaps they were attracted by workouts he did during the offseason with quarterback Davis Webb.

Let’s take a closer look at O’Malley as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the Giants’ 90-man roster.

The basics

Height: 6-foot-6
Weight: 260
Position: Tight end
Experience: 2

2017 season in review

O’Malley lived the NFL vagabond experience in 2017. He began on a reserve/futures contract with the Oakland Raiders, got let go at the end of the preseason, got signed to and released from the Buffalo Bills practice squad in a three-week span, then got signed by Giants as the season neared its conclusion.

2018 outlook

It’s fair to wonder if the Giants see O’Malley as a player who can truly threaten for a spot on the 53-man roster. Engram is entrenched, obviously. Ellison would seem to be as well, for at least one more year. Jerell Adams is entering his third season, and his athleticism and all-around skill set still makes him attractive. Carter is a pass-catcher coach Pat Shurmur is familiar with from their time with the Minnesota Vikings.

At 260 pounds and having caught only 43 passes in 26 games as a collegian at Penn, O’Malley would appear to be a blocking tight end. If the Giants are going to play two tight ends and split Evan Engram off the line more there might be a role for a blocker like O’Malley, especially if the Giants do not keep fullback Shane Smith.

Right now, no idea how it plays out. One of the positions to watch during training camp will be tight end. How many, and which ones, the Giants keep seems to be up in the air right now.