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Kaelin Clay: 5 things to know about the Giants new return man

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Clay has bounced between the Bills and Panthers for more than a year

Carolina Panthers v New York Jets
Kaelin Clay returning a punt.
Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Kaelin Clay in the New York Giants new return specialist, having been awarded to the Giants on waivers Sunday as the Giants overhauled their 53-man roster. Let’s get to know him a little better.

Connection to Gettleman

Of course Clay has a connection to Giants GM Dave Gettleman. He signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers in April of 2017, when Gettleman was still the team’s GM. He averaged 8.6 yards on 17 punt returns and 17.3 yards on three kickoff returns before the Panthers traded him to the Buffalo Bills — after Gettleman had been fired.

He’s been a pinata for the last year

Clay signed with the Panthers, got traded to the Bills before the season started, got cut by Buffalo and re-signed by Carolina before the season ended, got let go by the Panthers in the offseason, re-signed with Buffalo, and got cut again this weekend. So, yeah, a pinata.

He has two punt return touchdowns

Clay had punt return touchdowns for the Baltimore Ravens in 2015 and for the Panthers last season.

He is a specialist

Coach Pat Shurmur said recently that the Giants could carry a return specialist who didn’t contribute much at another position “if he’s dynamic enough where he can change the game by being a returner.”

The Giants must feel Clay is dynamic enough because he is primarily a kick returner. He has just 6 receptions in 19 career targets.

He had this happen to him

Hopefully, Clay has learned his lesson.