Elijhaa Penny has been the New York Giants’ fullback the past two seasons. The Giants have a new coaching staff, but Penny has a new two-year, $2.2 million contract that would indicate the Giants intend to stay the course with him as their lead blocker and very occasional ball carrier.
George Aston would like to make them re-consider. Let’s look more closely at the former Pitt Panther fullback who nearly made the Denver Broncos roster a year ago.
Contract status: Year 1 of two-year, $1.39 million contract (ERFA 2022)
How he got here
Aston walked on at Pitt as an inside linebacker and ended up as a bruising fullback for the Panthers. He played in 39 games at Pitt, carrying the ball only 28 times and catching 45 passes. He became a bit of a phenomenon in 2016 when he scored 10 touchdowns (5 rushing, 5 receiving) on just 44 touches. He suffered a pair of serious ankle injuries in 2017.
Aston joined the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent last season, but was cut at the end of the preseason. He had in-season tryouts with the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, and Jacksonville Jaguars before signing to the Giants practice squad two days before Christmas. The Giants then signed him to a reserve/futures contract for this season.
I would sum it up as uncertain. If the Giants keep a true fullback Penny would seem to be a heavy favorite to keep that spot. Aston’s aim has to be to show that he can be a more effective lead blocker for Saquon Barkley, and that he can be an effective special teams player.
Aston would seem to be facing an uphill climb to make the roster.