The New York Giants aren’t spending the most money or signing the most players in NFL free agency. They certainly are having an interesting week, though. Here are some ‘things I think’ on what will be a tremendously important day for the franchise.
Kyle Rudolph signing
I didn’t see this coming, though maybe I should have. I have thought for a while that a Jason Garrett coordinated offense might be a better fit for tight ends with more traditional inline and pass-catching skills than Evan Engram. It’s probably one of the reasons why I have been fascinated recently by thinking about the possibility of Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth ending up as a Giant.
Rudolph isn’t Jason Witten, who built a Hall of Fame career while playing for Garrett with the Dallas Cowboys. He is also no longer in his prime as his 2020 age 31 season saw him catch just 28 passes, his lowest total since he had 26 receptions as a rookie in 2011.
Rudolph, though, is cut from that traditional Witten mold. He is 6-foot-6, 265 pounds. He spends the majority of his time inline, playing 522 of 573 snaps inline last season for the Minnesota Vikings. He is a reliable pass catcher, if not a dynamic big-play threat. Rudolph has not dropped a pass since the 2018 season, when he dropped one. He has been a good pass blocker throughout his career, charged with allowing only five sacks in 635 career pass-blocking snaps.
Only six teams ran 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends) more than the Giants a year ago. It suits Rudolph’s skill set.
The real question is what happens to Engram. The Giants have Rudolph, Kaden Smith and the recently-resigned Levine Toilolo, all traditional inline tight ends. None as dynamic as Engram, but all by reputation better inline blockers.
There is already a great deal of speculation in Giants Twitter that the team will trade the inconsistent Engram. Coach Joe Judge recently said he had a “ton of confidence” in Engram despite his 11 drops in 2020 (a 10.1 percent drop rate).
I doubt that the Giants are burning up the phone lines trying to dump the 2017 first-round pick. I do, though, believe the Giants would move Engram and save the $6.013 million fifth-year option salary if there is a team out there that will give up a mid-round pick and pay the $6 million to take a one-year flier.
Golladay’s visit with the Giants was supposed to begin on Thursday night and run through some time on Friday. it’s probably the most important sleepover that’s been held at 1925 Giants Drive in a long time.
I don’t know what is going to happen, though you get the impression both sides really want this to happen. They just want to make certain they are right for each other.
The interesting thing will be what happens in the draft if the Giants do land Golladay. For so long, the majority opinion has been that the Giants needed to select a receiver at No. 11. If they land Golladay, I think that opens up the possibilities. They could still go for the home run hitter if Jaylen Waddle or DeVonta Smith of Alabama is there, and I wouldn’t blame them if they did. Or, they could feel more justified in doing something like adding a cornerback or offensive lineman and supplementing with a receiver in the middle rounds.
But, they have to land the big fish first.
Mike Glennon as backup QB
I will be honest — the Giants’ signing the journeyman Glennon as backup quarterback instead of keeping Colt McCoy caught me off guard. McCoy was perfectly fine as a backup and veteran sounding board for Daniel Jones, and I figured the Giants would leave well enough alone and just bring McCoy back.
Signing Glennon, though, makes sense. Glennon is not a great player, thus why he has spent the last six seasons as a backup after starting 13 games as a rookie with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013. Every time Glennon has been given an opportunity to win a starting job, he has given the job back.
Still, skills-wise Glennon makes sense. For starters, he is four years younger than McCoy. Perhaps more importantly, Glennon has a bigger arm than McCoy. If he has to play that could be important for a team that wants to push the ball down the field more than it did a season ago. He has also played more in recent seasons.
Of course, we all hope we see a whole lot more of Glennon with a baseball cap on than with a football helmet.