Will the real Riley Dixon please stand up? Is Dixon the terrific punter he was for the New York Giants in 2019, or the inconsistent guy who showed up in 2020?
Let’s take a closer look as we continue profiling the 90 players the Giants will bring to training camp this summer.
Weight: 221 pounds
Age: 28 this season
Contract: Year 2 of three-year, $8.7 million deal | 2021 cap hit: $2.925M
Career to date
The Giants got Dixon from the Denver Broncos in exchange for a seventh-round pick before the start of the 2018 season. They have gotten three mostly good if not entirely consistent seasons bout of the former Syracuse Orange punter.
Dixon had his best season in 2019, but was not quite as consistent in 2020. His yards per punt dropped from 46.1 to 44.8; his touchback percentage rose from 2.9 to 9.2; his net punting average rose from a career-best 43.5 to 39.4, a career-worst; his yards per punt return rose from a career-best 5.7 to a career-worst 9.3; after knocking 9 punts out of bounds in 2019, Dixon hit only 2 out of bounds in 2020.
Which Dixon will the Giants get in 2021? The guy who might have been their most reliable player in 2019? The inconsistent player who couldn’t seem to regularly place the ball where it needed to go in 2020? Something in-between?
Right now, Dixon is unchallenged for the punting job, unless you consider punter-placekicker Ryan Santoso real competition. If he doesn’t strike the ball more consistently in 2021, and if the Giants continue to give up an uncomfortable amount of yardage on punt returns, you have to wonder if Dixon’s job security would be jeopardized. The $3.07m in guaranteed money on his $8.7M deal has been paid, and the Giants would take only a $125,000 cap hit this year and next if they cut him after June 1.