Graham Gano will wear a new jersey number (9) this season. He will have a new holder as the New York Giants moved on from Riley Dixon. There is, though, little reason to believe Gano won’t continue the excellent work he has done the past two seasons.
Let’s discuss the Giants’ placekicker as we continue rolling through our player-by-player profiles of the team’s 90-man roster.
By the numbers
Contract: Year 2 of three-year, $14 million deal | 2022 cap hit: $2.917 million
Career to date
Gano has only made one Pro Bowl appearance (2017, Carolina Panthers) in a 12-year career with Washington, Carolina and New York. He has, though, been one of the league’s best placekickers during the past decade.
Gano has made 84.0 percent of his field goal attempts during his career. In two stellar seasons with the Giants, Gano has made 60 of 65 field goal tries (92.3 percent), including going 12 of 16 (75 percent) from beyond 50 yards.
Gano will have a new jersey number in 2022, having ceded his cherished No. 5 to first-round pick Kayvon Thibodeaux in exchange for a $50,000 donation by Thibodeaux to Puppies Behind Bars, which provides service dogs for wounded war veterans and first responders.
Gano will wear No. 9.
“When he said he was willing to give to that, I can be No. 9 and maybe in 10-15 years when he retires and I’m still kicking, I can get No. 5 back,” joked the 35-year-old Gano, who also wore No. 9 during his Pro Bowl run in Carolina. “The opportunity to give to something is exciting, and the number is obviously very special to Kayvon. While it is special to me as well, there’s a whole lot of meaning in that No. 5 to him. I just wanted to be a good teammate and also be able to support others throughout the whole process.”
Gano has kicked as well, if not better than at any point in his career, during his two seasons with the Giants. The number change should not have any impact on that.
His jersey number won’t be the only change Gano has to deal with in 2022. The Giants moved on from punter Riley Dixon, who held for Gano the past two seasons. Jamie Gillan, formerly with the Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills, is currently the Giants’ punter and holder.
Special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey said this spring that the relationship between kicker and holder is “extremely important.”
“The chemistry between those two is really big, your chemistry between your holder and your kicker obviously. Actually the whole battery is extremely important,” McGaughey said They’ve been working at it ... It’s a work in progress and we’ll keep working to try to get back to where we were.”