The New York Giants made a big investment in their tight end position during the offseason, bringing in Darren Waller to join Daniel Bellinger. Waller is their big-name threat in lieu of a true No. 1 receiver. Additionally, they invested in the depth at the position, signing Tommy Sweeney to compete for a roster spot. Can Sweeney’s history with head coach Brian Daboll give him an edge over the incumbents in the competition for a spot on the 53-man roster?
By the numbers
Position: Tight end
Contract: One-year, $1.08 million | 2023 cap hit: $940,000
Career to date
Sweeney played his college ball at Boston College, appearing in 38 games over four seasons. His best year came as a junior when he posted 36 receptions for 512 yards and four touchdowns. Overall, he posted 99 receptions, 1,281 yards, and 10 touchdowns in college.
In 2019, the Bills selected Sweeney in the seventh round of the draft (No. 228 overall). Sweeney appeared in six games as a rookie, catching 8 of 10 targets for 114 yards. He posted a 65.7 Pro Football Focus run-blocking grade on 60 snaps. (He had just eight pass-blocking snaps.)
Sweeney began the 2020 season on the PUP list due to a foot injury suffered in July. In October, he landed on the reserve/Covid-19 list after catching the virus. He then contracted myocarditis (an inflammatory heart condition) due to Covid and missed the remainder of the season.
In 2021, Sweeney returned to appear in 13 total games, including three starts. He had nine catches on 12 targets for just 44 yards, including one score. He added one drop and one fumble. As a blocker, he garnered a 58.5 PFF run-blocking grade.
2022 saw Sweeney’s role diminish even further. He appeared in only five games and had one reception for seven yards. He had a 61.1 PFF run-blocking grade on 42 snaps.
The tight end’s rookie contract expired after the 2022 season. He signed a one-year veteran minimum deal with the Giants this offseason.
Waller and Bellinger have the first two tight end spots locked down. One of the questions is how many tight ends the team will carry on their roster. If they do have four, then Sweeney has a chance of making it; the competition is obviously stiffer if they choose to carry just three.
The Giants’ other options at tight end include incumbents Lawrence Cager and Chris Myarick and undrafted free agent Ryan Jones. Jones is most likely a practice squad candidate due to his inexperience at the position, but Cager and Myarick are both more seasoned.
Another question is what skill set the Giants want in their backup tight ends. Cager is the best receiving option, while Myarick is the strongest run-blocker. Sweeney hasn’t shown particular effectiveness in any area, but he’s been a decent run-blocker and has experience.
If Sweeney doesn’t make the 53-man roster, the practice squad is an option. However, if the Giants do carry four tight ends without Sweeney, it’s possible that they choose to move the rookie Jones to the practice squad and part ways with Sweeney.