After losing tight end Martellus Bennett to the Chicago Bears on a 4 year, $21 million deal, the New York Giants have a massive hole at the tight end position. If the season started today, the Giants starting tight ends would be Bear Pascoe and 2012 fourth round pick Adrien Robinson, who combined for all of four catches last season.
Thankfully for the Giants, it doesn’t start for another six months. However, pressed up against the cap, the Giants options are limited. There isn’t a tight end left in free agency who has a combination of run blocking and pass catching skills like Bennett. So, they will have to look for a tight end who like Bennett last year, is undervalued. That could be Oakland tight end Brandon Myers.
Before last season, Myers had a total of 28 catches in three seasons for the Raiders. In 2012, Myers exploded, catching 79 passes for 806 yards. He had at least 50 yards receiving in nine games last year, including a game against the Browns where he caught 15 passes for 130 yards. Myers also had very reliable hands as he caught those 79 passes on only 105 targets, good for a 75.2 catch percentage. For comparison sakes, Bennett caught 55 passes on 90 targets (61.1 catch percentage). Myers would give the Giants something they haven’t had in a while, a real receiving threat at tight end.
Myers is also only 27, which means he may still have nowhere to go but up. Of course, there are factors that may get in the way of a Myers to Giants pairing.
The most obvious is the ridiculous market for tight ends this offseason. Jared Cook received 35.1 million from the St. Louis Rams, Anthony Fasano got $16 million from the Kansas City Chiefs, and Delanie Walker got 17.1 million from the Tennessee Titans. Myers could conceivably get the kind of money Fasano and Walker got, if not more, which would put him out of the Giants price range.
The more important factor is Myers run blocking. Typically, the Giants ignore vertical threat TEs in favor of tight ends who can block. To say Myers is a bad blocker would be kind. According to PFF, Myers was the worst run blocking tight end in football, coming in at a -21.4 grade in that area. That may be too poor to swallow for the Giants.
At this point, it’s slim pickings in free agency. Players like Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth are good blockers but offer absolutely nothing in the passing game. Fred Davis is still out there but he seems likely to return to the Washington Redskins and is coming off an Achilles tear.
Of course, the Giants could just wait until the draft to add a tight end. However, this would be a fundamental misuse of resources as the Giants have glaring holes at defensive end, linebacker, and cornerback. Plus, the Giants have typically had good tight ends come out of nowhere, such as Kevin Boss and Jake Ballard.
What the Giants do here remains to be seen. However, if the Giants are willing to take on a less than adequate run blocker and possibly use more two tight end sets in 2013, Myers would be a great pickup.