Even though the NY Giants seemed pretty set at tight end, they added a familiar face to the group on Saturday.
If you don’t remember the name Eric Tomlinson from last year, don’t worry, your NY Giants fandom can’t really be called into question. Acquired off waivers from the Jets after 2019 final preseason roster cuts, Tomlinson spent just three weeks with Big Blue before being released and bouncing around the league as he had earlier in his career.
The former undrafted tight end out of UTEP found a home with the New York Jets and carved out a role as a blocking tight end from 2016-2019. A true specialist, Tomlinson racked up 24 starts in 2017-2018 with Gang Green yet he never accumulated more than 8 receptions or 121 yards in either season.
Despite that, he played in over 35% of snaps both seasons, displaying his value as an extra blocker. During his three games with the NY Giants in 2019, he played just 7 snaps on offense and 40 on special teams, accumulating no stats.
It’s a curious signing, as the team had already added Levine Toilolo to seemingly fill the third tight end role as a defacto extra offensive lineman. Big Blue shelled out legit money to do so, $3M per season, so it’s going to be hard for Tomlinson to make the 2020 squad barring any injuries.
Even though new offensive coordinator loves to use multiple tight ends, he’ll have his work cut out for him to get all of the members of the now crowded Giants’ tight end room involved. The team now employs six tight ends, with Evan Engram and Kaden Smith figuring to get the bulk of the receiving work.
Toilolo has a stronghold on the #3 job, while CJ Conrad and Garrett Dickerson will likely battle it out for a practice squad role. That leaves Tomlinson firmly on the outside looking in, but still, any opportunity is better than no opportunity for the well-traveled veteran.
He’ll have his work cut out for him this offseason to even make it past the first round of roster cuts.