NY Giants roster: What does future hold for Evan Engram?

Evan Engram #88 of the New York Giants (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
Evan Engram #88 of the New York Giants (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) /

The NY Giants continue to have faith in tight end Evan Engram, but his future with the team beyond 2021 is clearly in doubt.

Perhaps 2021 is the year NY Giants tight end Evan Engram finally turns into one of the NFL’s most prolific players at his position.

The problem, though, is that’s essentially what’s been said ever since his impressive 2017 rookie campaign in which he registered 64 receptions for 722 yards and looked every part the quality first-round NFL Draft pick.

True, Engram made the Pro Bowl last season. But amid a year when New York’s offense struggled to find answers for quarterback Daniel Jones, eventually boasting the league’s second-worst scoring offense in 2020, it would have painted a much clearer picture for Engram’s long-term future and whether or not he would fit into the G-Men’s plans beyond 2021.

Don’t let the Pro Bowl nod fool you, however. Engram still left a lot on the table.

Evan Engram Receiving Table

Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com
Generated 7/3/2021.

For starters, Engram dropped 11 passes last year, which happened to be the most for any tight end. And while most tight ends wind up being key targets within the red zone, the relative lack of scores over the last three weapons suggests Engram isn’t too key of an X-factor in this crucial area of the field either.

Not good for a New York team that finished 31st in red-zone touchdown efficiency a year ago.

Do NY Giants commit to Evan Engram in 2022?

Needless to say, there’s a lot riding on Engram’s upcoming campaign in 2021.

Yes, the G-Men arguably made a questionable decision by picking up Engram’s fully guaranteed fifth-year option for this season. Considering they’d have to eat over $6 million in dead money if he was to be cut, there’s no way he won’t make the 53-man roster by Week 1. And as far as the trade market goes, few teams would be willing to take on that kind of money for a one-year “rental,” so the likelihood of that transaction seems slim, too.

The NY Giants spent considerable effort during the offseason to bulk up the weaponry around Jones, signing wide receivers John Ross and Kenny Golladay while also adding a prolific receiving weapon, Kadarius Toney, in this year’s NFL Draft.

Related Story: Kyle Rudolph could prove critical to Daniel Jones

Those three all figure to take targets away from Engram, yes. But the kicker was the overlooked free-agent pickup of former Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, who despite being 31 years old, could end up being far more reliable a weapon for New York’s offense over the next two years while he’s under contract.

And Rudolph is far superior a blocker, too.

Considering his age, Rudolph isn’t necessarily considered a “replacement” for Engram on the roster. But it’s important to point out just how critical the competition is for Engram right now, especially considering Rudolph has $2.25 million in guaranteed money for 2022, per Over the Cap.

Stating the obvious, Rudolph isn’t going anywhere next season.

In an ideal world, the G-Men would get prolific production from Engram this season, finally, which could be enough for New York to consider a re-sign deal or extension. And it isn’t as if having two quality pass-catching tight ends is a bad thing either.

The problem, though, is fans have been waiting for Engram to break out for years now, and it hasn’t quite come to fruition.

The addition of Rudolph paints an even bleaker picture for Engram with the NY Giants beyond this season.

Next. Ranking NY Giants' 5 best moves from 2021 offseason. dark