This past offseason, I wrote that the New York Giants might entertain trading tight end Evan Engram if the right deal came along. Naturally, that didn’t happen as Engram has become the Giants’ leading receiver this year.
But with the trade deadline less than a week away, general manager Dave Gettleman’s phone will be buzzing and Engram’s name is certain to bandied about.
Will Gettleman listen? I’m sure he will, but pulling the trigger on a deal is another thing. Engram has had a spotty start to his career and although there is interest in him throughout the NFL, there are still plenty of teams with reservations.
Ralph Vacchiano, who took over my blog over at SNY.tv, had this to say about Engram’s status.
The 25-year-old Engram is a real wild-card here, and his name has come up quite a bit in discussions with league scouts and executives. He was a Jerry Reese draft pick and his contract is up at the end of the 2020 season, unless the Giants pick up his fifth-year option (which they have to decide by May). No one is sure how well he fits into the Gettleman-Pat Shurmur plan. He’s more of a pure receiver than a two-way tight end, and he’s only shown flashes of being explosive. But there’s enough talent and potential there that some people are intrigued.
How intrigued? That’s unclear. “He’s hurt way too much, but he’s a big problem when he’s healthy,” one AFC scout said. “His speed makes him a matchup nightmare. I don’t know if they’re using him right, but another team could.”
All true. Engram is a tease. When he’s healthy, he can change a game with one play. But those games are few and far between. Then, there is his blocking. He’s not you’re prototype in-line tight end.
Lastly, there’s the inconsistency. Against Arizona last week, he had two dropped passes, a stigma that has haunted him throughout his career.
My issue with Engram is not so much the above, but how the Giants use him. He should simply be featured as a weapon, a slot receiver. The Giants have wrestled on where to line him up and with getting him touches.
To me, Engram has a ton of value and I’m sure other teams see that. The New England Patriots just traded for Mohammed Sanu but I’m sure Engram piques their interest. Green Bay and New Orleans might like him, too.
The Giants must decide now whether there is a future here for Engram. At the end of this season, they will be faced with the decision of whether to pick up Engram’s fifth-year option or not. Teams trading for him would like that extra year of control, so that increases his value.
I see the Giants keeping Engram, though. They can’t keep shedding themselves of young talent but in this case, if you aren’t going to use him, lose him.