This past season, the Giants starting tight end Larry Donnell made tremendous improvement from 2013. At 6-6 and 235-pounds, Donnell caught 63 passes for 623 yards and six touchdowns.
Big Blue could be happy with their starter, but it’s hard to not take a look at the top five tight ends about to enter the market on March 10.
Virgil Green has been backing up Julius Thomas in Denver for the past four seasons. He is a very athletic 26-year-old and strong enough to block well for three downs.
At 6-foot-3, 248-pounds, Green may not be the biggest, but he is agile and dangerous in the open field. In 2014 he had six touches for 74 yards and one touchdown.
Since Green has never been the go-to man, he probably won’t be asking for much money, but will instead be looking for more playing time.
The free agent could be a great steal for the Giants if they were looking for a secondary option to Donnell. However, if Denver can’t come up with enough money for Julius Thomas, it is very possible Green is the tight end the organization will be going after.
At 6-5, 260-pounds, Jermaine Gresham has been very consistent over the past five seasons. He’s athletic, has reliable hands and produces in the end zone.
The two-time Pro Bowler had 62 receptions for 460 yards and five touchdowns this past season.
However, the soon to be 27-year-old does have a few downsides. Gresham lacks the top speed that the elite tight ends in the game have displayed. Also, in his five-year career, the tight end has only played one full season (2012).
Gresham could be a big addition to a team that likes to throw the ball and Giants quarterback Eli Manning could use a veteran with reliable hands. He wouldn’t have to play every snap, which could keep him healthy for longer and he probably won’t require a big contract.
There was a lot of hype surrounding Jordan Cameron going into the 2014 season, especially with the suspension of Josh Gordon. It was the 26-year-old’s season to show off his abilities, but he was just a disappointment.
The tight end went from 80 catches in 2013 to a mere 24 in 2014 and his touchdowns dropped from seven to two.
At 6-foot-5, 249-pounds, Cameron is built for the position and has the potential to produce like he did two years ago.
The tight end has not played a full season in his four-year career. This past season he was out six games (five due to a concussion).
The last thing the Giants need is another injury-prone player so the organization going for Cameron is unlikely.
He may not be your average tight end, but Charles Clay sure is versatile. At halfback and tight end, he has totaled 127 catches and 10 touchdowns.
As an emerging go-to target on the Dolphins, Clay excelled across the middle and on out of motion routes.
The uncertainty of the 26-year-old’s position is what could help or hurt him in free agency. A team could like Clay’s ability to play multiple positions, but he could also be limited by how he fits into a team’s offensive scheme.
In 2014, Clay fought a knee and hamstring injury, but was able to finish the season only missing two games.
Charles Clay is an emerging tight end/halfback. With the New York Giants looking for a possible backup for the position, it seems unlikely he would want to send his career backwards.
h2>Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos
The biggest tight end on the market is the possibly pricey but productive Julius Thomas. With just one fumble in his entire career, it’s safe to say he is athletic and sure-handed.
Thomas isn’t shining in the Broncos’ spread offense, but his red zone ability is off the charts. At 6-5, 250-pounds, he has scored 12 touchdowns in the past two seasons.
With ankle injuries dating back to 2011, he’s played in just 36 of his possible 64 games. But, this will probably not discourage teams if they want him.
With organizations such as Cleveland in the hunt for Thomas as their starting tight end, it is highly unlikely he will be headed to New York. The Giants are probably not willing to spend what he is asking for nor do they really need him.