EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 29: Rhett Ellison #85 of the New York Giants catches the ball against Landon Collins #20 of the Washington Redskins during their game at MetLife Stadium on September 29, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

New York Giants tight end Rhett Ellison has officially announced his retirement after eight years in the league.

Evan Engram can be a dynamic tight end for the New York Giants if he’s healthy. That’s a big “if” though. Across a trio of campaigns, Engram has missed a total of 14 games. He was sidelined for eight matchups this past year, including the final seven.

But in his absence, the Giants have, at times, received reliable production from Rhett Ellison. The veteran tight end — who spent five years with the Minnesota Vikings before beginning his Giants tenure in 2017 — has caught 67 balls with four touchdowns in the last three years.

But sadly, Ellison’s time on the field will come to an end, as he officially announced his retirement on Monday.

Ellison played in just 10 games in 2019 and hit the injured reserve list with a concussion on Dec. 27. He and Engram’s absences paved the way for rookie Kaden Smith to make a name for himself. Smith caught 31 balls for 268 yards and three scores in nine games this past year.

The Giants originally signed Ellison to a four-year deal worth $18 million prior to the 2017 season. Thus, he had one year remaining on his current contract.

With Ellison now gone and Engram’s constant health issues, Smith could actually become the team’s tight end for the future. There’s also a possibility the Giants could sign longtime Dallas Cowboy Jason Witten, who’s yet to rule out a return for 2020. After initially retiring prior to the 2018 campaign, Witten returned in 2019 for his 16th season and eighth full year under head coach Jason Garrett.

Since Garrett is now the Giants offensive coordinator, Witten could possibly come to East Rutherford and provide assistance for the short term.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.