Evan Engram could be a decent trade piece for the New York Giants, but a deal prior to the deadline isn’t likely to occur.
With the NFL trade deadline approaching — Nov. 3 at 4:00 p.m. ET — one of the bigger names that could be on their way out of East Rutherford is Evan Engram. The fourth-year New York Giants tight end hasn’t exactly impressed since his promising 2017 rookie campaign, a season in which he led the team in both catches (64) and touchdown receptions (six).
Drops, injuries, and the inability to block have all forced fans to desire a trade involving the 26-year-old, but per a league source close to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, that isn’t likely to happen.
Raanan writes, “The Giants consider Engram their top playmaker. They want to get him the ball like they did in their 22-21 loss to the Eagles on Thursday (nine targets, two rushing attempts) and don’t appear to want to move him at the trade deadline. Teams have called, but the Giants are not shopping Engram, according to a league source. It would seem unlikely, barring an offer that blows them away, that Engram is dealt, despite his struggles.”
The idea is that dealing Engram would leave the Giants with even fewer playmakers on an offense that already lacks a significant amount of talent. You could also say that a trade of a weapon like Engram would hinder the overall development of Daniel Jones, something the organization is banking on in the young quarterback’s second season.
There’s no sugarcoating how below-average Engram has been on the field though. Sure if he’s healthy (and that’s a big “if”), he’s one of the more athletic tight ends in the league, sporting the type of speed that could make him a slot receiver. But the production just hasn’t been there, a disappointing tidbit that finds both Engram and the coaching staff at fault.
While offensive coordinator Jason Garrett must use Engram in more of a receiver role and less like the prototypical NFL tight end, Engram needs to gain more consistent separation and cure his case of the drops that’s plagued him for quite some time now.
There have been games this season in which Engram has been next-to-non-existent for Big Blue, such as the matchups against Dallas and Washington where he was respectively targeted just two and three times.
The drops may be even more noteworthy of an issue though. Since entering the league as a first-round pick in 2017, Engram has a total of 21 drops — the most by a tight end in that time span, per Pro Football Focus.
This issue was highlighted late in the Week 7 loss to the Eagles when Engram dropped a third-down pass that would’ve likely sealed a Giants victory.
Evan Engram has 21 career drops
Most by a TE since 2017 pic.twitter.com/eHJxETxksF
— PFF (@PFF) October 23, 2020
Engram isn’t the worst option at tight end and certainly carries the potential to become serviceable for this offense. Both he and the coaching staff need to right the wrongs though, or else it might reach a point where there’s no use in keeping him.
Not to mention, he’s due over $6 million in base salary next year after the Giants exercised his fifth-year option — another aspect to keep in mind.