Were the season to start today, they'd be looking at Bear Pascoe and Adrien Robinson as their two starting tight ends. And whilst both are strong, neither is really the big-name player for Eli Manning to turn to in time of need nor the player for the Giants to expect huge offensive production from.
Which, at one level, is why their interest in former Oakland Raiders TE Brandon Myers is a great thing. It would allow the Giants to not only regain some of their offensive strengths once more, but it would fill a gaping hole in the roster that is seriously lacking for the start of the 2013 NFL season.
Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reports that the Giants are meeting with Myers during free agency to try and bring about a deal for the year ahead:
Brandon Myers, a free agent tight end who had a huge breakthrough season with the Oakland Raiders last year, is scheduled to be in New Jersey some time on Saturday for a free-agent visit with the Giants, the Daily News has learned.
According to a team source, the Giants have long been very interested in the 27-year-old as a potential replacement for Bennett and they would be interested in signing him if the price is right. The 6-3, 256-pound Myers was tremendous for the Raiders last season. He caught 79 passes for 806 yards and four touchdowns.
Myers is a great vertical threat for quarterbacks to utilize both on deep routes and quicker slant routes if needed, with his strong hands making him a very consistent target. Sports Illustrated reports that his catch percentage in 2012 was above 75 percent, whilst, by comparison, Bennett's was 61 percent.
He didn't chalk up the 1,000-yard season that would normally attract huge interest from NFL clubs, but given that he was on a struggling Oakland Raiders side, 800 yards is still a very good achievement. And it's one that could very well interest the NFC East franchise in 2013.
As mentioned, Bennett's exit leaves a huge hole on the roster at tight end—one that seemingly must be filled in light of the year ahead. Pascoe is fine, but it's hard to see Robinson being an offensive weapon for Manning in 2013, so further depth is seriously needed at that position.
The biggest concern about Myers is that of his pass-blocking, with Pro Football Focus reporting that Myers was the worst run-blocking TE in 2013. Yet, with the likes of Pascoe on hand, perhaps the Giants will opt to solely use Myers on more receiving routes and play-action to counteract that weakness and use their preexisting tight ends on more running plays.
Vacchiano reports that the Giants are close to the $123 million salary cap for 2013, which could make signing a big-name TE in 2013 a slight problem. Especially considering the exuberant wages given to tight ends this free agency, as Delanie Walker, Martellus Bennett, Anthony Fasano and Jared Cook all received contracts of $15 million or more.
Cook alone received a $35.1 million contract, which could make trying to sign a TE difficult for a team close to the salary cap like the Giants are.
Yet, as the recent signing of Dustin Keller for just $4.25 million illustrates, the market has seemingly died down somewhat and Myers should not be that expensive. Which, given his strength in the air and the huge gap that he would fill in the Giants roster, would make for a very strong offseason purchase.
Free agency has few pass-catching tight ends available at the moment, and with the need apparent, the Giants would do very well to sign Brandon Myers for the year ahead. That, or they could wait and take their chances in the 2013 NFL draft and try to sign a youngster there.
Do you think the New York Giants should pursue Brandon Myers?
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