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Tight End Position Full Of Question Marks For The Giants

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Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images.
Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images.

The New York Giants had a lot of holes to fill in their roster after last season, many of which they managed to plug up during their frenzied assault on free agency in March, as well as during the draft a few weeks ago. However, through all of that, there still remains one key position that the Giants have failed to seriously address as we head into spring OTAs: the tight end position.

As most of you probably know, and as I’ve already covered before in this very space, the tight end position has been an extremely valuable one for the Giants offense, especially over the last decade or so. It’s no secret that Eli Manning loves throwing to his tight ends, and over the last few years, we’ve seen little-known tight ends like Kevin Boss, Jake Ballard and Martellus Bennett develop into viable, pass-catching tight ends with tremendous upside right before our very eyes.

Of course, the position has also been a bit of a revolving door for the Giants as well, and the only downside to consistently developing quality talent at the tight end position is that eventually, they’ll become free agents, demand a bigger contract for their increased level of production, and then skip town to find another team willing to give them that bigger contract.

This happened most recently at the end of the 2012 season when Bennett bolted for Chicago, and the Giants responded by signing free agent Brandon Myers from Oakland. But when the Myers experiment failed last season, the team parted ways with him and were faced with yet another vacancy at tight end.

Though rumors swirled in the early days of free agency about the Giants possibly exploring options like Jermichael Finley, it never happened. Now, it’s late May and the tight end position is occupied by no-names like Kellen Davis, rookie Xavier Grimble, Larry Donnell, Daniel Fells and the oft-injured Adrien Robinson. At this stage in the offseason, it doesn’t seem likely that the Giants will make any other significant moves, at least in terms of signing new free agents or making any trades for a tight end. This means that what you see on the roster right now is probably what you’re going to get on Monday night in Week 1 as the Giants take the field in Detroit.

But is this a bad thing? Not really.

As mentioned before, the Giants have quite a bit of experience turning no-name tight ends into game-breakers with the potential to make huge plays in big spots (see: Kevin Boss in Super Bowl XLII). Perhaps the Giants organization knows they have a quality tight end in Robinson and are confident in him staying healthy enough this season to contribute. Robinson has appeared in only three games so far in his two NFL seasons, but he knows that he’s been given an opportunity this season to show the Giants why they drafted him out of Cincinnati three years ago.

As we get closer and closer to training camp, it appears as if the Giants are placing their tight end duties firmly in the hands of the unproven, hoping that the new West Coast-style offense and Manning's careful tutelage will equate to success. Only time will tell if Robinson can become another Boss, Ballard or Bennett, but if he can manage to stay healthy, Robinson is certainly in the right kind of situation to excel and make a name for himself.