The New York Giants entered the 2019 offseason with a plethora of issues and a number of holes to patch, but one area of little concern to the team was the tight end position.
With Evan Engram leading the pack, Rhett Ellison serving as the primary backup/blocking tight end and Garrett Dickerson providing some youth, the Giants had little reason to address the position. Yet that’s the very first thing they did by re-signing Scott Simonson.
The Giants and Simonson agreed to a one-year, $895,000 deal in February — three full weeks before the start of the free agent period.
Simonson could have tested the market after making his presence felt down the stretch a year ago, but he thought better of it and instead decided to return to New York and a crowded tight end depth chart.
“It was kind of a no-brainer for me, growing up a Jersey guy and a Giants fan,” Simonson told NJ Advance Media. “We discussed (testing the market), but then it’s that thing where you have to go to a new place and re-establish yourself. I’ve seen guys try to do that and then it backfires. It wasn’t broke, so I didn’t want to fix it.
“I ended last season with some good games and built on the role I had within the offense. Getting opportunities and showing I was able to handle them, I feel good going forward.”
The Giants also feel good about Simonson going forward.
“He made tremendous strides in the right direction last year,” tight ends coach Lunda Wells said. “He earned it by his hard work, his diligence and relishing in the role that he had. Those are the guys you root for.”
Simonson, who was considered a long-shot to make the team’s 53-man roster, went on to appear in all 16 games a season ago, including four starts. He hauled in nine receptions for 86 yards and one touchdown — all career highs.
Simonson expects more in 2019.
“Any time you get a full season under your belt to learn a playbook, it just helps guys play so much faster,” Simonson said. “Playing faster and with more confidence are keys to executing better. We’ve hit the ground running this spring.”
The Giants clearly thought Simonson could be and should be a part of their future, but he’s still going to have to earn a spot on the 53-man roster here in 2019. He’ll have to beat out the aforementioned Dickerson and undrafted rookie free agent C.J. Conrad.