Giants News: Riley Dixon cut, Evan Engram drawing interest at new position

New York Giants, Graham Gano
Oct 11, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; New York Giants kicker Graham Gano (5) is congratulated by holder Riley Dixon (9) after kicking a field goal in the first half against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are slowly but surely working their way toward a positive cap situation, sitting at -$7.6 million before releasing punter Riley Dixon on Thursday. They will have about $-4.8 million afterward.

Dixon was preparing to earn $3.1 million for the 2022 season, but the Giants had an opportunity to recover $2.8 million in salary, paying just $320K in dead money.

The Giants were always going to execute the option of releasing Dixon, especially coming off of a disappointing 2021 season when he struggled to pin the football inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. His inconsistent punting and massive salary hit made the decision easy for new general manager Joe Schoen.

Per Giants.com, Dixon enjoyed some success with the Giants, but ultimately, his accuracy struggled in 2021:

In 65 games, Dixon had a 45.2-yard gross average and a 40.6-yard net average on 279 punts. He placed 101 kicks inside the 20-yard line and had three punts blocked.

Dixon owns the Giants’ two highest single-season net punting averages since that became an official statistic in 1976 with 42.0 yards in 2019 and 41.8 yards in 2018.

Teams are calling on Evan Engram, but at a new position:

Ever since being drafted back in 2017, Evan Engram has been a polarizing player for the Giants. He has been plagued with drops his entire career, recording an 11.3% drop rate in 2020 and 8% in 2021. His inability to haul in fastballs in the short portion of the field made him a liability, especially since the Giants’ offensive line struggled and Daniel Jones was forced to get rid of the football quickly.

However, teams aren’t looking at Engram as a potential tight end moving forward, they view him as a slot receiver, a position the Giants did utilize him more frequently in this past year. Engram spent 353 snaps in the slot, which accounted for 69.5% of his snap count.

After signing Kyle Rudolph to feature as their primary in-line tight end, Engram was asked to do more receiving thank blocking, but he struggled as injuries mounted and Jones struggled without proper pass-blocking.

It is about time Engram tests his luck with another team, especially after years of difficulty with Big Blue.