Giants TE Evan Engram had a Pro Bowl season. He was second among NFC tight ends in receptions (63) and 654 yards receiving. But when he addressed the media for the final time of the regular season, most of his questions from reporters revolved around what didn’t go well for him this season.
And more importantly, how it might affect his future with the Giants.
While Engram made the Pro Bowl, many didn’t think he deserved it. For one, he had just one receiving touchdown. Packers TE Robert Tonyan, a player many thought would be a Pro Bowler, had 11 touchdowns and 586 yards on the season. Engram was also unreliable in the pass game despite his 109 targets on the year. He led all tight ends in dropped passes.
So how does Engram view his 2020 season?
“Yeah, there was some adversity,” he said. “There were a lot of times we didn’t perform as well as an offense as we wanted to. There was a lot of times I didn’t perform as well as I wanted to. So, there’s never any excuses. There were a lot of plays I wish I could have back and plays I could’ve done better things on to help the offense and allow myself to be more of an impact on offense as well.”
The drops, some more crucial than others, are what Engram struggled with this season. And a few turned into interceptions. A ball bouncing, slipping, or flat out missed by Engram went to the other team and affected the game at the end of the day. The biggest dropped pass came in Week 7 against the Philadelphia Eagles when a beautiful ball by Daniel Jones was thrown down the left sideline that would’ve iced a win. Engram dropped it, the Eagles got the ball back and ended up winning.
Now this isn’t to say the rest of the Giants’ offense – or the team as a whole – made progress while Engram faltered. But that is one thing he knows he needs to work on this offseason so plays like those don’t happen again.
“Definitely a lot of things I got to improve in the offseason, a lot of things I will improve on,” he said. “All it does is come down to making those plays and whenever the next opportunity is next year, I gotta go make.”
Like Engram said, he isn’t making any excuses. He recognizes where he went wrong this season. But has it hurt his long-term future with the team?
The Giants picked up his fifth-year option on his rookie contract (first-round picks get that luxury), but there have been no discussions, at least publicly, regarding a contract extension. That’s why this past season was such a big one for the Ole Miss product.
Now, Engram is essentially playing for his future on a one-year contract. Of course, things could change in the offseason and GM Dave Gettleman could trust him as the team’s play-making tight end for years to come. He is still a menace to linebackers because of his speed and vertical abilities. But you need to be reliable when the ball is thrown your way. So did Engram actually hurt his reputation with the Giants this season despite what the accolades might say?
That is a question the team will discuss this offseason. As for Engram, he continue to remain in the present and not worry about outside point of views. He’s focused on improving his game this offseason and being ready for that next opportunity.
One that could change the narrative.
“At the end of the day, that stuff is out of my control,” he said when asked about his contract situation. “Whatever is for me is for me. Right now, I’m living in today. I’m not going to live in the past or try to predict the future. So, all that stuff is out of my control.”