The New York Giants are stocking up on former Buffalo Bills pass-catchers.
The Giants announced on March 23 that they signed wide receiver Jamison Crowder, and the same day announced that they also landed backup tight end Tommy Sweeney. The Giants already found a breakout star with another Bills receiver snatched away mid-season, and now have brought more to play under former Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
Tommy Sweeney’s Opportunity in New York
Sweeney had a difficult time carving out a regular role in Buffalo, as he was stuck behind Dawson Knox at tight end and frequently found himself a healthy scratch on game days. Sweeney joined the Bills in the seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft, missed all of the 2020 season due to heart complications after a bout with COVID-19, and appeared in 24 total games over the course of three seasons.
Sweeney made just 18 catches for 165 yards and one touchdown during his four seasons with the Bills, though Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News noted that he was a “big part of the culture in the Bills’ locker room.”
“He was especially close with Allen and fellow tight end Dawson Knox, and was generally loved by all of his teammates,” Skurski wrote. “It’s a homecoming of sorts for Sweeney, who is a native of Ramsey, N.J., and played high school football at Don Bosco Prep.”
Tommy Sweeney Joins Familiar Faces
Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen, the former assistant general manager in Buffalo, have brought on a number of Bills players to the Giants’ roster. They found a breakout star in Isaiah Hodgins, who had mostly been a practice squad player for the Bills.
The Bills elevated Hogins for a two-game stretch lats season and released him with the intention to put him back on the practice squad, but he was instead claimed off waivers by the Giants and went on to play an important role. He made 33 receptions for 351 yards and four touchdowns in eight regular-season games, and added another nine catches for 108 yards with one touchdown in the team’s two playoff games.
Hodgins was set to become an exclusive-rights free agent, but the Giants brought him back on a new contract, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.
The 24-year-old said he was grateful for his time in Buffalo, but excited to take advantage of his new opportunity in New York.
“I loved my time in Buffalo. I still keep in contact with some of the coaches and a lot of the players,” Hodgins told Go Long’s Tyler Dunne in a December interview. “Obviously, it didn’t work out how I wanted it. Obviously, every player wishes they played more and were more a part of the gameplan. But I think it happened for a reason. It ended up working out for the better.”
Hodgins added that was stuck in a deep receiver room in Buffalo, fighting to get targets against established players like Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, and Emmanuel Sanders. He joined a Giants team that was dealing with a number of injuries, allowing him to step into a more significant role than he ever saw through his years in Buffalo.