The Cincinnati Bengals have themselves one of football’s most tantalizing quarterback-wide receiver duos. Now, with the November 2nd trade deadline looming, Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay believes it may be time for Cinci to bulk up their offensive arsenal around Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase in hopes of making a Super Bowl push. One player in particular, who Cinci “could consider” is Pro Bowl tight end Evan Engram.
“The Bengals could consider Engram as a potential solution to their tight end woes. The team boasts an extremely talented receiving corps of Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, but it lacks a playmaking tight end.” wrote Kay. “C.J. Uzomah leads all Bengals tight ends in snaps — [but] he’s never reeled in more than 43 catches or gone over the 440-yard receiving mark in any of his seven seasons.”
Uzomah has flashed at points this season, topping 90 receiving yards twice. However, in his five other games on the year, he’s averaged just 14 receiving yards on 1.8 receptions. For all the shortcomings in Engram’s game, the much-maligned tight end is coming off a 2020 campaign where he ranked third in both receptions (63) and receiving yards (654) among all NFC tight ends.
“With the Bengals off to a surprisingly hot [5-2] start and Joe Burrow rapidly developing into one of the game’s best quarterbacks, bringing in an athletic tight end like Engram for a mid-to-late draft pick at the deadline could further elevate this offense,” added Kay.
Engram & Daniel Jones ‘Lack’ Chemistry?
From an attributes perspective, Engram has everything you’d look for in a modern-day tight end, sans consistent hands. Measuring in at 6-foot-3-inches and 240-pounds with 4.42-speed, Engram is an athletic marvel. However, for whatever reason, things just haven’t quite panned out for the Ole Miss product — none more so than this season.
Despite looking the part, Engram has never been much of a red zone threat. In 55 career games, he’s hauled in 13 receiving touchdowns including just one since the start of 2020 (zero in five games this year).
“Engram has only caught four TDs from [Daniel] Jones since the Giants drafted the signal-caller with the No. 6 overall pick in 2019,” noted Kay. “That lack of chemistry between the two should make it easy for them to move on from Engram, and a few teams should be interested.”
His usage as a whole within the Giants’ offense scheme 2021 has decreased even further as he no longer moonlights as a top-two target on a weekly basis. The team has become much more wide receiver-centric this season and has mostly continued to function that way despite an abundance of injuries to the position.
“It’s over. Both sides are in need of a divorce here,” wrote ESPN’s Jordan Raanan. “Engram has become an afterthought with the Giants, even when they’ve been short-handed offensively… As an impending free agent, the Giants should try to get something in return while they can.”
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Engram Could Pop Off With Another Team
Despite his flaws, all hope is not lost for Engram. That is, as long as he gets out of New York. The fact of the matter is his laundry list of crucial drops, spotty blocking and proneness for injury has made him an easy target for Giants fans and one of the team’s more loathed players in recent memory.
However, there’s also no denying that both the offensive talent and offensive philosophy around him have served as a detriment to Engram’s production over his five-year career. Still, despite these limitations, he managed to notch his first Pro Bowl berth a season ago — albeit highly criticized.
When you look at the way hybrid players such as Kyle Pitts are being used around the league, you can’t help but feel as if Engram could at least prove to be a positive mid-season addition for a team looking to make a push.