‘It’s Over’: Evan Engram Trade Buzz Builds as AFC Contender Loses Starting TE

Evan Engram trade rumors

Getty Evan Engram #88 of the New York Giants before the start of a preseason game against the New York Jets.

The New York Giants haven’t exactly capitalized on maximizing their players’ trade value to this point. For example, safety Jabrill Peppers has seen his stock fall in recent weeks thanks in large part to his lapses in coverage and uneven usage in Big Blue’s crowded safety room. Another player readily floated in trade talks is Evan Engram.

While almost unanimously loathed amongst the local fanbase, the tight end’s “upside” has long outweighed his inconsistencies in the eyes of league-wide talent evaluators. However, the Giants should know better. For whatever reason, he’s failed to deliver on his skill level, and instead of taking advantage of his (questionable) Pro Bowl tag from a season ago, the team has stubbornly retained Engram as a rebuilding team continues to function on a win-now mentality.

General manager Dave Gettleman and company recently fumbled a potential golden opportunity to unload Engram when the Arizona Cardinals were scouring the tight end market. Despite Engram being long-rumored as a Cards target, it was NFC East rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles, who were able to rid themselves of a tight end. The Birds dealt Zach Ertz to Arizona for a fifth-round pick and cornerback Tay Gowan. However, all hope of an Engram trade is not dead, as Ertz’s trade shined a light on other teams potentially in the tight end market.


Bills & Colts Floated as Engram Trade Suitors

Prior to the Ertz deal, ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler reported that the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills were interested in the former Pro Bowler. Since then, the latter’s need for a pass-catching tight end has only strengthened. Starter Dawson Knox suffered a broken hand in Week 6 vs. the Tennesse Titans. With his indefinite absence looming, SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano believes the door for Engram to shift conferences may be opened. 

He has so much talent, but has been so unreliable and such a frustrating player to watch. The Giants kept hoping he’d put it all together and stop dropping passes, but after five seasons, little has changed. Still, there’s a market for a player with his skills. When the Eagles traded tight end Zach Ertz to the Cardinals last week, the Bills and Colts were reportedly interested, too.

And the Bills are probably a little more interested in acquiring a tight end today now that their TE, Dawson Knox, is out with a broken hand. The Eagles got a fifth-round pick and a player (rookie cornerback Tay Gowan) for Ertz, who is much more valuable than Engram. The Giants won’t do better than that, but even a fifth alone would be a good return for a player who has no chance of re-signing with the Giants next year.

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Giants Insider on Engram’s Tenure in New York: ‘It’s Over’

Yours truly has long operated on the idea that if you can separate the player Engram is supposed to be from the player Engram is, you find yourself with an above-average tight end. Engram mostly proved that in 2020, finishing third among NFC tight ends in both receptions (63) and yards (654). However, he’s since fallen flat in 2021.

After once again being bitten by the injury bug early on, Engram has averaged just 31.75 yards on 3.5 receptions per game over his four contests. In a contract year, and operating in a passing offense that has shifted their priority to the receiver position — even with an inordinate amount of injuries — any hope of Engram fulfilling his promise in East Rutherford looks to have passed.

“It’s over. Both sides are in need of a divorce here,” wrote ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, who listed Engram as the team’s most likely player to change teams at the November 2nd trade deadline. “Engram has become an afterthought with the Giants, even when they’ve been short-handed offensively. The 2017 first-round pick has barely over 100 yards in four games. As an impending free agent, the Giants should try to get something in return while they can.”

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