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Unkindest Cut: New York Giants Wide Receivers



Unkindest Cut: New York Giants Wide Receivers

Receiver Isaiah Hodgins’s career with the New York Giants has been a tale of two halves.

Hodgins, whom the Giants picked up off waivers midway through the 2022 season after a series of injuries took out some of the depth at the position, came riding in on a white horse, so to speak. He instantly clicked with quarterback Daniel Jones and put his knowledge of the offense, which he had learned during his time in Buffalo under Brian Daboll, to good use.

By the time Hodgins’s eight-game regular season audition ended, he had delivered on 33 receptions (out of 42 targets) for 351 yards and four touchdowns while also showing himself as one of the best blocking wide receivers the Giants had.

Once the magic of the 2022 season ended, Hodgins came back for another year with the Giants, and things were very different. He saw his pass targets drop from 42 to 33. He caught 21 balls for 230 yards and three touchdowns, appearing to have been relegated to a backup role behind Darius Slayton.  

This past off-season, the Giants declined to tender Hodgins a minimum qualifying offer of $3 million to retain him as an unrestricted free agent, but they did manage to work out a one-year deal for $1.035 million that included $300,000 and a $25,000 signing bonus.

It’s fair, though, to wonder if there will be a place for Hodgins, who, by the way, doesn’t play special teams, on this year’s 53-man roster.  Assuming there are no injuries, the first four receivers likely to land on the Giants’ depth chart include Malik Nabers, Darius Slayton, Wan’Dale Robinson, and Jalin Hyatt.

And with Hodgins not providing value on special teams and being more of an outside receiver, it might be challenging to justify devoting a roster spot to him.

So what happens then if there is no room for Hodgins on the roster? Again, he was the Giants’ best blocking wide receiver last year, and when given his opportunities in the receiving game, he answered the bell. 

The 26-year-old Hodgins might not be fast or explosive, but he’s easy to find, runs precise and reliable routes, and makes contested catches. Perhaps the Giants, if they decide there is no room for this still young and functional wide receiver, might try to get a draft pick for him during final roster cutdown dates, or perhaps they might look to slide him through to the practice squad.

But given what’s in front of him, combined with the drop-off in his snaps last year, it’s hard not to envision Hodgins being the unkindest cut among the Giants receivers.

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