New York Giants Training Camp Player Preview: WR Travis Toivonen – Sports Illustrated

New York Giants receiver Travis Toivonen is another player retained from last year's coaching staff.
Toivonen was originally signed as a rookie free agent by the Seahawks last year but didn't make their 53-man roster. He landed on the Giants' practice squad on October 19, 2021, when injuries started creeping into the team's receiver room. He was released on November 2 but re-signed on December 8, 2021, remaining on the practice squad for the rest of the season.
The team signed Toivonen to a reserve/future contract by the Giants on January 10, 2022. This past spring, with the Giants being a little short-staffed at receiver, Toivonen was spotted taking some first-team reps on offense, offering an intriguing look into his skill set.
Before landing in the NFL, Toivonen was a four-year starter at North Dakota. In 42 games, he caught 139 passes for 1,719 yards and 13 touchdowns, posting career-highs during his senior campaign in 2019, with 48 catches, 1,719 yards, and seven touchdowns.
Prior to signing with the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent, Toivonen signed with the Fan Controlled Football League, a 7-on-7 league with rules controlled by the fans.
This summer, he enters a crowded Giants receivers room, hoping to parlay the progress he showed during the spring into a potential roster spot at the bottom of the position's depth chart.
Sep 8, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington Huskies linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven (25) tackles North Dakota Fighting Hawks wide receiver Travis Toivonen (11) during the first quarter at Husky Stadium.
Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
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The first and most obvious thing Toivonen offers is size. He stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 21. His height gives him an advantage when having to high-point balls on contested catch opportunities, thanks partly to his explosive leaping ability and a big catch radius to haul in those off-target passes.
Toivonen, who in four seasons at North Dakota recorded 139 receptions for 1,719 yards and 13 touchdowns, is also better than expected with his route running, considering he's only been in the league for a year. He doesn't have elite speed and doesn't separate well, but he has some good foot quickness that he uses to juke defenders.
Toivonen is signed to a one-year deal worth $708,500. The contract includes a $3,500 signing bonus. If he does not make the roster, the Giants will be charged $3,500 in dead money against this year's cap while recouping a $705,000 savings.
Toivonen's lack of speed probably means his best role might be as a big slot receiver, a spot where the Giants have plenty of candidates, but not many with his size.
As is the case with any player trying to carve out a spot for himself at the bottom of the depth chart, he has to be able to contribute on special teams. This is an area where Toivonen has minimal experience dating back to his college days. If he can show himself to be an asset to this unit, that will help him stick around.
Patricia Traina has covered the New York Giants for 30+ seasons. She is the host of the LockedOn Giants podcast and the author of “The Big 50: New York Giants: The Men and Moments that Made the New York Giants” (Triumph Books). 

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Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones
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