Seals-Jones trying to become starting tight end for first time
Ricky Seals-Jones signed with the New York Giants this offseason largely because he believed he would have the opportunity to be a No. 1 tight end for first time in his six-year NFL career.
“I feel like in some places I’ve always been the two or three guy,” Jones said back in March. “I feel like for me just to have the opportunity to come in and fight for the one spot is good.”
Can the 27-year-old earn that starting spot? Let’s discuss Seals-Jones as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the Giants’ 90-man roster.
Position: Tight end
Contract: One-year, $1.1875 million | 2022 cap hit: $1.0475 million
Seals-Jones is a converted wide receiver out of Texas A&M who signed with the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in 2017, and has been a useful receiving tight end throughout his career.
In 54 games (15 starts) with the Cardinals Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Football Team, Seals-Jones has 90 receptions. His best year was 2018, when he had 34 catches. He had 30 for Washington last season, when he started a career-high six games.
Like many of the other free agents who joined the Giants this offseason, Seals-Jones signed a one-year “prove it” contract with the Giants.
So, can Seals-Jones prove it? Can he prove that he is more than a second or third tight end at the NFL level?
If spring practices are to be used as a measuring stick, things might not be looking good for Seals-Jones. He often ran with the third team during spring practices, with fourth-round pick Daniel Bellinger getting the vast majority of first-team reps.
Toward the end of mandatory minicamp, head coach Brian Daboll said that wasn’t necessarily a bad sign for Seals-Jones.
“I wouldn’t read too much into any of that. I always tell these guys we have a rep chart, not a depth chart right now,” Daboll said.
“He’s been with the ones, he’s been in the twos, he’s been with the threes. We’ve used different personnel packages. That really goes with all the guys. You’ll see different receivers go with Daniel [Jones] one day. This isn’t really, like I said, an evaluation type of camp. It is more of a teaching, learning camp and moving guys around and putting them with different players.”
Seals-Jones’ play in Washington last season, when he played well filling in for an injured Logan Thomas, can’t be discounted. It is part of what earned him an opportunity with the Giants.
“There’s an injury with Washington a year ago and all he did was step in and play good football, play winning football to help his team,” said Giants tight end coach Andy Bischoff.
“Here’s a guy who’s made the transition from receiver to tight end over the course of his career. Here is now with a wide open room and a wide open opportunity.”
Rep chart vs. depth chart notwithstanding, the Giants have seven tight ends on their 90-man roster and and what is shaping up to be a solid competition for roster spots. It would behoove Seals-Jones to have a good training camp to ensure he has a big role on the 2022 Giants.