The Giants are signing veteran Kelvin Benjamin after his tight end tryout at this weekend’s rookie minicamp, the Daily News first reported Sunday morning, according to a source.
Benjamin, 30, hasn’t played in the NFL since 2018. When he did play, he was a wide receiver, drafted in the 2014 first round by Dave Gettleman, then the Carolina Panthers GM.
But Joe Judge and the Giants listed him as a tight end this weekend and worked him primarily in that position group. The coaching staff clearly believes the 6-foot-5, 245-pound Benjamin has a skill set they can work with and may provide versatility on Jason Garrett’s offense.
Benjamin joins former Eagles running back Corey Clement, 26, as the Giants’ two free agent signings coming out of their weekend camp.
“In terms of Benjamin working at different positions, we’re going to work different guys at a variety of things right now,” Judge said Friday. “He’s a big guy. He’s always been a big receiver. He’ll work as a receiver. He’s working a little bit at flex tight end, as well. I wouldn’t really kind of, you know, pin him down to any one position at this point.”
The Giants’ wide receiver group seems too crowded to accommodate Benjamin at that position on the final Week 1 roster, with free agent signings Kenny Golladay and John Ross, first-round pick Kadarius Toney, and incumbents Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton, among others.
But the tight end room has free agent Kyle Rudolph coming off foot surgery, Evan Engram, Kaden Smith, Levine Toilolo and Cole Hikutini ahead of some younger, developing players. Toilolo re-signed but was underwhelming in 2020.
The Giants waived running back Jordan Chunn and tight end Nate Wieting to make room for Benjamin and Corey Clement on their 90-man roster.
That number doesn’t include special teams captain Nate Ebner. He is a free agent for now as he competes with the U.S. rugby team, but eventually he’ll re-sign.