Versatile kicker is nice insurance, but does he have a future with the Giants?
Ryan Santoso can placekick, kick off and punt. Will he ever get a chance to do those things in regular-season games for the New York Giants?
Let’s take a look at Santoso as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp this summer.
Contract: One-year, $780,000 | 2021 cap hit: $780,000
Career to date
The Giants kept Santoso on their expanded practice squad last season for the exact situation that unfolded before their Week 12 game vs. the Cincinnati Bengals. Placekicker Graham Gano tested positive for COVID-19 and his availability was in doubt.
Santoso was activated, but never kicked as Gano — with a bye week to recover before the game — was cleared to play.
Thus, Santoso’s only NFL action remains three 2019 games in which he handled kickoffs for the Tennessee Titans. In those three games, he had 17 kickoffs, nine of which went for touchbacks.
Santoso is an edge rusher sized kicker at 6-foot-5, 258 pounds. The Giants like his talent.
“Ryan’s a guy who has a huge leg, he’s shown a tremendous amount of improvement since he’s been here. It’s a unique skillset that he does all three, field goals, kickoffs and punts,” head coach Joe Judge said of Santoso when it appeared the Giants might need him last season. “He’s definitely a developing player. I think he has a big upside in this league for a long time, I really do.”
Special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey also praised Santoso.
“This kid has a ton of talent, he will kick in this league one day,” McGaughey said before that Cincinnati game.
Thing is, unless there is an injury Santoso doesn’t seem likely to do that for the Giants.
Gano, 34, is coming off a fantastic season in which he made 31 of 32 field-goal attempts. He has a shiny, new three-year contract thru 2014. Santoso punted exclusively during his last two collegiate years at Minnesota, but seems unlikely to displace Riley Dixon in that capacity.