What is it that the Giants like about the veteran tight end?
The New York Giants liked veteran blocking tight end Levine Toilolo enough a year ago to sign him to a two-year, $6 million contract with $3.225 million guaranteed after just two passes caught and 191 snaps played for the San Francisco 49ers in 2019.
He played only 275 offensive snaps (18 percent), caught only five passes, and did not block or play special teams particularly well in 2020. The Giants still brought him back on a renegotiated one-year, $1.6 million deal that guarantees him only $650,000.
Let’s talk about Toilolo as we continue profiling each of the 90 players the Giants will bring to training camp.
Age: 31 on July 30
Position: Tight end
Contract: One-year, $1.6 million | Guaranteed: $650,000 | 2021 cap hit: $1.6 million
Career to date
Toilolo was a fourth-round draft pick by the Atlanta Falcons back in 2013. He was once a useful secondary target as a pass receiver, averaging 15.8 receptions during the first six seasons of his career. He has caught only seven passes total the past two seasons.
Toilolo has now played for the Falcons, Detroit Lions, 49ers and Giants. He has always, by reputation, been a solid blocking tight end and a plus special teams player. Those are the two areas that made his 2020 season distressing.
Toilolo was often used as the third tight end when the Giants went to 13 personnel — one running back, three tight ends. He ended up with the lowest Pro Football run-blocking (57.2) and pass-blocking (59.1) grades of his career.
As a special teams player, Toilolo’s 49.1 grade was just a tenth of a point higher than his career worst. He missed four tackles after missing only four during the previous seven seasons. He was also often used as a lead blocker on the Giants’ less-than-inspiring kickoff return team.
With Kyle Rudolph added to the mix, Toilolo would appear to be the fourth tight end on the Giants’ depth chart entering training camp.
He will have to be better as a blocker and special teamer to justify the Giants bringing him back for a second season, especially at a salary above the veteran minimum.