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New York Giants 2013 Free Agent Profile: TE Anthony Fasano

March 6th, 2013 at 4:45 PM
By Paul Tierney

The New York Giants, like any team in the NFL, value certain positions more than others. Every general manager will tell you that quarterback is the most essential aspect of any roster capable of contending for a  Super Bowl. Defensive linemen, young draft picks and even wide receivers are all high on the list as well. However, one position that the team has never spent money on during the Jerry Reese are has been tight end.

With Martellus Bennett hitting the free-agent market in 2013, the Giants are either going to change their philosophy, or watch the most talented, promising tight end prospect the team has seen in years walk away. If the team does let Bennett walk, former Miami Dolphins tight end Anthony Fasano could be a good fit as a replacement.

Currently, the Giants have two tight ends on the roster in Bear Pascoe and Adrien Robinson. Pascoe is a veteran that has below average route running and catching ability, while being a reliable blocker as a second tight end. He's nothing more than a backup and does not act as a threat in the passing game. Robinson is a wildcard prospect who took the proverbial "redshirt" year in 2012 to learn the offense and develop his skills. He could break out and emerge as a starting caliber tight end in 2013, but he's not a guy the team can hang their hopes on from the inception of training camp.

If Bennett walks, the Giants will need to add another tight end capable of catching the ball down the field. If the team uses their first or second round draft pick to satisfy that need, then it may not make sense to spend anything above the veteran minimum for a free-agent acquisition. However, assuming past history holds true, the Giants are not selecting Tyler Eifert or Zach Ertz with their first selection in the 2013 draft.

Fasano could be a cheap, veteran option that the team could bring in as a stop-gap player to act as a receiving tight end for a year before the Giants either hand the reigns over to Robinson, or search the free-agent market again in 2014 for a viable long term option.

Fasano will be 29 next season and has caught at least 30 passes in every season since 2008. Last season, he was targeted by Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill 59 times. Fasano is slightly undersized at 6'4" and 255 pounds, but he's a reliable blocker and has sure hands over the middle of the field. He has limitations in terms of speed and athleticism, but at the right price, there is no reason Fasano would not compare favorably to either Kevin Boss or Jake Ballard, both of whom saw a large measure of success catching passes from Eli Manning.

The Giants do not have a lot of salary cap room to work with this offseason. If David Diehl and Corey Webster take significant pay cuts, the team may have the ability to pay Bennett a salary commensurate with his market value. However, with Victor Cruz, Kenny Phillips and Kevin Boothe still unsigned, Bennett may not make sense for the Giants in 2013. Anthony Fasano would be a reliable replacement with the ability to produce significantly in the passing game. He won't block at the same level we saw from Bennett, but for the modest salary he will bring in on the free-agent market, Fasano presents good value for the Giants.

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Tags: Adrien Robinson, Bear Pascoe, Football, Jerry Reese, Miami Dolphins, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Super Bowl, wide receiver

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11 Responses to “New York Giants 2013 Free Agent Profile: TE Anthony Fasano”

  1.  KingAndrewXXIII says:

    Fasano very well could be a short-term answer should the Unicorn decide to leave. My main concern with Fasano, aside from his age, is that I’m not really too sold on his blocking. Personally, I would prefer to steer clear of Fasano.

    In previous threads, I have mentioned the possibility of Reese targeting Redskins TE Fred Davis. Davis is coming off of an achilles injury that he suffered at the beginning of last season and has also had some off-field issues with marijuana. The Skins have already stated they will let him test the market. I think this is the perfect scenario for Reese to offer a multi-year “prove-it” style deal laced with incentives. For one, it adds another young weapon for Eli…and secondly, it takes a weapon away from RG3 and the Skins.

    Another option that I really like at TE if Bennett leaves is Brandon Meyers from the Raiders. More known for his blocking ability, Meyers is coming off his best season in the league with 79 receptions for 806 yards and 4 touchdowns. I think this could be a very under-the-radar signing by Reese. These are actually a little inflated from the production that we generally get out of our TE’s, but show that he has the capability to be a threat as an offensive weapon in addition to a blocking TE. At 27 years old, 6’3 and 256 lbs. he could be a great pairing with Adrien Robinson…and will likely come cheap.

  2.  fanfor55years says:

    Fasano? Meh. There are at least 4-5 others who would do. Reese will have someone by the time camp opens.

    I’m intrigued by a few free agent tackles: Sammie Hill, Glen Dorsey and Desmond Bryant. Each has some hair on him, which probably makes them reasonably priced. But each could be a good answer for the Giants. Get Bryant out of Oakland and under our coaches and he could be pretty good. Dorsey has the bad rap as a draft bust but I think that’s because expectations were too high. He’s darned good against the run even if he hasn’t proved to be a penetrator. Hill would probably come very cheap, and I’ve seen him rush the QB and collapse the pocket the way we hoped Marvin Austin would. Intriguing prospect.

  3.  CT GIANT says:

    There is only ONE THING about not signing the 25 year old Bennett, 6’7 275lbs blocking machine, and with Eli, could, could be with effort a pro bowl TE, and that would be “asking to much”.
    Reese will have to answer some serious questions, if Bennett who’s the best FA TE in the NFL, leaves town saying “he tried to give the giants a discount’.
    The article is correct: Boss; Ballard; Bennett?
    CT GIANT

  4.  Nosh.0 says:

    Bennet is not taking a discount for anyone. He plays tackle football for a living. He’d be a moron to take a discount. He’s going to the team that gives him the most $$$ and that aint NY. Will be nice when he finally signs somewhere so we don’t need to waste anymore time talking about a player who will not be here in 2013.

  5.  kujo says:

    Fasano is fine but would probably not approach Bennett’s production. But if we get more out of Robinson in the reception area, Fasano would certainly be an upgrade over Pascoe as the #2/blocking TE.

  6.  KingAndrewXXIII says:

    http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/3648/eric-winston

    The Chiefs released RT Eric Winston, who signed a 4-year, $22M deal last season. Not a terrible amount for a Pro-Bowl RT. If I were Reese Diehl would be cut instantly and Winston would be a Giant before everyone woke up tomorrow. At that price, Winston actually comes CHEAPER than DD. Could use some of that extra money to throw the Unicorn’s way, pursue one of the DT’s FF55 mentioned above, etc.

    •  Dirt says:

      Looks good in Word, looks like hell in Excel. This team already has so much cap space tied up in the offensive line. Need to get cheaper there so some ball handlers can get them some eventually.

  7.  GOAT56 says:

    I suggested fasano last week. He’s not Bennett but he’s better than Pascoe and can provide a Ballard like target. I think he makes sense because all the eggs aren’t in Robinson but if Robinson is ready, Fasano isn’t going to hold him back. I don’t feel comfortable with Pascoe in any more than a it role. With just him and Robinson plus a PS or late round TE, Pascoe could very well start which isn’t good IMO.

    Winston is an intriguing option at RT. I still think we stay with Brewer and a Lockear type vet but Winston is one of those players with the glut of OTs that could come cheaper than they should.

    I like Amerson more than most here though I think there could be better options in the second round. Amerson seems like the kind of player that will be a better pro than college player. Also like Rolle if he struggles at CB he projects nicely at safety.

  8.  GOAT56 says:

    If we are drafting a CB in the top 3 rounds as most of us assume then it seems like a reduced Webster is our best option at CB. With 3 young CBs in the fold for 2014, CB becomes one of the positions we can fill with quality for cheaply, much like WR now. I don’t think we want a vet CB that has a contract in 2014. I don’t think we can get a top vet CB on a one year deal. And other vet CBs are just as questionable or even more so than Webster.

  9.  GOAT56 says:

    Raiders expected to release Rolando McClain

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