The New York Giants are retaining one of their standouts from the 2022 season. The club announced on Thursday it has signed wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins to a contract.
Giants signed WR Isaiah Hodgins, who was set to become an exclusive rights free agent.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 16, 2023
The specific terms of Hodgins’ deal were not immediately disclosed. This does avoid the pass-catcher from hitting free agency later this off-season, however.
The 24-year-old was set to be an exclusive rights free agent. That means all New York needed to do to retain Hodgins was extend a qualifying offer. Because of this, he’d be unable to negotiate with other teams. It’s currently unclear if the Giants elected to go down the qualifying offer route or if they came to terms on a more lucrative and/or longer-term deal with their wide receiver. Nevertheless, he’s set to return in 2023.
Hodgins originally entered the NFL as a sixth-round draft choice of the Buffalo Bills in 2020 out of Oregon State. He entered the 2022 season with Buffalo, but was waived on Nov. 1. New York claimed him off waivers, reuniting him with Giants head coach Brian Daboll, who was his offensive coordinator with the Bills for the first two years of his career.
With New York’s wide receiver room depleted, Hodgins was leaned on down the stretch. He started five of his 10 games played for the club to wrap up the regular season. He also started both of the Giants’ two playoff games, including their win over the Minnesota Vikings in the Wild Card. In that game, Hodgins caught eight of his nine targets for career-high 105 yards and a touchdown.
New York is facing a pivotal off-season where both quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley are set to hit free agency. Along with retaining those pillars of their offense, they’ll also likely look to improve the wide receiver room so that Hodgins is not the only one catching passes.
The Giants have exceeded expectations, but will not be favorites to win the NFC East according to New York sports-books. They’d have to surpass the reigning NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles to get to that achievement.