The New York Giants on Thursday gave restricted free-agent tight end Larry Donnell the original-round tender of $1.671 million, which effectively means he'll be back with the team in 2016. Tendering Donnell gives the Giants the right to match any offer Donnell might receive from another team.
It's extremely rare for teams to make offers to other teams' restricted free agents, and the fact that Donnell is still rehabbing the neck injury that ended his 2015 season makes it difficult to believe he'll be the exception.
The Giants hope Donnell recovers from the injury and resumes his role as their primary pass-catching tight end in 2016, but having him under contract won't stop them from continuing to look for tight end help on the market. They struggled mightily in the running game after they lost blocking tight end Daniel Fells to a MRSA staph infection midseason, and while they like Donnell and young tight ends Will Tye and Jerome Cunningham, they need someone who can handle the blocking responsibilities in case none of those guys improves sufficiently in that area.
One free-agent name to watch is that of former Packers tight end Andrew Quarless, who worked with new Giants coach Ben McAdoo when McAdoo was an assistant coach in Green Bay. Former Colts tight end Dwayne Allen could be on the radar as well.