It was obvious to former Giants TE Will Tye that his time with Big Blue was coming to an end during training camp last season.
The Giants drafted Ole Miss TE Evan Engram as well as signing veteran free-agent Rhett Ellison to add to the already-crowded tight end corps. Tye may have played in all 16 games with 10 starts in 2016, totaling 395 yards and a lone touchdown. But with a first-rounder and veteran on a multi-year deal, he knew he was on a short leash.
His assumptions were right as Tye was waived before the regular season started.
"That was something that I kind of knew was coming," Tye told NJ.com's Dan Duggan. "It was definitely different when that happened. Talking with (former coach Ben) McAdoo after, he knew it was probably the best move. I didn't believe it at first, but now I do. I probably would have been stuck there and I knew I had other options and he knew that, so it helped me out. It's just been different. I'm not mad about it too much."
Tye shouldn't be mad he made his way out of the Giants' locker room after a tumultuous 3-13 season. But he does wish the Giants believed in him some more, as he began training camp at the bottom of the depth chart. After all, he was the most experienced tight end that knew the Giants' system.
"You just wish you had a fair chance," he said. "You thought you came off a good year so, 'Let me get a chance to make this my year.' But that's the business of it and you've just got to move on."
Tye moved onto the Jets the very next day after he was cut, and he played in three games in place of the suspended Austin Seferian-Jenkins. He made four catches for 38 yards in those games. But, once Seferian-Jenkins came back, Tye was cut and without a job once again.
"It seemed like it was a fill-in, that's for sure," Tye said about his time with the Jets. "It was something that happened really fast. Obviously being signed that next day. I got there and tried to learn everything I could. That was tough for me. I ended up playing the majority of the first game. It was a quick learning curve to try to learn everything, but I think I did pretty well while I was there for the amount of time I had."
After visiting the Chiefs and Ravens, the Patriots scooped Tye up and signed him to their practice on Oct. 12. He has been in that position ever since, and now, he has a shot to win a Super Bowl ring.
"I'm learning a lot," Tye said. "It feels good to still be competing every day. It's definitely been a life-changing experience for me."
Despite being in the running for a Super Bowl title with the Pats, Tye went into Giants camp believing he would be wearing a Blue and White jersey in Miinesota instead.
"I was surprised," Tye said on the Giants' season. "The team had all the talent, but all the injuries made it tough. That's tough to deal with that. Just knowing those guys, I know they were still trying hard but it was tough to see that."
Tye cherished the Giants, even though he only spent two seasons there. They gave him a shot as an undrafted free agent out of Stony Brook, and he credits his time there for being the first building block of his young career.
"I enjoyed everything about it," Tye said. "When I first came there they treated me nice, they treated me fair. It was a good two years there. I grew a lot there, I learned a lot from different coaches and players. I had a good first two years there definitely."
In those two seasons, Tye amassed 859 yards on 90 receptions with four touchdowns as well.