EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – One Eli is returning to the Giants.
No, not Eli Manning, who is firmly and comfortably retired. But running back Elijhaa (Eli) Penny, who played in all 16 games in the 2019 season, has agreed to contract terms with the Giants, the team announced today. The agreement is contingent on Penny passing his physical.
Penny, 6-1 and 250 pounds, recently completed his second season with the Giants and third in the NFL. He scored his first Giants touchdown on Oct. 20 vs. Arizona – his former team - when Michael Thomas blocked Andy Lee's punt in the end zone and Penny recovered the ball for the score. The touchdown was the Giants' first on a blocked punt since Nov. 10, 2013, when Damontre Moore interrupted a kick by Oakland's Marquette King and Cooper Taylor scooped up the ball and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown.
Used primarily as a blocker for Saquon Barkley, Penny concluded the season with 15 rushing attempts for 39 yards, with a long run of six yards, and two receptions for nine yards. He also played extensively on special teams and had two tackles. Penny started the season opener in Dallas.
Penny joined the Giants on Sept. 19, 2018, when he was signed off the Arizona Cardinals' practice squad. That season he played in 14 games with three starts and had seven carries for 25 yards and eight catches for 50 yards. He started and had a season-high five carries for 21 yards at Washington on Dec. 9.
Penny was originally signed by the Cardinals as a rookie free agent from Idaho on May 9, 2016. He was waived at the end of training camp and spent that season on the team's practice squad. Penny made the Cardinals' roster in 2017, when he played in all 16 games and had career-high totals of 31 rushing attempts for 124 yards and two touchdowns and 11 special teams tackles. He also had four receptions for 38 yards.
At the University of Idaho, Penny played in 23 games with 14 starts in two seasons after transferring from Cerritos College. He finished his career with 385 carries for 1,748 yards and 22 touchdowns, and 39 catches for 346 yards and 3 scores. Penny also returned 15 kickoffs for 278 yards.
*The Giants also announced that tackle George Asafo-Adjei has been waived, failed physical.
Asafo-Adjei, who played collegiately at Kentucky, was the first of the team's two seventh-round draft choices in 2019. He suffered a concussion in training camp and on Aug. 31 was placed on injured reserve, where he spent the entire season.
View the players set to become free agents when the new league year begins March 18.