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Giants sign OL Matt Gono; TE Kaden Smith waived


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. โ€“ The Giants bolstered their offensive line with the signing of former Atlanta Falcon Matt Gono, a versatile lineman who has played both tackle and guard.

The team also announced they have waived tight end Kaden Smith, a move that comes nine days after the Giants cut ties with tight end Kyle Rudolph, who joined the Giants last year after 10 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. Evan Engram, the most prominent member of that position group, is set to become a free agent.

Wide receiver David Sills V, who was set to become an exclusive rights free agent, signed a new contract.

Gono, 6-4 and 305 pounds, spent the entire 2021 season on the reserve/physically unable to perform list after undergoing shoulder surgery in June.

In 2020, he participated in 333 snaps while playing in all 16 games. Gono started in four games - at right tackle against Chicago on Oct. 27, at the Chargers on Dec. 13 and vs. Tampa Bay the following week. Gono started at left guard at Kansas City on Dec. 27.

Gono originally joined the Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 2019, when he played in five games as a reserve.

Gono played four seasons at Wesley College, a Division III school in Dover, Delaware whose program was discontinued in 2021. As a senior, he was named first-team All-America.

Gono attended Cinnaminson High School in southern New Jersey. He was born in Liberia.

Smith joined the Giants as a waiver claim on Sept. 16, 2019, two days after he was cut by the San Francisco 49ers, who had selected him in the sixth round of the NFL Draft that year.

In three seasons with the Giants, Smith played in 33 games with 22 starts and caught 52 passes for 413 yards (7.9-yard avg.) and three touchdowns with a long reception of 32 yards.

In 2021, Smith played in nine games with four starts and caught three passes for 33 yards, including two for 24 yards at Washington on Sept. 16. He suffered a knee injury in the Giants' victory against Las Vegas on Nov. 7 and was inactive for two games before being placed on injured reserve Dec. 3.

Smith had his most productive season as a rookie in 2019 when he played in nine games with six starts and had 31 receptions for 268 yards and three touchdowns. His most memorable performance was on Dec. 22 at Washington, where he caught six passes for 35 yards, including touchdowns of nine and three yards, the latter the game-winner in overtime. The following week, he recorded career-high totals of eight catches and 98 yards vs. Philadelphia.

The Giants currently have three tight ends under contract: recently re-signed Chris Myarick, who caught three passes, including a touchdown, in eight games last season; Jake Hausmann, who spent much of the season on the practice squad; and Rysen John, who spent the season on injured reserve. Veteran Levine Toilolo, who was also on I.R. for the entire season, is a free agent.

Sills V, who joined the Giants in 2019, appeared in four games (one start) last season and caught two passes for 17 yards.

View photos of the career of new Giants offensive lineman Matt Gono.


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