by Adam Nardelli | NY Giants Rush Contributor
NY Giants Rush Free Agency: Getting to Know The Other Guys
The Giants clearly made it a priority to beef up the linebacker position in free agency, a spot that had been lacking any sort of depth for some time now. However, Jerry Reese and the rest of the Giants front office didn’t forget about adding some depth on offense as well.
Dwayne Harris, who is going into his fifth year, should be more well-known to Giants fans compared to
two of the Giants other signings on day one of free agency. He was the disruptive (and annoying) Cowboys special teamer, making an impact both returning kicks/punts and covering them.
Harris totaled 742 kickoff return yards this past season, ninth best in the NFL, averaging 24.7 yards per return. Harris was also ninth in punt return yards, collecting 275 total return yards. With the troubles the Giants have had in generating plays returning punts and kicks, a player like Harris brings explosiveness and proven success to this element of the special teams.
Harris didn’t play much as a receiver in Dallas, but with Victor Cruz coming off a serious knee injury, Harris is another option who will want to make the most of his opportunity at receiver if given the chance. While Harris gives the Giants another option at receiver and can make an impact as a returner, the Giants didn’t forget the offensive line.
Marshall Newhouse, a 6’4 319 free agent right tackle who spent last season in Cincinnati, was also signed on day one of free agency. Prior to Cincinnati, he spent his first three seasons in Green Bay, where he was the starting right tackle in 2011 and 2012. However, the last two seasons he has only started seven games. These signing gives the Giants more depth with game experience, especially since James Brewer, McCants and Mosley didn’t work out.
Newhouse could allow the Giants to plug him in at right tackle and move Justin Pugh to Guard. His contract is only for two years for $3.25 million and a low risk move that helps beef up the offensive line.
With the number of injuries to key starters that the Giants have dealt with, they had no choice but to find players like Thomas, Casillas, Harris, and Newhouse, experienced players who extend the depth at each of their positions in case injuries come to fruition again. Knowing the Giants decided to go after these signings instead of one big signing (Suh) is comforting because I know injuries are less likely to hinder where this team can go with greater levels of depth.