Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Giants Sign Five Players on Busy First Day of Free Agency

While they didn't sign any big names, the New York Giants wasted little time in retooling their football team for the 2014 season signing five different players to contracts.

First, they re-signed running back Peyton Hillis and cornerback Steve Brown to contracts. Hillis was one of the many running backs the Giants used last year, and for the most part he provided enough of a spark for New York to bring him back in 2014. Brown returns to the Giants after suffering an ACL tear last year. He was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2012, so the Giants are hoping he can return to form this season.

As the afternoon wore on the Giants started looking down the free agent isle, and came away with three new names to Big Blue. While none of these names jump out on paper, they could have an impact on the team when fall arrives.

First the Giants took a big step in improving their beaten up offensive line when the signed former Kansas City Chiefs' guard Geoff Schwartz. Schwartz who is 6'6", 340 lbs. was the top interior lineman on the market, and he will slide right into left guard for the Giants, with Chris Snee moving over to right guard. The addition of Schwartz means that Big Blue is dead serious about improving their line play which played a big roll in the Giants horrific 2013 season.

Next the Giants went out and signed former Seahawks linebacker O'Brien Schofield to a two year deal, which will add depth to the Giants linebacker corps, and signed former Raiders running back Rashad Jennings.

While Jennings is not a known quantity, and there were more experienced backs on the market, the Giants decided to take a flyer on a guy who has been mostly a back-up running back in his career with the Jaguars and Raiders. He did run for 700 yards last year with the Raiders. Perhaps the Giants are hoping he can be a nice surprise for them, the way Chris Ivory, another proverbial third down back, was for the cross-town Jets in 2013.

Even though Big Blue was busy signing guys, they couldn't sign everyone. Linval Joesph, who anchored the Giants defense in recent seasons, signed a three-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings.

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