The New York Giants met with former Boise State star pass-rusher Curtis Weaver on at least two separate occasions leading up to the 2020 NFL Draft. Ultimately, the Mountain West Conference’s all-time leader in sacks landed with the Miami Dolphins come draft day, while the Giants failed to acquire a single edge-defender prior to the seventh-round.
However, the Giants have found themselves in a peculiar spot where they are once again in the running to acquire the services of Weaver a mere four months after missing out on him.
The Dolphins made an eye-opening move on Monday when they waived the young defender with an injury designation due to a foot injury suffered during practice two days prior. Weaver is not expected to be healthy enough to suit up this season.
However, with Big Blue owning the fourth priority in waivers, chances are they will at the very least highly entertain the possibility of putting a bid in on Weaver to stash him away for the following season. Especially when it comes to a player who they’d shown interest in just a few months prior.
Weaver Has 1st-Round Talent
After the initial shockwaves of Weaver’s release, ESPN’s Cameron Wolf added some clarity behind the move. “Weaver is a non-vested player (less than 4 years of NFL experience) he has to be placed on waivers to be put on IR before cutdown day,” Wolf said, via Twitter. “Stops teams from stashing young guys with minor injuries.”
The belief around the league is that Miami would like to keep Weaver if possible, hoping they can sneak him through waivers. However, that may prove much more difficult than they’d prefer.
Not long ago Weaver was pegged as a likely late-first-round selection. Pro Football Focus ranked him as the No. 26 prospect in the entire 2020 class. A quick glimpse back at his time at Boise State and it’s easy to see why.
The 2019 Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year was uber-productive throughout his collegiate career, collecting 34 career sacks and never registering less than 9.5 sacks in any of his three seasons of play.
Many projected a potential a slight draft-day slide for Weaver, whose athletic limitations and frame (6-foot-2-inches, 265-pounds) posed some questions for transitioning to the pros. Still, no one expected him to be there for the taking when the Dolphins were on the clock in the fifth-round.
With the Giants reluctant to commit to their leading sack artist, Markus Golden, for the long-term and a slew of question marks beyond him, it would be in New York’s best interest to take a low-risk swing on a player with high-end upside.
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Judge to Take Belichick’s Lead?
Some have been known to refer to Giants’ head coach Joe Judge as “Bill Belichick on steroids,” so it’s only right he’d potentially follow in his predecessor’s footsteps of making shrewd moves.
NorthJersey.com’s Art Stapleton envisions a scenario where the Giants “take a page out of the Belichick playbook“, pointing back to a time when the Patriots claimed an injured Jake Ballard off of waivers. Ballard, a former starting tight end for the Giants, was waived by New York with an injury-designation following an ACL tear in Super Bowl XLVI. The idea was Ballard would clear waivers and revert to New York’s injured reserve.
Belichick clearly had other ideas, taking to the media to debunk the idea of an “unwritten rule” when it comes to claiming an injured player.
“If a player’s on waivers, he’s on waivers, ours or anybody else’s. I don’t know what ‘unwrittens’ you’re talking about,” Belichick proclaimed, as noted by Stapleton. “Look, anytime you put a player on waivers, you know there’s 31 teams that can take him. We all know that, there’s no secrets about that.”
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