The New York Giants are making some significant changes on the defensive side of the ball heading into training camp.
After signing former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Gavin Heslop over the weekend, the Giants have reportedly signed two more players on defense: safety Andrew Adams and defensive lineman Nick Williams.
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Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News reported the Adams reunion on Monday night:
“Giants are signing safety Andrew Adams, per source,” Leonard tweeted. “2nd stint with the club. Good and versatile player.”
Adams, 29, played his first two NFL seasons with Ben McAdoo’s Giants (2016-2017). He started 13 of the 14 games in which he appeared as an undrafted rookie in 2016, but the following season he only made four starts (16 games played).
Adams has spent the majority of the past four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he became a Super Bowl champion, but he also had brief offseason stints with the Detroit Lions in 2019 and Philadelphia Eagles in 2021.
As for the Williams signing, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network has the details:
“The #Giants are signing veteran DL Nick Williams, source says,” Garafolo reported on Twitter. “Williams started all 17 games with the #Lions last year and 13 the year before. To make room for Williams, the team is waiving DL Jabari Ellis, who signed as an undrafted free agent out of South Carolina.”
Williams, 32, was originally a seventh-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2013. He never appeared in a game with the Steelers, but he caught on with the Kansas City Chiefs a year later. Williams also spent time with the Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears before establishing himself as a full-time starter with the Detroit Lions over the past two seasons.
By signing Williams and releasing Ellis, the Giants seem to be prioritizing experience over future potential on the defensive line.
Can Andrew Adams Help Solidify the Secondary?
Heading into training camp, the defensive backfield may be the biggest question mark for the Giants. Xavier McKinney and Julian Love are the projected starters at safety, and fourth-round rookie Dane Belton is probably the next man up. Adams will provide this unit with some valuable experience and depth.
Adams has played in 87 career games (35 starts) and has seven career interceptions in addition to 23 career passes defensed.
The cornerback position is still a little shaky. Adoree’ Jackson is taking over for James Bradberry as the No. 1 corner, while second-year pro Aaron Robinson steps into the No. 2 role on the outside. Darnay Holmes and third-round rookie Cor’Dale Flott will battle for the nickel back role.
Despite the uncertainty at cornerback, Giants fans should feel a little more confident about the strength of the secondary after the addition of Adams.
Is D-Line Now the Giants’ Biggest Strength?
Defensive line may have been the Giants’ biggest strength before the addition of Williams, but now the unit is straight up flexing. At training camp, Williams will try to carve out a role among players such as Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence and Justin Ellis.
Although Williams was a full-time starter with the Lions, his most productive season came in a rotational role with the Bears in 2018. He started only five games that year, yet recorded career highs for sacks (6.0), QB hits (9), total tackles (42) and tackles for a loss (5).
Williams could now thrive as part of a defensive line rotation with the Giants.