The New York Giants set out to retain their sack leader Leonard Williams this offseason, which they did. However, they’ve now lost the second of their top-three sack-getters from last season.
Veteran outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell has agreed to terms on a contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, per the team’s official website.
Fackrell’s most memorable moment with New York would undoubtedly be when he snagged his first career interception off of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott in Week 5 of this past season. The linebacker snatched a tipped pass out of the air, delivered a devastating stiff arm to running back Ezekiel Elliott, and then squirmed his way to a 46-yard touchdown return.
Here’s a video to help jog your memory:
Fackrell’s pick-six was good enough to earn him the No. 3 spot on the team’s official “Top-10 plays from 2020 season” list.
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Fackrell Was a Steady Contributor in His Lone Season With NYG
Fackrell spent just one season in East Rutherford, as he was an under-the-radar addition by GM Dave Gettleman at this time last year. In 2020, Fackrell appeared in 12 games (nine starts) for the Giants, recording 34 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 10 quarterback hits and 4.0 sacks. The latter number tied him with new Vikings defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson for second amongst all Giants defenders.
Prior to suffering a lower leg injury in Week 11 that ultimately landed him on injured reserve, Fackrell was emerging as one the most leaned-on defenders in Patrick Graham’s defensive system. From Week 5 through Week 10, the Utah State product logged an average of 93% of the team’s defensive snaps.
As for how the Giants will replace Fackrell, the team has been actively addressing their outside linebacker position thus far in free agency, adding ex-Vikings edge rusher Ifeadi Odenigbo, as well as former second-round pick Ryan Anderson. New York is also set to get back both Oshane Ximines and Lorenzo Carter at the position, both of whom were opening day starters last year prior to suffering season-ending injuries. Furthermore, youngsters such as Carter Coughlin and Cam Brown flashed down the stretch last season and could play a pivotal part in what Coach Graham hopes to do on the edge of Big Blue’s defense in 2021.
Fackrell Will Look to Help Replace Melvin Ingram With the Bolts
Originally a third-round pick of the Green Bay Packers, Fackrell spent the first four seasons of his NFL career in Wisconsin. Appearing in 61 games (9 starts) with the Pack, Fackrell amassed 111 tackles and 16.5 sacks. His most prolific season came back in 2018 when he led the team with 10.5 sacks — the lone double-digit sack campaign of his career.
Overall, Fackrell has played a total of 73 games (18 starts) over his five-year career, amassing 145 tackles, 42 quarterback hits, 28 tackles for loss and 20.5 sacks. Now in Los Angeles, Fackrell will try and help aid in the loss of Pro Bowl edge rusher Melvin Ingram, who is not expected back with the Bolts. Fackrell’s sack output in 2020 would have ranked third amongst all Chargers defenders, behind only Joey Bosa (7.5) and Uchenna Nwosu (4.5).
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