The New York Giants have been busy at work in an attempt to bolster their roster. Within the past three days, the team has signed four players (Alfred Morris, Joe Looney, Damion Willis and Todd Davis) and taken a closer look at a number of others on a tryout basis.
Yet, as new players trickle into East Rutherford, former Giants continue to surface in other training camps across the NFL landscape — specifically New Orleans.
The Saints have announced the signing of free-agent running back Devonta Freeman, who spent a fraction of last season as Big Blue’s lead-back in the wake of Saquon Barkley’s season-ending knee injury. On top of that, the Saints are also planning on signing veteran cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and KeiVarae Russell pending the results of their physicals, per ESPN’s Dan Graziano.
The latest Giants news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Giants newsletter here!
The Amukamara-Giants Reunion That Never Was
Amukamara, 32, was selected No. 19 overall by the Giants in the 2011 NFL draft. The Nebraska product would go on to play five seasons in New York, starting all but 10 of his 55 regular-season game appearances with the team. Amukamara flashed high-end play from time to time during his run with Big Blue, but was bogged down by inconsistency and a tendency to commit pass interference penalties.
It wasn’t until his exit from New York that Amukamara began to truly live up to his draft status. Following a forgetful one-year stint with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Amukamara went on to join the Chicago Bears in 2017, where he played three seasons, never once posting a Pro Football Focus coverage grade below 70.0.
Last offseason there were rumblings of Amukamara finding his way back to the Giants. NJ Media Group reported that the team had an interest in signing Amukamara, as well as then-free agent Logan Ryan. The cornerback was evidently on board with a reunion, telling the New York Post’s Steve Serby “that’s where I started,” and that “it would be awesome” to return to the team that drafted him all those years ago.
Ultimately, the Giants sided with Ryan — a homerun decision in retrospect. As for Amukamara, he bounced around the Las Vegas Raiders and Arizona Cardinals‘ practice squad throughout the 2020 regular season, failing to appear in a game.
Freeman & Russell’s Time in New York
As for the other two ex-Giants making their way to NOLA, Freeman and Russell’s time with Big Blue was far less extensive. The latter was a late-camp addition last year, signed on August 29th. The former third-round pick was subsequently waived a week later.
As for Freeman, the Giants signed the former two-time Pro Bowler after Week 2 of last season in hopes that he could slide into the RB1 duties left behind by Barkley. While fans didn’t take so fondly to Freeman, clamoring for Wayne Gallman to supplant the ex-Atlanta Falcon atop the team’s depth chart, the 29-year-old was actually beginning to carve out a featured role prior to being bitten by the injury bug.
From Week 4 through Week 6, Freeman totaled 53 touches, including back-to-back games where he touched the ball 19 times apiece and averaged 72 yards from scrimmage.
- Giants Cut Injured RB, Sign 2-Time Pro Bowler in His Place
- Giants Sign Intriguing 24-Year-Old Big-Bodied Wideout
- Giants Sign Ex-Cowboys Starter One Year After Striking Out: Report
- Giants Likely to Sign Ex-Rams, Vikings QB After Strong Workout: Report
For more Giants content, follow @VinnySomma on Twitter.