The New York Giants made a splash by signing defensive lineman Leonard Williams to a long-term deal earlier this week. Now the team is doing their best to bulk up their front-seven around their defensive star.
The Giants have agreed to terms with former Minnesota Vikings defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo on a one-year contract, via the team’s official website. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the 26-year-old edge defender receives a one-year deal worth $2.5 million.
Seemingly not finished adding to their pass rush, ESPN’s Michael Rothstein has reported that the team is set to meet with former Patriots outside linebacker Brandon Copeland for a free-agent visit this week. Copeland is also expected to meet with the Falcons in the coming days.
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Odenigbo Presents Intriguing Upside
Odenigbo, a New Jersey native, has recorded 10.5 sacks over the past two seasons. As ESPN’s Jordan Raanan noted, that is more sacks than any current Giants defender over that span not named Leonard Williams (H/T ESPN’s Jordan Raanan).
An interesting tidbit, Odenigbo’s first career sack was a 12-yard takedown of Giants quarterback Daniel Jones in Week 5 of the 2019 season.
A 2017 seventh-round pick out of Northwestern, the 6-foot-3-inch, 258-pound Odenigbo spent the majority of his rookie season on the Vikings practice squad. Prior to the start of 2018, Odenigbo was waived, kicking off an extended trip that would eventually end back in Minnesota. The defensive end has a cup of coffee with both the Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals, the latter of which he appeared in one game with before being waived. In late October of that year, the Vikings brought Odenigbo back for what would be his second stint with the team. He spent the remainder of the year on the team’s practice squad.
It wasn’t until 2019 that Odenigbo began to make waves on the Vikings defense, cracking the team’s opening day 53-man roster. He would go on to appear in all 16 games that season, collecting a career-high 7.0 sacks.
In 2020, with the loss of Everson Griffen and Yannick Ngakoue’s limited six-game stint, Odenigbo carved out an even larger role along the team’s front-seven. After not drawing a single start in his career up to this point, Odenigbo started in all 15 of his game appearances this past season. The former second-team All-Big Ten selection recorded 3.5 sacks as well as personal-bests in both tackles (35/16 solo) and quarterback hits (15).
Brandon Copeland to Visit Giants
In a day and age where contracts are agreed upon mere minutes into the legal tampering period, GM Dave Gettleman and the Giants have opted to turn the clock back to a simpler time — taking a more hands-on approach. Just as the team is expected to meet with top free-agent wide receiver Kenny Golladay, they are reported to do the same with linebacker Brandon Copeland.
Copeland’s 2020 campaign was limited to just six games due to a torn pectoral muscle. His best season as a pro came back in 2018 while a member of the New York Jets. The now-29-year-old notched a career-high 5.0 sacks, 14 quarterback hits and eight tackles for loss.
Over his six years in the NFL, the former undrafted free agent has appeared in 66 career games (18 starts), tallying 119 total tackles and 7.0 sacks.
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