Friday, March 7, 2014
Giants re-sign LB Mark Herzlich
By Dan Graziano
Yes, the New York Giants have re-signed one of their linebackers. No, it's not the one fans have been hoping they'd re-sign. While they continue to work on bringing back Jon Beason before he hits the open market Tuesday, the Giants announced Friday that they have agreed to a new deal with Mark Herzlich, whose inability to handle the starting middle linebacker job was one of the reasons the Giants traded for Beason during the 2013 season.
While he has not developed into a starter, Herzlich has been a useful player for the Giants. He's one of their best special-teams players and led the team with 14 special-teams tackles in 2013, and he's proven to be a useful reserve linebacker as well. Herzlich was a restricted free agent, so the Giants could have tendered him a contract and seen whether anyone else tried to sign him, but instead he's locked up for 2014.
Earlier this week, the Giants tendered restricted free-agent linebacker Spencer Paysinger, which means he's almost certain to be back in 2014, and they hosted recently released former Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain for a visit. McClain is a potential fallback at middle linebacker if they don't sign Beason, but they would prefer him as a strongside linebacker with Beason (or some better Beason replacement) in the middle. McClain has spoken to Buffalo and other teams as well.
The Giants have until 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday to sign Beason if they want to keep him off the open market. While teams are allowed to start contacting the agents for other teams' free agents at noon ET on Saturday, Beason is representing himself. Therefore, the rules prohibit him from talking to any team but the Giants until the start of the new league year, which is 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday.