Bobby Rainey has informed fans that he has, indeed, agreed to terms with the New York Giants. The question is, what can he provide?
By Jack Aylmer
Recently, the New York Giants brought in former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Bobby Rainey in for a workout with the team.
While the visit did not end in Rainey signing a deal, the veteran back announced today, via Instagram, that he’s agreed to terms on a deal with the Giants. It seems that New York liked whatever they saw from Rainey in his workout and will give him a chance in their organization.
This is an interesting pickup for the Giants as they take on a player who has shown some occasional flashes of big time potential.
By no means is Rainey the fix-all solution to a Giants rushing attack that finished in the bottom half of the league last season. He’s actually far from a lock to earn a spot on the final 53 man roster, but by bringing Rainey aboard to the roster, Jerry Reese has made it clear that the fifth-year veteran will certainly be given a opportunity to compete.
After being used sparingly by the Cleveland Browns during the 2013 season, Rainey was waived midseason and immediately found a home in Tampa Bay a few weeks later – after injuries to Doug Martin and Mike James forced the Bucs desperate hand. He would go on to lead Tampa Bay in rushing yards that season with 137 attempts for 523 yards and five touchdowns, including 163 yard and 127 yard performances against the Atlanta Falcons and Buffalo Bills. In 2014, Rainey finished second on the team in rushing behind Doug Martin, taking 94 attempts for 406 yards and one touchdown.
Then came the 2015 season, a year in which Rainey saw a startlingly decreased role in the Bucs offense. Rainey was handed the ball only five times, rushing for 18 yards and no touchdowns. With his production haven fallen off a cliff, it’s no wonder the once promising back had yet to find a taker on the open market this offseason.
Still, handing Rainey a contract with little to no guaranteed money could prove to be a worthwhile signing for the Giants. Never in his career has Rainey averaged less yards per carry than Andre Williams did in both is rookie campaign and 2015 season (3.3 and 2.9 yards per attempt respectively).
The former Western Kentucky star also adds some value in way of being a serviceable kick and put return man. Should New York wish to rest their current return ace Dwayne Harris during the course of a game like they did at times last season due to an increased workload on the offense, Rainey could step in and provide decent production.
Rainey took back 19 kickoffs for 469 yards on an average of 24.7 yards per attempt, while also returning 29 punts for 288 yards on a 9.9 yards per attempt average in 2015.
The reluctance of the Tampa Bay coaching staff to give Rainey much time on the field in 2015 was likely a huge concern for Giants brass when discussing whether or not to bring him aboard the team.
However, there is a good chance Rainey realized his market value was small at best. If this is true and Rainey chose to agree to terms on a team friendly deal, this should be a solid pickup for the Giants.
At his best Rainey is a good change of pace back to compete with Orleans Darkwa for a roster spot. At his worst he is an above average veteran camp body for the team. It seems worth seeing what Rainey has left in the tank, albeit at the right price.