Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

One of the needs the New York Giants will have to address this offseason is the running back position. Thankfully, there’s one player available who could be a perfect fit.

Orleans Darkwa, the New York Giants‘ leading rusher from 2017, is a free agent. So is veteran third-down specialist Shane Vereen.

Darkwa is likely seeking a huge payday since he’s coming off the best season of his five-year career, and the price might be too steep for the Giants to match.

At this point, there doesn’t seem to be much mutual interest between the Giants and Vereen continuing their relationship.

The possibility of losing your leading rusher and third-down back is a daunting proposition for a team to be in. But head coach Pat Shurmur might be able to sway a familiar face to join him in New York.

After spending his first four seasons in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings, running back Jerick McKinnon is an unrestricted free agent. Shurmur has a history with McKinnon, having spent his last two seasons as the Vikings offensive coordinator.

With the Vikings already having Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook, who looked like a Rookie of the Year candidate before tearing his ACL in Week 4 on their roster, re-signing McKinnon won’t be one of their top priorities. Odds are, McKinnon will be looking for a bigger role in an offense than what he can get in Minnesota next season.

The 25-year-old carried the ball 150 times for 570 yards and three touchdowns in 2017. He also had 51 receptions for 421 yards and two more scores.

His best game of the season came in Week 5 in the Vikings’ 20-17 victory over the Chicago Bears. McKinnon carried the ball 16 times for 95 yards and a touchdown while catching six passes for 51 yards.

The versatility he brings seems to be the perfect fit for the Giants who, as Shurmur noted in his introductory press conference this past Friday, are going to run an up-tempo attack.

“I think we have an offense that we’re going to constantly try to do the things that our players can do well. So once we quickly learn what our players are good at, then we’ll ‑‑ but I do have a West Coast background. My last three years in Philadelphia, I was with Chip Kelly, and so the tempo and being able to play fast, there’s advantages to using that strategically. When you can run the ball like we did this year, and we developed a core set of runs, then the play actions are meaningful and that’s how you can drive the ball down the field. So try to use all those things. And then when they’re trying to destroy our quarterback, certainly the screen game is something that’s very important. So I don’t know.  I don’t know if there’s a label for it. We want to play good offense. We want to play New York Giants offense.”

Shurmur already acquired one of his former players with the Vikings last week in tight end Kyle Carter. You have to figure he has his sights set on having a reunion with McKinnon in the Big Apple.

Jason's first love was football while growing up in northern New Jersey. For the past three years, he has covered the New York Giants, as well as several boxing events along the East Coast.