Paul Perkins tine in Blue is up
(Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

Paul Perkins found out on Thursday that the life in the NFL can be a short one as the New York Giants waived him after two seasons with the team.

Life in the NFL is not kind, as a career can end just as soon as it begins.

All was well with Paul Perkins just a year ago. He was atop on the New York Giants depth chart at running back, and many felt 2017 would be a breakout season for him.

He then suffered a pectoral injury prior to the Giants offseason organized team activities which required surgery.  This led to the Giants waiving Perkins on Thursday with a non-football injury.

Perkins cleared waivers on Friday and remains on the Giants reserve/non-football injury list, but doesn’t count on the 90-man roster. But it’s clear he doesn’t seem to be in the Giants plans for 2018.

It has been a quick and sudden fall from grace for the 23-year-old Perkins. Typically the recovery time for a pectoral injury can take four to six months. This means it’s highly unlikely he’ll be ready for football activities when training camps open in July making it that much harder for him to make an NFL roster.

The reason for the optimism for Perkins heading into 2017 was because of how strong he finished 2016. He averaged 4.5 yards or better in four of the Giants final five games including his lone 100 yard game in the season finale against the Redskins where he had 102 yards on 21 carries.

He finished second on the team in rushing with 456 yards on 112 carries and had 15 receptions for 162 yards.

He showed the upside that the Giants saw from him during his three years at UCLA where he gained 3,488 yards on the ground and found the end zone 32 times. This is why many felt the Giants got a great value by drafting him in the fifth round (149th) overall. But now the team has decided to go in a new direction.

Following the Giants loss on Wild Card Weekend to the Green Bay Packers in January of 2017, the Giants cut Rashad Jennings, because they felt Perkins was their running back for the present and future. Perkins began preparing for the 2017 season and seemed ready for the increased role as the lead back.

I actually had a chance to speak with him one-on-one at the Giants OTA’s. He spoke about trying to improve his overall game by watching film of running backs he grew up watching such as Tiki Barber, Willis McGahee, and Arian Foster. (click here to view the entire interview)

All signs pointed to the Giants and Perkins having a successful 2017. Instead, it was a nightmare season for both Perkins and the Giants.

In the Giants first four games he carried the ball 32 times and gained only 61 yards. To make matters worse he suffered a rib injury in the Giants 25-23 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just four weeks into the season.

The injury and the emergence of Orleans Darkwa and rookie Wayne Gallman pushed Perkins back on the depth chart. He would carry the ball just nine more times the rest of the season for 29 yards.

Due to his poor performance a season ago, with Gallman already ahead of him on the depth chart, and with the additions of Stewart and first-round pick Saquon Barkley, it was going to be difficult for Perkins to make the team.

The average NFL career lasts just 3.3 years and you have to wonder if in the back of Perkins mind if he’s thinking if he’ll play another down in the NFL.

The Giants know all too well how quickly a running back’s career can end. David Wilson in his second year on the team was atop on the depth chart in 2013, only to see his career come to an abrupt end in Week Five with a neck injury.

Maybe he’ll get another chance to show he belongs in the NFL, or maybe we’re just witnessing another example of how quickly an NFL career can end.

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.