Days before training camp opens, the Giants have brought in an old enemy to bolster their linebacking corps.
The New York Giants capped off their offseason with the signing of a Pro-Bowl linebacker.
Linebacker Connor Barwin, most recently of the Los Angeles Rams, signed with the Giants just two days before veterans report for training camp.
ESPN’s Jordan Raanan was the first to report it, and Barwin himself confirmed his change shortly after.
The Giants are expected to sign veteran outside linebacker Connor Barwin, per source. Adds much-needed depth at the position and a quality veteran presence. Also has a strong relationship with LB coach Bill McGovern from their time together in Philadelphia.
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) July 23, 2018
I’m excited to announce I’ve agreed to terms with the New York Football Giants. Let’s go G-Men! #GiantsPride
— Connor Barwin (@ConnorBarwin98) July 23, 2018
Barwin, 31, is set to enter his 10th NFL season, having taken part in last season’s revitalization of the Rams. He had 26 tackles over 14 games (13 starts) in 2017, including five sacks, en route to an 11-5 record and the team’s first NFC West title since 2003.
As Raanan notes in his tweet, the Giants have a bit of familiarity with Barwin. Entering the league out of Cincinnati as a second-round selection of the Houston Texans in 2009, Barwin signed with the Philadelphia Eagles four seasons later.
He enjoyed a breakout season 2014, tallying a career 14.5 sacks (tied for fourth in the league), his first Pro Bowl nomination, and second-team All-Pro honors.
In nine games against the Giants, including a 51-17 win with the Rams last season, Barwin has tallied 17 tackles and five sacks. During that breakout season in 2014, a 27-0 Eagles win in October featured three Barwin sacks of Eli Manning. Barwin’s teams as a whole have gone 7-2 against New York.
With the offseason ending with the onset of training camp, the Giants have done plenty to fill in their needs at linebacker. A franchise that prides itself on the historic exploits of champions like Lawrence Taylor, Carl Banks, and Harry Carson, the Giants have had some rough luck at the position, their last Pro Bowler at the spot coming in 2007 (Antonio Pierce).
This offseason featured the Giants trading for another former All-Pro with the Rams franchise, Alec Ogletree, and drafting Lorenzo Carter in the third round of April’s draft. The drafting of Carter, a Georgia product, marked the first time the Giants chose a linebacker within the draft’s first three rounds since taking Clint Sintim in the second round in 2009.
Veterans will report to training camp on Wednesday, with the first practice at Quest Diagnostics Training Center set for Thursday afternoon at 2:45 p.m. ET.