The New York Giants will reportedly sign former New England Patriots safety and special teams weapon Nate Ebner.
Written by Jason Leach and Ryan Honey
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Big Blue will sign safety Nate Ebner. The 31-year-old played for New England from 2012-19, the same exact time frame as Judge’s tenure with the team. The contract will be a one-year deal.
The #Giants are bringing in a familiar face for coach Joe Judge, as former #Patriots special teams ace Nate Ebner is set to join NYG, source said. The ex-rugby star had been with New England since 2012.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 19, 2020
At 6-foot, 220 pounds, Ebner will be a great addition to this roster.
The Pats originally selected Ebner in the sixth round (No. 197 overall) of the 2012 draft out of The Ohio State University. He won three Super Bowl titles with New England and earned second-team AP All-Pro honors for his special teams efforts in 2016.
In spite of the fact that he’s technically a safety, Ebner has played just one defensive snap in the last three seasons combined. His single-season career-high in defensive snaps was set in 2015 when he was on the field for 45. This was just 4% of the Patriots’ total defensive snaps for that entire season.
He’s primarily just been a special teams player and has shined in those regards. This past year, Ebner recorded eight combined tackles (seven solo) through 14 games. Across his entire career (111 total games), he’s racked up 95 combined tackles (61 solo) with one quarterback hit, one forced fumble, and three fumble recoveries.
This isn’t the only time this week the Giants have looked to bolster their 2020 special teams unit. On Tuesday, New York came to terms with wideout Cody Core on a two-year extension worth up to $4.7 million. Core played 283 (62%) of the Giants’ special teams snaps last season and recorded eight total tackles (six solo).
We knew Judge would put an emphasis on special teams this offseason, and with the signing of Ebner and Core, this proves it.
Nonetheless, this means it’s looking less likely that the Giants will bring back Michael Thomas. The 31-year-old has been their best special teams player over the last two seasons and has also played the safety position from time to time.