J.T. Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports Images
The New York Giants officially confirmed that the team has signed the following unrestricted free agents:
- RB Shane Vereen (from the New England Patriots)
- WR/Returner Dwayne Harris (from the Dallas Cowboys)
- OT Marshall Newhouse (from the Cincinnati Bengals)
- LB J.T. Thomas (from the Jacksonville Jaguars)
- LB Jonathan Casillas (from the New England Patriots)
Running Back Shane Vereen (Giants.com Video Interview):
“Vereen gives us lots of versatility as a receiver and runner,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “He is one of the best as a receiver out of the backfield or detached. He is very hard to handle for most linebackers. And he has big game experience.”
“(I made this) decision with my family,” Vereen said. “At the end of the day, I wanted to make a decision that was right for us, right for them, and this is a great organization. I was fortunate enough to play in New England with another great organization. This is not a step down; if anything, it is a step up. I am looking forward to the opportunity, and I am enjoying being in New York.
“I think it (third down back) is just a role I have always felt comfortable in. It has always been a role I have been tagged with. I had to learn how to do that to get on the field. That is how it started in college. I had to pass protect to get on the field. I had to catch the ball to get on the field. When you are backed up against the wall and your only option is to get better, then that is what you work at.
“I am looking for an opportunity to get the ball in my hands any way possible, whether it is running the ball or catching the ball. Any way. I am sure we are going to find ways to be effective with it.”
Wide Receiver/Returner Dwayne Harris (Giants.com Video Interview):
“Harris is a well-kept secret to a lot of people, except the teams in NFC East,” said Reese. “He is one of the top all-around special teams players in league and a solid third or fourth receiving option.”
“I am a physical player,” Harris said. “I think all of the Giants fans are going to find that out soon. I am a physical player and I like the physical nature of the game. I like being the guy who hits players. I take a lot of hits during the game. It is always fun to return the favor.
“This was just a perfect fit for me with what (the Giants) do. They are going to give me a chance to play my old team, the Dallas Cowboys, twice a year.”
Offensive Tackle Marshall Newhouse (Giants.com Video Interview):
“Newhouse is another guy who brings starter experience and depth,” said Reese. “He can play tackle on either the left or the right side.”
“I can do both (play either tackle),” Newhouse said, who played with the Packers from 2010-13 before signing with the Bengals in 2014. “I have played plenty of left. I have started over 20 games at left and I have played plenty at right. I can do whatever they need me to do.
“(Re-joining Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo) was a big part (in me signing with the Giants). It is good to always have familiarity, and he knows what I can do. I am just looking forward to proving him right and then some.”
Linebacker J.T. Thomas (Giants.com Video Interview):
“My agents and I went back and forth, and it just felt like I needed to be (here),” Thomas said. “I just want to thank the Mara and Tisch families for having me. I am excited. (I received) a call from Coach (Tom) Coughlin and it was cool. I am excited to be here, really excited to be here.
“I am an aggressive player. Bang, bang plays, turnovers – that is my thing. I am good at getting the ball back (by) creating turnovers. I think that is what will help us win ballgames, and that is my goal.”
Linebacker Jonathan Casillas:
“It’s hard to put into words,” said Casillas, who grew up in New Jersey. “After so much time away and playing ball in New Orleans and Tampa and New England, being able to come back home and be able to play in front of your home crowd and my family is really a blessing.
“The Giants are getting a real football player. Since I’ve been in the league, I’ve been under the radar, and I’ve accepted that. I’ve found a way to make plays and contribute, and also to make a healthy contribution to the city I’m in by doing things in the community. I try to do things the right way.”