Mar 112016

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New York Giants unrestricted free agent cornerback Prince Amukamara has signed a 1-year contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Financial terms of the deal are not yet known.

The 26-year old Amukamara was drafted in the 1st round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Giants. In his five seasons with the team, he has stayed healthy for a full 16-game schedule just once (2013). He missed most of his rookie season with a broken foot, battled high ankle sprain and hamstring injuries in 2012, and missed half of the 2014 season with a torn biceps muscle.

Amukamara was off to a strong start in 2015 until he tore his pectoral muscle in Week 5. He missed the next five games, and when he returned, Amukamara did not play as effectively. He played in 11 games with 10 starts, and finished the season with 63 tackles, 10 pass defenses, 1 interception, and 1 forced fumble.

New York Giants unrestricted free agent defensive end Robert Ayers has signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The contract is reportedly a 3-year, $21 million deal that includes $10.5 million in guaranteed money.

The 30-year old Ayers was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2009 NFL by the Broncos. He signed with the Giants as a free agent in April 2014. In his first year with the Giants in 2014, Ayers started 1-of-12 games before being placed on Injured Reserve with a torn pectoral muscle. Despite missing four games early in the season with a hamstring injury, Ayers had his best NFL season in 2015, starting 11-of-12 games and finishing with career highs in tackles (41), sacks (9.5), pass defenses (4), and forced fumbles (2).

The official NFL free agency signing period began on Wednesday. Here is the latest news and rumors regarding the New York Giants:

  • Multiple media sources report unrestricted free agent left tackle Russell Okung (Seattle Seahawks) visited the New York Giants on Friday, but left without a contract. He will next meet with the Detroit Lions on Saturday. The Seahawks and 49ers are also said to be interested in his services. Okung is representing himself in contract negotiations. The 28-year old Okung was originally drafted in the 1st round (6th overall pick) of the 2010 NFL Draft. Okung needed left shoulder surgery to repair a dislocation suffered in the 2015 playoffs and reportedly is still recovering from that procedure.
  • The NFL Network is reporting that the New York Giants are one of three teams “in the mix” for the services of unrestricted free agent safety Chris Conte (Tampa Bay Buccaneers). The other two teams are the Buccaneers and Saints. The 27-year old Conte was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. He signed with the Buccaneers in March 2015. In his five NFL seasons, Conte has played in 71 regular-season games with 65 starts, including 13 starts in 2015 when he accrued 79 tackles, six pass defenses, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles.
  • The New York Daily News is reporting that the New York Giants have expressed interest in unrestricted free agent safety Reggie Nelson (Cincinnati Bengals). However, the paper also says the Giants do not consider safety a “high priority”. The 32-year old Nelson was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Since 2010, he has played for the Bengals. In 2015, Nelson made the Pro Bowl after starting all 16 regular-season games and finishing with 77 tackles, 14 pass defenses, and eight interceptions.
  • FOXSports out of Indianapolis is reporting that the New York Giants have expressed interest in unrestricted free agent linebacker Jerrell Freeman (Indianapolis Colts). Freeman is meeting with the Chicago Bears on Friday and the Atlanta Falcons are also said to be interested. The 29-year old Freeman was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Tennessee Titans after the 2008 NFL Draft but he did not make the team. Freeman played for the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2009-2011 before joining the Colts in 2012. In the last four seasons, Freeman has started all 57 regular-season games he has played in with Indianapolis, including 13 in 2015, when his finished the season with 112 tackles, three sacks, and one interception.

As expected, the New York Giants were not awarded any compensatory draft picks for 2015 free agent losses. Compensatory picks are awarded to teams that have lost more qualifying free agents than they gained the previous year in free agency.