Halapio, who played collegiately at Florida, is a 2014 sixth-round draft pick of the New England Patriots who was released without playing in a regular season game. He also spent time on the Denver Broncos (2014-15) and Arizona Cardinals (2015) practice squads before returning to the Patriots in 2016 where he was released as part of the final preseason cuts.
Halapio also played for the Boston Brawlers (2014) and Brooklyn Bolts (2015) of the Fall Experimental Football League. He was signed to the Giants practice squad after the Week 3 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Halapio started in the Giants’ final six regular season games. He made a name for himself in the Week 17 finale against the Washington Redskins when running back Orleans Darkwa rushed for 154 yards on 20 carries. Halapio received a game ball for his performance.
Herzlich spent 2017 on injured reserve after suffering a stinger in a training camp practice. He is entering his eighth NFL season after overcoming Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Herzlich, who also is a special teams player, is familiar with general manager Dave Gettleman from Gettleman’s time in the Giants’ pro personnel department (1999-2012).
Gettleman has preached that the Giants need a change in team culture. Herzlich is regarded as a stand-up guy in the locker room who can be depended upon to help implement that change.
Both deals are very friendly to the Giants financially. Halapio was an exclusive rights free agent, meaning he has two years or less of experience and his deal is commensurate with his time in the league while Herzlich’s deal is expected to be for the veteran’s minimum of $915,000.