New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman has a reputation for signing quality free agents that many have overlooked. The trend continued Monday with the signing of free agent outside linebacker Connor Barwin.
Sources report Barwin’s deal is for two years, $5 million. He announced the signing on his Twitter page.
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 was selected by the Houston Texans with the 46th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons (2009-12) with the Texans and four seasons with the division rival Philadelphia Eagles (2013-16). Barwin spent last season with the Los Angeles Rams, playing in 14 games with 13 starts. He had 34 total tackles (26 solo) and 5.5 sacks.
Barwin is a pass rushing specialist who now adds depth to a much-maligned Giants front seven and will fit well in defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s 3-4 scheme. He will also be reunited with linebackers coach Bill McGovern, who coached him for three seasons with the Eagles.
Barwin had the highest sack total of his career (14.5) with McGovern in 2014, leading the NFC and tied for fourth in the NFL. He earned Second-team All-Pro honors and was named to his first Pro Bowl.
Barwin has 55.5 sacks for his career with at least five sacks in six of the past seven seasons. The only other player on the Giants’ roster with at least 3.5 sacks in a season is Olivier Vernon. He is also a sturdy, durable player. He’s played at least 14 games in eight of his nine seasons (in 2010, he suffered a season-ending ankle injury with the Texans after just one game). He played all 16 games in seven seasons.
The Giants’ sack leader in 2017 was Jason Pierre-Paul with eight. He was dealt to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the offseason. Barwin will be called upon to provide leadership for a defense that finished next to last in total defense with only 27 sacks.
Barwin mentioned early in free agency he wasn’t in a rush to sign, as he was waiting on a playoff caliber team to come calling.
“We’ve had interest from a number of teams all offseason,” Barwin said in an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio earlier this month. “The offers I have, I think I’ll make my decision before camp starts. I’m not going to go somewhere that I don’t think can win a Super Bowl.”
Barwin is the latest addition to the Giants’ linebacking corps. They also signed free agent Kareem Martin in the offseason. They also traded for Alec Ogletree and selected Lorenzo Carter in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft.