Tanney, 31, would have been a restricted free agent when the new league year begins at 4:00 PM EDT Mar. 13. He has been in the NFL since 2012, mostly as a practice squad player with seven different teams (Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts).
The deal is for two years. Terms have not been disclosed.
Tanney was a record setting passer at Division III Monmouth (Ill.) College. He is best known for a video he made in college throwing the football and hitting targets from outlandish places. The video earned him the moniker Trick Shot Tanney.
Tanney only appeared in one regular season game: the Titans’ 2015 regular season finale against the Colts. Appearing in relief of Zach Mettenberger, Tanney went 10-of-14 for 99 yards and a touchdown. He was sacked three times in the game.
He surprised everyone when he was named Eli Manning’s backup last summer, jumping over 2018 fourth-round selection Kyle Lauletta on the depth chart. He served as the team’s No. 2 quarterback in 12 games last season—including the first 11.
Lauletta was the backup in four of the team’s final five games, making his NFL debut in the 40-16 Week 14 win over the Washington Redskins. He didn’t complete any of his five pass attempts in relief of Manning.
Tanney was used as deflection when head coach Pat Shurmur was asked about giving Lauletta snaps to see if he could be Manning’s successor.
“Why are you jumping over Tanney?” Shurmur said.
The coaching staff likes Tanney and Shurmur likes to have a crowded quarterback room with plenty of competition. This does not mean, however, that the Giants won’t select a quarterback in April’s NFL Draft in Nashville.