Giants By The Numbers: 37 Is For ...

James Butler.

Yes, believe it or not, THAT James Butler. The guy who started at safety for the 2007 Super Bowl-winning team, but whom many Giants' fans could not wait to run out of town after the 2008 season.

Hold your nose, and admit the truth. Re-signing Butler rather than letting him walk away as a free agent before the 2009 season, even over-paying him a bit, would have been preferable to the mess the Giants ended up with. Butler might not be great, but he is better than C.C. Brown or Aaron Rouse. And he's probably better than Michael Johnson, too.

Butler was never fast enough. And he never had great ball-hawking skills. But, at least, he knew how to line up and where he was supposed to be. And at least he could make a tackle rather than wave and watch a guy just run by with the ball.

Oh, and yes this is another one of those uniform numbers with a head-scratching Giants' history. How did it happen that no one better than Butler has ever worn the number 37 with the Giants? Bizarre.

By the way, there was really one other other player worthy of consideration here. That would have been Larry Flowers, a safety with the Giants from 1981-85. If you remember Flowers, he was basically the 1980s version of Butler. He was a terrific special teams tackler who really should not have been on the field as much defensively as he was even though he started just two games in his Giants' tenure.

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