Matt Moore (3) of the Carolina Panthers is sacked in the fourth quarter by Mathias Kiwanuka (94) of the New York Giants on September 12 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford New Jersey. The Giants defeated the Panthers 31-18. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Over at SB Nation's New York Jets website, Gang Green Nation, they are discussing the possibility this morning of signing New York Giants defensive end/outside linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka, who is a free agent. Seeing Kiwanuka is Jets green and white would be a real bummer, to be honest. What, though, should the Giants do about Kiwi?
We know he can be a terrific player. He has 23.5 sacks in a little better than four seasons. He seemed on his way to a monster season in 2010 with four sacks in three games. Then, however, a serious neck injury took away the rest of Kiwanuka's season.
What should the Giants do about Kiwanuka? That is difficult to answer. First, they have to find out if the disc injury to his neck will even allow him to play football again. If not, that's a real shame. If it does, the Giants have a decision to make with the 27-year-old.
"Kiwi has a significant neck issue and right now he's just trying to see if he can resolve it with rest and hopefully that'll be the case and we'll see more of what kind of contract we can offer him," General Manager Jerry Reese said at the end of the season. "Do we offer him a one-year deal so that he can re-establish his value or do we go in a different direction?"
Why would the Jets want Kiwanuka? That much is pretty obvious. Kiwanuka has shown to be an excellent pass-rusher and run defender at defensive end. He has shown the ability to both defend the run and adequately play the pass as a stand-up outside linebacker. The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Kiwanuka has the perfect skill set to be a dominant 3-4 outside linebacker, and it just so happens the Jets are in the market for one of those this offseason.
Let's hope the neck injury does not end Kiwanuka's career, the way a similar one ended Antonio Pierce's career. I am also going to remain hopeful that if and when Kiwanuka is cleared to play that a team like the Jets or Steve Spagnuolo's St. Louis Rams does not swoop in and make a big, long-term offer the Giants are not willing to compete with.
If Kiwanuka is able to play in 2011, I want him back with the Giants.