The New York Giants today officially announced the signing of punter Steve Weatherford to what has been reported to be a five-year $12.75 million dollar contract. The Giants do not release contract details.
The Giants are the sixth team Weatherford has punted for in a six-year NFL career. Weatheford, 29, hopes he has found a home with the defending Super Bowl champions.
"From playing on so many different teams in six years, to finally have a home, the fact that I have a home with the best franchise that I've played with up until this point, it feels good. And I feel like (general manager) Jerry Reese, (assistant general manager) Kevin Abrams, (head coach) Tom Coughlin, I think they're all just as excited as I am to be here," Weatherford said. "So that's a great feeling. It's a great feeling to be appreciated, and obviously coming off the best season statistically of my career, winning a world championship, it's been an unbelievable ride for me. So I just feel so blessed right now.
"I still don't want to feel like I have security, because I don't think it's good to get comfortable in my business," Weatherford said. "Or at least for me, I don't want to feel uncomfortable, but I never want to get complacent. Because when you get complacent, then bad things happen. I want to continue to work hard like I always have and I want to continue to get better, but for me from a commitment standpoint, I think the Giants have given me the commitment that I'm looking for. And I know that this is going to be my home for a long time, so that feels good. But I'm still going to strive to get better."
Weatherford had the best season of his career in 2011. He averaged a career-best 45.7 yards per punt and had a 39.2 yard net average. He dropped 25 punts inside the 20-yard line.
"Last year was the first year that I really felt that I could kind of place the ball wherever I wanted to. Obviously, there are going to be some times where you're not going to hit the ball perfect, but last year was the first year that I really felt that I had a lot of control. And the other years, I was a pro punter so obviously I'm one of the best in the world, but I just didn't have the confidence directionally or the confidence I had this last year.
"I think I'm going to be able to build off last year just from a comfort standpoint. Every head coach and every special teams coach wants something different. Obviously, having Jeff (Feagles) here for so long and him being so effective - he's the best that ever played, in my opinion - but especially that he was able to control field position with directional punting. That is something that I've always really thought was amazing. So I watched tons and tons of film with him knowing I wanted to be like that. I wanted that skill. I admired it. I'm not nearly as good at directional punting as Jeff was, but I'm going to work really hard this offseason and try to improve on what I was able to do last year."
The Giants are glad he will continue honing his craft while playing for them.