As much as I hate to belabor the New York Giants' signing of former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman John Jerry -- we have already covered the news from several angles -- there is just a little more fodder for discussion I would like to bring you.
During my conversation on Friday with Kevin Nogle, editor of SB Nation's Dolphins web site, The Phinsider, I asked specifically about Jerry's involvement in the Jonathan Martin bullying scandal and what type of person Nogle thought Jerry was. Here is what Nogle told me:
"I think he just joined in the group, and it's portrayed poorly. Would I be surprised if he were suspended for a game, no because of the publicity of the story and the league looking to make a statement. But, I don't think he is a bad guy by any stretch of the imagination, and he should not get crushed by the league at all. It was actually a little of a surprise that he was even included in the report. Pouncey and Incognito weren't a surprise," Nogle wrote in a series of Twitter responses.
Some people are leaders, and in the case of leadership gone wrong, ringleaders. It sounds like Jerry is neither, rather it sounds like the 27-year-old is a follower who got led down the wrong path.
Is he really a bad guy? We will find out. As the Miami Herald wrote when the Giants announced the signing of Jerry, "If you can play, you can play. That's the NFL way, and it was proven yet again Friday."
The Giants had a glaring need for an experienced reserve offensive lineman, especially one with the ability to be at least a short-term fill-in at more than one position. Jerry, with 45 career starts (42 at right guard, 3 at left tackle) in 57 games, could fill it.
GM Jerry Reese said Friday that the Giants "did our homework on John ... We were satisfied with the answers we got about John as a player and person."
None of this means Jerry will have carte blanche in the Giants' locker room. Certainly the Giants will hope that Chris Snee, Geoff Schwartz, Justin Pugh and others can lead Jerry toward a better path and toward reaching his potential as a player. As I wrote Friday, I have to believe Jerry will be on a short leash. If anything about his attitude or behavior troubles the Giants, he probably won't be around very long.