Quintin Demps is a player who could be far more important to the 2014 New York Giants than anyone, other than maybe GM Jerry Reese, thought when Demps was signed as a free agent earlier in the offseason. Let's look at Demps as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster that will report to training camp July 21 for the Giants.
2013 Season In Review
Demps had what has to be considered the most complete season of his six-year NFL career for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013. He played all 16 games for only the second time in his career, and received the only six starts he had made in 64 games. The 670 defensive snaps he played for Kansas City was a career-high, exceeding his previous season high by more than 300 snaps. Demps also returned kickoffs regularly for the first time since his rookie season of 2008, and was third in the league with an averaged of 30.1 yards per return.
2014 Season Outlook
Demps signed a one-year, $1 million contract to join the Giants. He replaces Ryan Mundy, who signed with the Chicago Bears, and could end up being one of the most pivotal acquisitions of the offseason by GM Jerry Reese. The release of Will Hill moves everyone at safety not named Antrel Rolle up the depth chart a notch, and makes Demps the top reserve entering the season. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has historically liked to utilize a three-safety package, although there may be less need to do so this season with top-flight slot corner Walter Thurmond in the fold. Still, there is uncertainty about Stevie Brown as he returns from missing 2013 with a torn ACL, which could increase the opportunities for Demps and other reserve safeties.
Demps could also emerge as the Giants' primary kickoff return man. The Giants signed explosive kickoff and punt return specialist Trindon Holliday during the offseason, but the 5-foot-5, 166-pound Holliday has an alarming 11 fumbles in 130 returns over two seasons, an average of one every 11.8 returns, and if continues that lack of ball security is not going to endear him to Tom Coughlin. Demps is a top-flight kickoff returner, with an average of 27.4 yards per return in his career. He has fumbled once, as a rookie with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008, in 96 career kickoff returns.