The New York Post reported Saturday morning that there is a "good chance" unrestricted free-agent middle linebacker Chase Blackburn could be back with the New York Giants in 2013. Schwartz quotes Blackburn's agent, Richard Katz, as saying "The Giants have expressed a desire to re-sign Chase."
USA Today football writer Mike Garafolo followed up by tweeting that Blackburn would have to accept a one-year contract at the veteran minimum to return to the Giants.
Certainly the Giants would like Blackburn to return. He's smart, he's experienced and he is a standout on special teams. Whether he re-signs or not, it would be stunning if the Giants go into 2013 without trying in some fashion to upgrade at middle linebacker.
Their defense was 31st in the league in 2012, with a big part of the problem being soft run defense right up the gut. Every analyst I have spoken to this off-season has basically the same reaction about Blackburn -- nice player to have on your team, but the guy should not be your starting middle linebacker.
At one time a season ago there was an expectation that Mark Herzlich would oust Blackburn and become the middle linebacker. That never happened, however, and Paul Schwartz of the Post said today that Herzlich "did not distinguish himself in 2012 in limited playing time." That is hard to argue with as Herzlich graded at -4.3 in 111 snaps vs the run, according to Pro Football Focus.
It would be nice to have Blackburn back in 2013 -- as insurance. Not as the starter.