Dan Connor, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers, has signed a one-year deal with the New York Giants. That likely means the end of free-agent Chase Blackburn with the Giants, and could mean Connor and Mark Herzlich will compete for the middle linebacker job. Rotoworld expects Connor to win that competition.
[Related: Louis Murphy signs with Giants]
Connor, 27, is a five-year veteran. He spent the four seasons of his career with the Carolina Panthers after being drafted in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He played eight games last season for the Dallas Cowboys, but was miscast in the Dallas 3-4 defense.
Jack Finney of SB Nation's Carolina Panthers web site, Cat Scratch Reader, remembers Connor this way:
He's a 2 down MLB, plays the run pretty well but is not very good in coverage, doesn't have great range sideline to sideline. But he's tough and hits hard and is a good tackler.
Dave Halprin, editor of Blogging The Boys, SB Nation's Dallas Cowboys web site, was less kind in his analysis of Connor:
Connor started a string of games for Dallas because of injury, and he was okay, not great. He's pretty reliable but doesn't really make big plays. He struggled in pass coverage and was a liability in that area. If he had a cheaper price tag, Dallas might have kept him, but with Sean Lee and Bruce Carter back from injury, he didn't have a starting spot and Dallas needed cap room. He could battle for a middle linebacker position, but he looked more like a great backup than a quality starter.
As I noted in an earlier article, this is another step for the Giants as they try to improve their run defense. Replacing Michael Boley with Keith Rivers was also seemingly a step in that direction.
NOTE: We noted earlier that the Giants were setting up a visit with free-agent tight end Brandon Myers, formerly of the Oakland Raiders. Ralph Vacchiano tweets that the visit is taking place this afternoon.