Will Rames II be any more productive for the New York Giants than Ramses I? After unsuccessfully shopping himself around the NFL as a free agent for the past few months, wide receiver Ramses Barden is returning to the New York Giants.
“I’m happy to be back,” Barden said. “This is where I wanted to be and now I’m here. I was out there listening to the calls, getting back into the rhythm of the cadence, enjoying the camaraderie and absorbing everything. I remember everything; I’ve had four years to soak it all up. I’m happy to be back on the field. I feel great. I expect the best."
Reports of a possible return to the Giants by the 2009 third-round pick surfaced on Wednesday and came to fruition on Thursday morning. Barden took a physical, signed a contract and participated in Thursday's organized team activities.
During his first four seasons in New York the 6-foot-6, 224-pound Barden never reached the potential the Giants thought he had when they selected him 85th overall in the 2009 NFL Draft. He caught only 29 passes in those four seasons, none four touchdowns, a troubling number for a player the Giants hoped would use his size and strength to become a red zone weapon.
Barden did catch a career-best 14 passes in 2012. His season boiled down to a nine-catch game against the Carolina Panthers and an offensive pass interference penalty against the Philadelphia Eagles that ultimately helped cost the Giants a game and, probably, a playoff spot.
Barden will likely compete for the final roster spot at wide receiver. The Giants carried six receivers a season ago, and currently have five -- Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Reuben Randle, Louis Murphy and Jerrel Jernigan -- who seem to be locks to make the 53-man roster if healthy. That means Barden's competition, barring injury, would come from the likes of Brandon Collins, Jeremy Horne, Kris Adams and Kevin Hardy.