There are five former New York Giants playing roles with the Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers, who play each other on Sunday in the divisional round of the 2014 NFL playoffs.
Wide receiver Domenik Hixon, linebackers Chase Blackburn and Dan Connor, and general manager Dave Gettleman are all part of the Panthers' playoff drive. Wide receiver Mario Manningham is a member of the 49ers, but is on injured reserve due to a knee injury.
The question for you, Giants' fans, is which of these would you really like back with the Giants? Let's go through each.
Hixon -- After catching 39 passes for the Giants in 2012 Hixon went to Carolina hoping for an even bigger opportunity. That did not work out as Hixon caught only seven passes. He did, however, catch a game-winning 14-yard touchdown pass in a 17-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints that helped the Giants get to the playoffs. Hixon and Louis Murphy, a Panther last season, basically traded places. Murphy caught only six passes and was never a factor for the Giants.
Blackburn -- The Giants decided after the 2012 season that they needed to try to upgrade the middle linebacker position. The signed Connor and allowed Blackburn to leave. An injury to Connot ultimately led them to acquire Jon Beason via trade for the Panthers. Beason had become expendable in Carolina because of star middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, and because Blackburn had taken Beason's job as starting weak-side linebacker. So, it is a very strange circle. Blackburn played 13 games, started seven and finished with 27 tackles.
Connor -- Played in only one game for the Giants before landing on IR due to multiple stingers. Was released from IR and landed back with Carolina, where he started his career, as a reserve linebacker. Played in five games for the Panthers, making two tackles.
Gettleman -- Formerly a key part of the Giants' pro personnel department Gettleman is completing his first season as Panthers' GM. His contributions are hard to measure in Carolina, just as his loss in New York is hard to measure. You could wonder if the Giants would have kept Hixon or Blackburn, or brought in players like Murphy or Brandon Myers, if Gettleman was still part of the organization. There is, however, no way to know.
Manningham -- Played in only six games for the 49ers this season and caught nine passes before landing on IR. Manningham suffered a torn ACL late in the 2012 season, missing the final four games. He caught 42 passes in 2012. The knee is what again landed him on IR, and could cloud his future.
Vote in the poll and let us know which guy you would like to have back.