The 2014 NFL season has been over for only a day and the New York Giants have already begun structuring the roster they will bring to OTAs and mini-camp for 2015. The Giants today announced the signings of 11 players to reserve/futures contracts.
Nine of those players were on the Giants practice squad at the end of the season:
Offensive lineman Michael Bamiro; wide receivers Julian Talley, Juron Criner and Chris Harper; defensive end Jordan Stanton; defensive backs Thomas Gordon and Josh Victorian; fullback Nikita Whitlock; and linebacker Unai' Unga.
Also signed were cornerback Bennett Jackson and punter Robert Malone.
Jackson was the Giants' sixth-round draft choice in 2014, from Notre Dame. He was placed on practice squad/injured list during the season with a knee injury.
Malone played 31 games for Tampa Bay, Detroit and the Jets from 2010-13. He has 157 career punts for a 44.5-yard gross average and a 37.3-yard net average.
The Malone signing is interesting because of the fact that Giants' punter Steve Weatherford played the entire season with torn ligaments in his left ankle. Weatherford managed to escape another serious injury when he had a punt blocked in the season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles, but will enter the off-season admittedly needing time to heal. Malone offers the Giants protection through the spring and summer.
The Giants have gotten considerable mileage out of some of the players signed to these types of contracts the past two years. In 2013, Trumaine McBride made the team after signing a futures deal and became a starting cornerback. This past season, both Preston Parker and Daniel Fells got their opportunities by signing futures contracts.
Is there a player or two among Monday's signees who ends up being a significant 2015 contributor?