As we continue our player-by-player breakdown of the New York Giants roster heading into this summer's training camp, we have arrived at the first of the many key free-agent acquisitions we will profile. Today we look at defensive end Robert Ayers.
2013 Season In Review
Ayers started only three games for the Denver Broncos in 2013, but had the best season of his five-year career. He finished with a career-high 5.5 sacks and ended the season with a +8.1 Pro Football Focus score, including an outstanding +11.1 vs. the run. Ayers parlayed that into a two-year, $3.75-million deal with the Giants to replace Justin Tuck.
The question is, can Ayers adequately replace the on-field production Tuck brought to the Giants? He has a similar skill set -- solid run defender, an effort pass rusher, the ability to play both ends and move inside on passing downs if needed. The Giants have gambled that Ayers, who turns 29, in September, has a future while Tuck's best play is in his past.
After signing with the Giants, the Jersey City, N.J. said "it was a perfect fit," and added he was "looking for an opportunity to come in and maximize my ability."
Want an in-depth look at what Ayers might bring to the table? SB Nation's Mile High Report offered a full scouting report on Ayers prior to the 2013 season.
Ayers will wear Tuck's No. 91 Only time will tell if he, and the Giants, made the right choice.