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New York Giants potential free-agent target: Shane Vereen, RB, New England Patriots

A pass-catching running back? The Giants could use one.

Shane Vereen
Shane Vereen
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Could the New York Giants use a running back with "wide receiver ability" who is "an incredible weapon out of the backfield"? If you have to hesitate in answering that question you didn't pay close enough attention to the Giants in 2014. The answer is an unequivocal 'yes.'

Free-agent running back Shane Vereen, who just won a Super Bowl ring with the New England Patriots is that player. Vereen was Tom Brady's favorite target in Super Bowl XLIX, catching 11 passes in 12 targets for 64 yards against the Seattle Seahawks.

Vereen, 25, was a second-round pick by New England in 2011. He caught 47 passes in 2013 and 52 in 2014. He has been mostly a pass-catcher for the Patriots. For his career, he has 907 yards rushing on 217 carries, an average of 4.1 yards per rushing attempt.

"Vereen picked the Super Bowl to give one of his best performances in a Patriots uniform. He's not really a threat in between the tackles, but he might be better suited for a zone-based rushing game, instead of the power run that the Patriots favored this season," said Rich Hill of SB Nation's New England web site, Pat Pulpit. "He has wide receiver ability (check his TD catch against the Jets this season) and is an incredible weapon out of the backfield.

Hill added that Vereen "was a leader in the running back positional group and a great teammate."

Does that sound like a guy who would look good in a Giants uniform?

Rashad Jennings proved to be a capable all-around back for the Giants in 2014, but played in only 11 games as he was limited by knee and ankle injuries. Jennings will be 30 in 2015 and, while a good player who can catch the ball, can't really be expected to do more.

Andre Williams showed potential as a runner despite his 3.3 yards per carry average. He also caught 18 passes, but that took 37 targets. In the passing game he is little more than a blocker and an outlet, not a weapon.

The Giants also have the intriguing Orleans Darkwa, who could develop into a third-down pass-catching back. Vereen already is one, with 107 career receptions in 159 targets.

The 2015 NFL Draft is said to be flush with running backs, and the 2015 free-agent class will feature several big-name backs. Vereen, though, is one who sticks out as a player having a skill set the Giants could definitely benefit from.

Are you interested, Giants fans?