[UPDATE 10:13 P.M. ET:]
The Daily News is reporting that this story is a hoax from a fake account.
James Laurinaitis, a middle linebacker many New York Giants fans have been pining for since the Los Angeles Rams released him a few weeks ago, is reportedly paying the Giants a visit. The news was tweeted by Laurinaitis' father. And yes, his dad is a WWE Hall of Famer.
So, there you go, Giants fans. The big-name middle linebacker many of you have been hoping for could actually become a Giant.
There are a number of reasons why Laurinaitis to the Giants makes sense. The Giants signed Keenan Robinson earlier in the week, but whether or not he is the answer at middle linebacker is debatable. Laurinaitis would bring leadership that the Giants lacked a year ago after Jon Beason was lost for the season. He would bring a prior relationship with Steve Spagnuolo, who was the head coach there when the St. Louis Rams made Laurinaitis a second-round pick in 2009. He would bring durability, never having missed a game in his seven seasons.
The question with Laurinaitis, 29, is how good of a player he really is. His production has continued to decrease each season since 2012, and his 61 solo tackles in 2015 were by far his career low. This is what I wrote when the Rams released Laurinaitis:
Laurinaitis, obviously, has a better resume than Jasper Brinkley or Uani 'Unga. In my view, though, the Giants should be in no hurry to go out and throw money at him. He is not a great, defense-changing player. Let the market play out, see if you can do better in the free agent market or in the draft. If you can't, and Laurinaitis is still on the market down the road then perhaps you re-visit the idea of signing him to a short-term deal.
Perhaps Laurinaitis has some good seasons left and of the trio of players released by the Rams, he is probably the most attractive to the Giants. I just don't see this as a "Reese is an idiot if he doesn't sign this guy" situation. If, after a thorough examination of the market and the draft the Giants think Laurinaitis is their best option for a quick-fix, fine. He would bring leadership and a working relationship with Spagnuolo. He would likely be an upgrade, I just don't see him as a must-have player.
We are now, obviously well into the second phase of free agency. Perhaps the Giants can land Laurinaitis at a reasonable price, and perhaps with a revamped defensive line he can still be effective as a two-down run-stopping linebacker.
Maybe that doesn't matter right now, Giants fans. You have a linebacker to talk about, and that makes it a good day.