If it seems like Mark Herzlich has been a member of the New York Giants forever, that's because he pretty much has. After five years with the Giants only Eli Manning, Zak DeOssie, Jason Pierre-Paul and Victor Cruz have been around longer.
The question is, how much longer will Herzlich be able to hang on to a roster spot? Let's take a closer look at the linebacker, who turns 29 on Sept. 1, as we continue to profile the players who will comprise the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp.
2015 Season in Review
Herzlich played in all 16 games, starting four as injuries sidelined both Devon Kennard and J.T. Thomas. He finished with 17 defensive tackles, two for loss, and 13 special teams tackles Herzlich was what he has always been throughout his five seasons with the Giants, a fill-in linebacker and a solid special teams player.
2016 Season Outlook
How many lives does Herzlich's career as a Giant have? Truth is, I have entered each of the past two seasons expecting the Giants to move on without the former Boston College star as part of their 53-man roster. Both times, I have ended up wrong.
So, here we are again. The Giants have added a couple of veteran linebackers in Keenan Robinson and Kelvin Sheppard, they drafted B.J. Goodson and they still have Devon Kennard, Jasper Brinkley, Jonathan Casillas and J.T. Thomas. For the third straight year, I'm predicting that Herzlich will not be part of the season-opening roster. Will he prove me wrong again?
There is no way for what I'm about to write not to sound like an indictment of Herzlich. Throughout Herzlich's five-year tenure with the Giants, the linebackers have never been good enough. And Herzlich has never proven to be good enough to be more than an emergency fill-in. He has always given the Giants his best, but that has never been enough to make him more than a part-time player. At this point that seems unlikely to change.
Can Herzlich squeeze another year out of his Giants' career? I have my doubts, obviously, but from cancer to a surprisingly long run with the Giants Herzlich always seems to beat the odds. Would anyone be surprised if he does it again?