The New York Giants are adding — sort of — a veteran power running back in free agency. Orleans Darkwa, whom the Giants recently did not tender as a restricted free agent, will reportedly return on a one-year deal.
As a restricted free agent, it would have cost the Giants a guaranteed $1.7 million to tender Darkwa. Now, though contract details are unknown, he is likely making less than that on a non-guaranteed deal that will force him to make the 53-man roster to get paid.
The 25-year-old Darkwa has had flashes of success since the Giants plucked him off the Miami Dolphins practice squad in 2014.
In 2015, he carried 36 times for 153 yards, an average of 4.3 yards per carry. In 2016, he averaged 3.7 yards per carry, gaining 111 yards on 30 rushing attempts.
Injuries have been an issue for Darkwa. In 2015, back and knee issues limited his ability to be used as a runner. Last season, he played in only 10 games before going on IR with a leg injury.
Darkwa joins Paul Perkins and Shane Vereen in the Giants backfield. His signing likely does not preclude the Giants from seeking a veteran on the free agent market or adding a back via the NFL Draft.