The New York Giants have announced that they have activated linebacker J.T. Thomas and running back Shaun Draughn off of the PUP list.
Thomas was signed by the Giants in 2015 to take the role of WILL linebacker with the return of Steve Spagnuolo. Thomas was a surprise addition, being signed to a three year, $10 million contract. Thomas was coming off a season in which he was one of the top coverage linebackers in the league and sported the lowest completion percentage against of any linebacker in the NFL. It was an area the Giants desperately needed to improve, but they have yet to see any real return on investment thanks to injury.
While he has been regarded as one of the “big dogs” in the Giants’ locker room, Thomas has missed all of last season and the 2017 off-season thanks to a torn ACL suffered in Week 1 of the 2016 season.
It has been expected that he could be a cap casualty, but he is on the field for Tuesday’s practice, and perhaps his standing in the locker room could secure a chance to prove his worth.
Draughn was signed following the departure of Rashad Jennings. He has been regarded as a better backfield receiver than running back, and was likely insurance for Shane Vereen.
The Giants also announced that they signed linebacker Steven Daniels. Daniels is a 5’11,” 245-pound linebacker out of Boston College. He is already on his third team after being drafted in the seventh round by the Washington Redskins in 2016. He was also signed, and re-signed, by the Philadelphia Eagles.
NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein had this to say about Daniels:
On first glance, Daniels simply appears to be too big and stiff to be able to function as an NFL linebacker, but the more you watch, the more you realize that his motor and strength makes up for some of his deficiencies. Daniels has flexibility limitations that will hurt him, but his production over the last three years as a downhill player should be considered. He plays better football than he tests and could become a consideration for 3-4 teams looking for a thumper to add some depth.
Linebacker Mark Herzlich has missed the last two practices and Daniels looks to be depth at inside linebacker. It appears that the Giants had an open roster spot, so there has been no corresponding roster move announced for Daniels’ signing.