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Giants free agency rumors: RB Jonathan Stewart expected to visit

Veteran has connections to Dave Gettleman, Mike Shula

Wild Card Round - Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints
Jonathan Stewart
Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The first reported free agent visit to the New York Giants will apparently be from veteran running back Jonathan Stewart. The 10-year veteran was released late last month by the Carolina Panthers, the only team he has ever played for.

Why it would make sense

Orleans Darkwa and Shane Vereen are unrestricted free agents. Paul Perkins, given the starting job entering the 2017 season, flopped. Fourth-round pick Wayne Gallman had a nice rookie season, but the Giants need more options in the backfield.

The Giants not only need running back help, but an inside the tackles power runner could be a nice addition. Stewart, 5-foot-11, 235 pounds, is that. He has 51 career touchdowns and could be seen as a short-yardage or goal line back.

The Giants’ interest in Stewart is logical because GM Dave Gettleman and offensive coordinator Mike Shula were with Stewart in Carolina.

Why it wouldn’t make sense

Because Stewart turns 31 later this month and after 1,699 NFL carries and 7,318 yards rushing he isn’t nearly the player he used to be. Running backs 30 and older rarely get better. Stewart made the Pro Bowl in 2015, when he gained 980 yards and averaged 4.1 yards per carry. His yards per carry average dipped to 3.8 in 2016 and was a career-worst 3.4 in 2017, when he gained 680 yards on 198 carries.

Stewart is also not a real threat as a receiver. He caught only eight passes last season.