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Roster moves: New York Giants sign LB Deone Bucannon

The Giants add a player familiar with their defense

NFL: Preseason-Miami Dolphins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have announced that they have signed Deone Bucannon.

Bucannon was originally drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the first round (27th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft. Though originally drafted as a safety, Bucannon transitioned to a hybrid linebacker role as the Moneybacker in James Bettcher’s defense when he was the Cardinals’ defensive coordinator.

Bucannon was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency earlier this year, only to be waived on October 9th after recording just three tackles. The Giants hope that reuniting Bucannon with Bettcher will let him bring his game back to the level it was between 2015 and 2017.

Between injuries and poor play, the Giants have struggled to get consistent production from their linebacker position and haven’t found a good fit for the moneybacker position on their defense. Bucannon is the player for whom the position was originally created, using his athleticism as a former safety while also letting him play as an enforcer near the line of scrimmage.

Bucannon has struggled over the last two years, but he is still only 27 years old, knows Bettcher, and knows the Giants’ defensive scheme. Hopefully he will help stabilize the middle of their defense.

The Giants have waived EDGE Tuzar Skipper in a corresponding roster move.