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Giants’ 90-man roster: Can Olsen Pierre reprise 2017 success?

Ex-Cardinal had his best NFL season playing for James Bettcher in Arizona

New York Giants v Arizona Cardinals
Olsen Pierre
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman often expresses the desire to build a defensive line rotation deep in talent. Adding Olsen Pierre, one of four former Arizona Cardinals defenders on the Giants roster, in free agency was part of Gettleman’s effort to accomplish that.

Let’s look at Pierre as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp in a few weeks.

The basics

Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 293
Age: 27
Position: Defensive tackle
Experience: 3

How he got here

Pierre spent parts of two seasons on the Arizona practice squad before cracking the 53-man roster in 2017. He played in 14 games with seven starts, had 5.5 sacks, nine quarterback hits, nine tackles for loss and 30 total tackles.

That was all during James Bettcher’s final season as Arizona’s defensive coordinator.

In 2018, playing in a 4-3 defense under new head coach Steve Wilks, Pierre was less effective. He played in 10 games, starting just one, and had 12 tackles, no sacks and just one quarterback hit.

Pierre finished the season on injured reserve due to a knee injury.

The Giants signed him to a low-cost one-year, $1 million contract, none of which was guaranteed at signing.

2019 outlook

Well, the expectation when the Giants signed him was that he would provide rotational depth and a veteran presence from a player who knew Bettcher’s defense and had prove successful in it.

That may still happen, but it wasn’t encouraging that Pierre did not practice during OTAs. His only appearances were riding an exercise bike along the side of the practice fields. The Giants did not disclose injury information in the spring, so why he did not practice is unknown.

If he is healthy, Pierre should join RJ McIntosh and seventh-round pick Chris Slayton as defensive line reserves.