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Parris Campbell gets to restart his career in New York

Former second-rounder has spent most of his career on IR

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star Robert Scheer/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

GM Joe Schoen and the New York Giants have a self-proclaimed “type” at wide receiver: speedy, agile, and excellent at creating separation, even if they lack size. Unfortunately, that “type” often ends up being injury prone.

New addition Parris Campbell doesn’t exactly break that mold. He’s spent most of his career on the sideline, prevented from utilizing some of the elite traits that made him a college star. But with a new home and an incentive-laden contract, could Campbell be a bargain for the Giants?

By the numbers

Height: 6-foot
Weight: 208
Age: 22
Position: Wide receiver
Experience: 5
Contract: One-year, $4.7 million; $2.9 million guaranteed; $2 million available through incentives 2023 cap hit: $5 million

Career to date

Campbell was a star at Ohio State, setting a school record with 90 receptions as a fifth-year senior in 2018. That included 12 touchdowns and 1,063 yards, making him just the fifth Buckeye receiver to have a 1,000-yard season.

The Indianapolis Colts drafted Campbell in the second round of the 2019 draft as the seventh wide receiver off the board, but it took years for him to finally get his career on track.

Campbell spent his rookie year dealing with a broken hand and a sports hernia before a broken foot landed him on Injured Reserve to finish out the season. In 2020, he hurt his MCL in Week 2 and missed the rest of the year. Another foot injury sidelined him for most of 2021. In total, Campbell appeared in 15 games through his first three seasons.

Campbell finally made it through the season in 2022. He started 16 games for the Colts, catching 63 passes for 623 yards and three touchdowns, making him their second-leading receiver. He caught seven passes of 20 yards or more; no Giants receiver besides Darius Slayton had more than three.

The Giants signed Campbell during the first week of free agency in March.

2023 outlook

Campbell could help add a big-play element that the Giants’ offense was severely lacking last year. He has great burst off the line of scrimmage and ran a 4.31-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. When he was a prospect, Bleacher Report called him “one of the most explosive players in the class,” and he demonstrated last year that he still has the ability to create separation from defenders.

With the lack of options New York has at wide receiver, Campbell could end up as a major contributor — especially with Sterling Shepard and Wan’Dale Robinson’s statuses uncertain for the beginning of the year. He’ll likely begin below Darius Slayton and Isaiah Hodgins on the depth chart, but it’s not as if either of them have cemented their status as a No. 1 receiver.

Talent and potential aside, though, the Campbell signing presents an obvious issue: the Giants attempted to fix an injury-prone receiving corps by signing a player who has spent three of his four NFL seasons on the sideline.

But if he stays healthy and continues trending upwards, Campbell could end up as a major bargain. And if things don’t work out, at least a good portion of Campbell’s salary is incentive-based.