Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Giants meet with ex-linebacker, former Cowboys 2nd round pick

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The New York Giants have signed linebacker Jaylon Smith, who appeared in four games, including two starts, with the team last season. Smith’s agent, Doug Hendrickson, tweeted about the transaction early Monday.

Smith, 27, was a second-round pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2017. He has 58 career starts (56 as a cowboy) and landed a five-year, $63.7 million contract in 2019. Smith made it to the Pro Bowl that year and had a career-high 154 tackles in 2020, but the Cowboys released him last October. He signed with the Green Bay Packers shortly thereafter, but was released after two games and joined the Giants’ practice roster in December.

In four games last season for New York, Smith had 19 tackles (one by loss), a sack and a quarterback hit.

New general manager Joe Schoen did not bring back Smith, a free agent, during the offseason. But after two games in 2022, the Notre Dame product is back.

ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reports that Smith will join the Giants’ 16-man practice team. The team has not officially announced the move and no action has been taken.

Smith has a chance to join the Giants’ 53-man roster this week, and interestingly, he could play his former team in the Cowboys on next week’s Monday Night Football.

The Giants are 2-0 and have dropped just 36 points in those games. While the team’s linebackers haven’t hurt the team, they aren’t the team’s strength either.

New York decided to release two-year starter Blake Martinez preseason, leaving uncertainty in the position group under new defensive coordinator Don Martindale. Tae Crowder is the team’s top off-ball linebacker, having just nine tackles in their first two games. Unproven defensemen Austin Calitro and Micah McFadden are also on the linebacker depth chart.

With question marks over the linebacker position, Smith has starting experience and could be a player keeping tabs on progress.

The Giants appear to have dodged a ball with defenseman Leonard Williams, who sustained a knee injury in Sunday’s win against the Carolina Panthers.

Head coach Brian Daboll said Monday Williams’ knee is “better than it could be”. The freshman head coach estimated Williams’ injury is “day by day.”

“He said (Montag) he feels a lot better than yesterday,” said Daboll. “He’s walking around. Hopefully he’s a fast healer.”

However, Daboll has said in the past that every player’s injury is “daily” if the injury is not serious. Dan Duggan from The Athletic believes Williams ‘will miss some time’

There’s a chance Williams could be missing a few days or a few weeks. Daboll has not specified if Williams can play division rivals Dallas Cowboys next Monday night in Week 3.

If Williams misses the time, Martindale would field one of the remaining defenders in Justin Ellis, Nick Williams and rookie DJ Davidson.

New York had already played the first two games without full-backs Azeez Ojulari and Kaybon Thibodeaux. They were also without Aaron Robinson on Sunday after the starting cornerback had his appendix removed on Wednesday.

If Williams misses the time, Martindale would field one of the remaining defenders in Justin Ellis, Nick Williams and rookie DJ Davidson.

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