Giants add veteran Connor Barwin to LB corps
Barwin confirmed on Twitter that the two sides reached an agreement.
The veteran outside linebacker fits well in the Giants' aggressive new 3-4 scheme under defensive coordinator James Bettcher. It also reunites him with linebackers coach Bill McGovern, who coached him for three seasons in Philadelphia. He had a career-high 14.5 sacks in 2014 with McGovern as his coach.
Barwin has recorded at least five sacks in six of the past seven seasons. Olivier Vernon is the only player on the Giants' roster who has recorded more than 3.5 sacks in a single NFL season.
Barwin, 31, spent last year with the Los Angeles Rams. He had 34 tackles and five sacks in 14 games (13 starts).
The Giants are slated to start Vernon and Kareem Martin at outside linebacker. Martin came along with Bettcher from the Arizona Cardinals this offseason but is known more for his versatility than pass-rush ability. The Giants also drafted outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter in the third round out of the University of Georgia.
At the very least, Barwin could contribute as a pass-rush specialist. He also provides veteran leadership to a unit that struggled badly last season. The Giants had three players suspended and plummeted to become one of the worst defensive units in the league. They finished 31st in total defense and tied for 29th with just 27 sacks.
The move comes just days before the Giants open camp. Veterans are expected to report on Wednesday.