The New York Giants resigned free-agent wide receiver Ramses Barden this week. With the unforeseen absence of Hakeem Nicks from this week’s OTAs, the Giants’ front office is scrambling to shore up a position many have been uncertain about since Giants’ star wide out Victor Cruz’s extended contract negotiations have continued to drag out with the team.
At 6-foot-6, 224 pounds, Barden provides limited depth to the position. Part of Eli Manning’s wide-receiver carousel last season, Barden’s only game of significance came week 3 against the Carolina Panthers when he caught nine passes for 138 yards.
Barden tested the free-agent waters this year but there is a reason why he wasn’t picked up by another NFL team. Barden has the size to be in the league but not the speed. He has joined Rueben Randle, Louis Murphy, Jerrel Jernigan, Kris Adams, Brandon Collins, Kevin Hardy and Jeremy Horne at the Timex Performance Center in East Rutherford for OTAs.
Don’t hold you breath. But once Cruz is signed to a long-term contract, the Giants’ receiver corps will look much better with Nicks in tow. Nicks’ absence has the feel of friendship and loyalty to Cruz, as they both have appeared in commercials together and appear to be good friends.
Look for the Giants to carry six wide outs on their 53-man roster at the beginning of the 2013 NFL season. The first five are locks for the top wide-out spots. They are Nicks, Cruz, Murphy, Randle and Jernigan.
The other spot is a toss up between Adams, Barden, Collins, Hardy and Horne. There should be good competition at camp for the remaining position on the roster.