On Friday, the New York Giants announced that they re-signed linebacker, and restricted free agent, Mark Herzlich.
Prior to the start of the 2013 season, the Giants hoped that Herzlich would evolve into their starting middle linebacker. When it looked as though he wasn’t ready for the role, New York signed Dan Connor, and when Connor got hurt, the Giants traded for Jon Beason.
Herzlich, who will be entering his fourth season out of Boston College, is a very solid tackler, especially against the run. However, he is a liability against the pass. Herzlich is not fast or quick enough to cover opposing running backs or tight ends and the Giants saw their zone picked apart when he was in the middle.
However, Herzlich can be a situational defensive player and remain on special teams, where he is an asset for the Giants. He led the team with 14 special-teams tackles in 2013, as he is in constant pursuit of the football. It may not be what the Giants initially had in mind, but Herzlich looks like he won’t be anything more than a special teams player.
The Giants have a long ways to go in figuring out their linebacker unit. The team faces a major decision with last season’s savior Jon Beason, and if they lose out on him in free agency, they will certainly have a major hole to fill. Having Herlizh locked up may be a nice safety net, but New York should not have the same high hopes for him they once did.