The New York Giants continued their aggressive free agent activity by signing massive Miami Dolphins offensive guard John Jerry to a one-year, $770,000 contract Friday. From a personnel standpoint, the Giants did a good job with the signing. Jerry’s modest salary and short-term deal brings little risk to the Giants, and he adds depth to a position of need. Jerry’s career durability is also a bonus for New York. In four career NFL seasons, Jerry has started in 57-of-64 potential games, including all 16 of the Dolphins’ matchups in 2013.
At 349 pounds, Jerry is also of the NFL’s most hulking offensive linemen. If he is called upon to contribute for the Giants in 2014, his size on the interior will hopefully eat up space and provide quarterback Eli Manning with a pocket in which to throw the football.
Unfortunately, Jerry’s past baggage muddles his signing and provides an explanation for why the Giants were able to come to terms with the 27-year-old guard in a very cap-friendly deal. Jerry was included in NFL investigator Ted Wells’ report as a co-conspirator of Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey in their torment of victim-teammate Jonathon Martin in the Dolphins’ bullying scandal.
New York general manager Jerry Reese confidently told the media that the team had done its due diligence in their character evaluation of Jerry. Reese believes that Jerry’s past behavior will not add a toxic element to a locker room that takes pride in its positive culture. I believe Reese in his evaluation, and I also believe that if Jerry behaves in any sort of destructive manner, the Giants will swiftly cut him.
The Jerry contract is a sound deal for New York, but it most likely will not end the team’s free agency splurge. Look for the Giants to add a veteran piece to the defensive line and depth to the center position before the NFL Draft in May.