The Giants authorized this offseason’s second-most lucrative linebacker contract, giving Bobby Okereke a $10M-per-year deal. However, one of the team’s holdovers had been leading the competition to join the ex-Colt as a starter.
But Jarrad Davis‘ path back to the Giants’ starting lineup has encountered a road block. Davis underwent surgery recently and is believed to be facing a long-term absence, Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News reports. The Giants re-signed Davis in March but saw him miss minicamp due to this unspecified injury.
Davis started just one regular-season game for the Giants last season, but the ex-Lions first-rounder played a first-string role in both Big Blue playoff tilts. During Giants OTAs, Davis was running with Okereke on Don Mardindale‘s first unit. The former Colts starter could now be an option at middle linebacker, where Davis was stationed.
A 2022 fifth-round pick, McFadden started seven games for an embattled Giants linebacking corps last season. The Giants chose Beavers in last year’s sixth round, but he did not play as a rookie due to a torn ACL sustained during the team’s second preseason game. Beavers did not practice in full at minicamp but did side-field work.
If this is a season-threatening injury, it obviously deals a blow to Davis’ career. The Florida alum received extensive playing time during his first go-round in Detroit but did not receive strong reviews for his work.
The Lions benched Davis during his 2020 contract year, and while he did receive $5.5M from the Jets in 2021, he settled for $1.2M from the Lions last year. The Lions deemed Davis a practice squad-level player, leading to the Giants poaching him off that Detroit unit in December.
Davis re-signed with the Giants for the league minimum (one year, $1.1M). His $75K roster bonus will only be due if he makes the team’s 53-man roster.
It would make for a natural transition for the Giants to have one of their recent Day 3 picks win this competition. Both Beavers and McFadden were drafted by the team’s current regime, and each makes low-end money that would complement Okereke’s four-year, $40M deal.
The Giants hosted former Falcons mainstay Deion Jones earlier this offseason, doing so after signing Okereke. Jones could potentially be an option, depending on the severity of Davis’ injury. For now, two second-year players have clearer paths to a regular role.