New York Giants Sign Former Panthers Running Back

Giants turn focus toward Patriots mainstay after losing top target

On Tuesday, the New York Giants made one of their first moves of free agency, officially signing veteran running back Jonathan Stewart.

Stewart will reunite with former Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman, who was recently hired to the same position with the Giants. Last season was arguably the worst of his career, as he averaged a career-worst 3.4 yards per rush and collected only 680 yards on the ground. He posted a total of 7,318 rushing yards and 51 touchdowns in his time with the Panthers.

Vintage Stewart showed up that week as he rushed for 103 yards and three touchdowns.

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The Giants were 26th in rushing yards and tied for 28th in rushing touchdowns in 2017, so Stewart fills a need at running back to some extent. Shula served in the same role for the Panthers for five seasons from 2013-17.

NY owns the second pick in the upcoming draft, and there is belief that the Giants are seriously considering picking former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley with the pick, should the Browns pass on him with the top selection. None of their backs a season ago - Orleans Darkwa, Wayne Gallman, Shane Vereen, and Paul Perkins - did anything overly impressive, and two of them (Darkwa and Vereen) are free agents. In 2011, he set Panthers records for catches (47) and receiving yards (413) in a season by a running back. Stewart has 18 100-yard games, and that was the only one against the Giants. It is unclear whether the Giants will add anyone else to their backfield although there are some fans who would like the team to select Penn State running back Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick.

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