Mark Herzlich, a strong special-teamer who played his best defensive football in 2014 after moving to outside linebacker, has re-signed with the Giants. The free agent agreed to a two-year deal with the team, he announced on Twitter on Wednesday.
The Giants have been fond of Herzlich on and off the field since they signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Boston College in 2011. His future with the team seemed uncertain as the Giants agreed to terms with free-agent linebackers Jonathan Casillas and J.T. Thomas on Tuesday, but clearly they wanted him back for both his special teams and defensive contributions.
That leaves the Giants heavy at linebacker, although there are plenty of question marks.
They forced Jon Beason to take a pay cut to lower his salary cap number for 2015 and hedge against another season-altering injury. Jameel McClain is owed a $400,000 roster bonus on Thursday, which the Giants seem intent on paying to keep him. They added Thomas and Casillas. And they have second-year player Devon Kennard who developed into one of the team's top defenders as a rookie last season. Also on the roster at the position are Victor Butler, James Davidson, Terrell Manning, and Uani' Unga.
Spencer Paysinger and Jacquian Williams, two linebackers who arrived on the team as rookies in 2011, are not expected to return as of now. Williams already has said his virtual goodbyes to the team on Twitter and said he has had interest from other teams in free agency. The Giants have told Paysinger to explore the market, although there could be a chance he re-signs with the team at some point.