When the clock strikes 4 p.m. Tuesday, the Giants should have a new running back.
That's when the signing period begins for free agency and that's when the team and Shane Vereen are expected to announce they have come to an agreement. The terms of the agreement are not immediately known - one report has it as a four-year deal worth up to $16 million - and the signing will not be official until Vereen takes a team physical and inks the paper. However, multiple sources say the agreement is in place to be finalized.
Vereen spent the first four years of his career with the Patriots, helping them win Super Bowl XLIX last month. He caught 11 passes in the Super Bowl, has caught 99 during the last two seasons, and is expected to be a receiving option out of the backfield for the Giants. The team also has Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams as running backs.
General manager Jerry Reese said at the Combine in February that the team was looking to replace the game-breaking skills it lost with David Wilson's early retirement from football. He said he was happy with the "big bangers" already on the roster - Jennings and Williams - but wanted to add some athleticism. In Vereen, he seems to have found that and a good complement to the inside running abilities of the other two.
Plus, considering that the Giants have had injuries at the position in each of the last three seasons that required them to make mid-season additions to the roster, having three capable running backs is an insurance policy.
The last time the Giants had three top-level running backs was in 2008 when they fielded the "Earth, Wind and Fire" trio of Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw. Although Bradshaw was not used as much, Jacobs and Ward each ran for more than 1,000 yards that season as the Giants led the NFL in rushing.