Giants make splash adding LB Bobby Okereke on first day of legal tampering period

Bobby Okereke speaks to reporters during a virtual press conference with the Colts,

The Giants made their first big splash of free agency on Monday night, coming to terms on a four-year, $40 million contract with linebacker Bobby Okereke. 

The deal comes with $22 million of it guaranteed, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, who was first to break the news. It was the latest signing by the Giants on a busy first day of the legal tampering period in the NFL. 

Okereke is the biggest move by general manager Joe Schoen thus far and addresses a major need for the Giants on the defensive side of the ball. He was one of the premier linebackers on the market and is coming off a career year in which he had 151 tackles, along with two forced fumbles and five pass breakups. 

He has continued to get better each year in the NFL, seeing his total tackles and tackles for losses increase over the past three seasons. In fact, Okereke had a strong game against the Giants this past season in which he recorded 17 tackles, 13 of which were solo tackles. 

More importantly, Okereke checks one of the big boxes for the Giants who have made it a priority this offseason to improve their run defense. It had been one of the worst in the league and Okereke will come in handy in helping improve that.

He finished last season with a 79.3 run defense grade from Pro Football Focus and an overall grade of 73.3. 

The Chicago Bears had been in on trying to sign Okereke to deal earlier in the day, according to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, but they ended up signing Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards. Those had been two names that were believed to be on the Giants’ radar as well going into free agency. 

Okereke, who will be 27 years old in June, was selected in the third round of the NFL draft in 2019 by the Indianapolis Colts. 

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