MARCH 29: The Giants have officially re-signed Brinkley, the team confirmed today in a press release.
MARCH 18: The Giants will bring back free agent middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley on a one-year deal, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Financial details aren’t yet available. It’s the second straight one-year pact for Brinkley, who joined the Giants leading up to Week 1 last season after the NFC East rival Cowboys released him.
In his first season with the Giants, Brinkley totaled 67 tackles, four forced fumbles and a sack in 15 appearances (nine starts). Overall, he graded a solid 36th among 97 qualifying linebackers at Pro Football Focus for his performance with Big Blue. He was especially impressive against the run, ranking as PFF’s fourth-best LB in that category.
Brinkley, a 2009 fifth-round pick, previously played with the Vikings and Cardinals until 2014, racking up 79 regular-season appearances and 42 starts.
The 30-year-old Brinkley is now set to be part of a 2016 Giants linebacking corps that recently added fellow middle man Keenan Robinson and also features Jonathan Casillas and Devon Kennard. He’ll likely serve as a backup to Robinson, per Jordan Raanan of NJ.com (Twitter link).
Brinkley is the latest defensive free agent pickup for New York, which has made a serious effort to improve last season’s worst-ranked ‘D’ in the NFL. Since March 7, the Giants have signed three high-profile defensive linemen in Olivier Vernon, Jason Pierre-Paul and Damon Harrison, added Robinson and Brinkley at linebacker, and given cornerback Janoris Jenkins a mega-deal.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.