While the Giants did not draft an edge rusher, they will bring back one of their previous options at outside linebacker. Oshane Ximines will return on a one-year deal, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Giants have since announced the signing.
A former Giants third-round pick, Ximines has mostly worked as a rotational presence with New York. But the Old Dominion product has made nine starts over the course of a four-year career.
Former GM Dave Gettleman eschewed the Giants’ edge-rushing need — created by the team trading Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon — for much of his tenure. Ximines represented one of the since-departed GM’s top investments at the position. A year after drafting Lorenzo Carter in the third round, the Giants chose Ximines 95th overall in 2019. The team let Carter walk last year, and he has since signed a multiyear deal with the Falcons. But Ximines remains positioned as a Big Blue second-stringer.
After totaling 4.5 sacks as a rookie, Ximines has not made many statistical contributions over the past three seasons. An offsides penalty that proved costly in a narrow loss to the Chiefs affected Ximines’ role in 2021, when he fell out of favor with Joe Judge‘s staff. Ximines spent much of that season’s dreadful Giants stretch run as a healthy scratch. The 26-year-old edge defender did bounce back a bit last season, recording two sacks and eight quarterback hits.
New York’s edge rush remains centered around Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari. The latter’s rookie contract runs through 2024. Both starters battled injury issues last season, and Ximines’ workload increased as a result. After playing just 183 defensive snaps in 2021, Ximines logged a career-high 506 last season. Don Martindale will give the fifth-year defender another chance to be part of his edge rotation this season.