Jonathan Stewart has reunited with old friend Dave Gettleman. The Giants will sign the veteran running back, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Stewart’s pact is for two years and has a base value of $6.9MM, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who adds Stewart gets $2.95MM in guarantees and can max out at $8.4MM.
ESPN’s Jordan Raanan tweets the expectation is that the veteran running back will cost $3.425 MM vs. the salary cap in 2018. His contract includes incentives for rushing yards and touchdowns, and also includes a $500,000 option bonus for next year.
The Giants have several needs to address this offseason, including running back. Last year’s top rusher, Orleans Darkwa, is ticketed for free agency and it’s not clear if he’ll be back in the fold. Even if Darkwa is retained, Stewart can serve as veteran depth. Regardless of how the backfield shakes out, it’s hard to envision that Stewart will be relied on as the team’s RB1.
Stewart averaged a career-low 3.4 yards per carry last season but he did play in 15 games, his most since the 2011 campaign. He previously visited the Seahawks and Lions, but they’ll have to find running back help elsewhere.
As of this writing, the Giants still have plenty of free agent running back options at their disposal. They could also spend their free agent dollars elsewhere and use the No. 2 overall pick on Penn State star Saquon Barkley, if he is available.
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