The free agent skinny

As we were the first to report several days ago the Giants announced today the signing of four free agents. <BR><BR>

DE Cliff Washburn, a 6-5, 275-pounder, played just one season of football at The Citadel after starring on the school's basketball team for four years. He was voted to the All-Southern Conference second team after starting all season at rush end and tying a school record with 12 sacks for 71 yards in losses, including a school-record four sacks vs. East Tennessee State. Washburn recorded 56 tackles (32 solo) with a conference-high 20 stops behind the line of scrimmage for losses of 90 yards. He caused three fumbles and recovered two others, returning one 36 yards for a touchdown. Washburn also deflected three passes and registered 36 quarterback pressures, including four that resulted in interceptions.

Tackle Jeff Roehl, a 6-4, 303-pounder, was a three-year starter for Northwestern after transferring from Notre Dame following his freshman season in 1998. He played 27 consecutive games at right guard before moving to right tackle for five games. He played guard in his final three games. Last season, Roehl was a second-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and media. Roehl, who played in the East-West Shrine Game, was an Academic All-Big Ten selection. He was an honorable mention All-Big Ten choice in both his sophomore and junior seasons. He did not see action as a freshman in 1998. Roehl was born on May 18, 1980.

LB Eddie Strong, a 6-2, 245-pounder, started at middle linebacker and strong-side and weak-side outside linebacker while at Mississippi. He finished his career with 306 tackles (179 solos), with 10.5 sacks for minus-78 yards, 26 stops for losses of 107 yards, 13 quarterback pressures, 13 pass deflections, two interceptions, three forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries in 43 games. Strong missed the 2000 season with a fractured foot, but he returned in 2001 to start every game at strong-side outside linebacker and lead the team with a career-high 105 tackles (52 solos), becoming the first Rebel since Nate Wayne (1996) to register over 100 tackles in a season. Last season, Strong was an All-Southeastern Conference first-team selection. He started the final 10 games at middle linebacker, recording 63 tackles (37 solos) with 2.5 sacks for minus-23 yards, eight stops for losses of 35 yards and two quarterback pressures. He also recovered three fumbles and had five pass deflections.

DT David Thompson, a 6-5, 288-pounder, had his finest season in 2002 when the Buckeyes won the national championship. He played in all 14 games and recorded 42 tackles (23 solos), 4.5 sacks for 24 yards in losses and 7.5 tackles for losses totaling 28 yards. He also knocked down two passes and recovered a fumble. Thompson was redshirted in 1998, did not have a tackle in six games in 1999 and saw no game action in 2000. He was credited with 12 tackles, including a sack, in 2001. Thompson was a consensus All-State pick at Eastside High School in Paterson, N.J., a short distance from Giants Stadium. He was born on Aug. 23, 1979.

The Giants also waived WR Chris Taylor, who spent the final three games of the 2002 season on the Giants practice squad. He had been signed to the 80-man roster on Jan. 16. A seventh-round draft choice of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2001, he split time that year on the practice squads of the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans.

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