With only David Wilson and Michael Cox on their roster entering the 2014 offseason, fans and pundits alike knew the Giants needed to do something to address the halfback situation. Wilson spent his second NFL season either injured or ineffective, and Cox doesn't have enough game experience yet to serve as a reliable backup.
That's why New York moved quickly in free agency, forging an agreement on Tuesday with former Oakland halfback Rashad Jennings. The sixth-year player out of Liberty has been a career backup with the Raiders and Jaguars, but last season he was forced into action due to injuries.
Jennings responded quite well to his increased responsibility, gaining 733 yards on 163 carries for a 4.5 yards per carry average. He also scored a career-high six touchdowns and caught 36 passes for another 292 yards.
Perhaps Jennings' best game of 2013 came on the road against Houston when he gained 150 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries in a 28-23 Raiders win. Now, the only question is whether his skills carry over to the Giants, for whom Jennings could become a full-time starter if Wilson doesn't show enough improvement this summer.
Although Jennings doesn't have the most inspiring track record in the NFL, he has more experience with age (he turns 29 this month) than with on-field experience. Plus, his no-frills style and ability to pass catches out of the backfield appear to make him a great fit for head coach Tom Coughlin. Add in that Jennings has fumbled just three times in 387 career carries, and it's no wonder why the Giants sought him out so quickly.
Now that Jennings is in tow, what happens to the rest of the halfback corps? Wilson still has too much untapped potential to let go, but Cox is expendable if the Giants are looking for more experienced depth. The team showed that that might be the case on Tuesday by re-signing Peyton Hillis on a two-year deal. Hillis wasn't anything special last year, but he served well in a pinch, gaining 247 yards on 73 carries.
The Jennings deal means that the Giants likely won't be retaining the services of Andre Brown. The veteran out of North Carolina State has been effective in spurts for the past two seasons, but injury issues and his three lost fumbles in 2013 make him a player who New York won't miss much with Jennings in the fold.