When the Giants signed Dwayne Harris to a five-year deal earlier this week, the contract came as a bit of a surprise. Not because the Giants had chosen to address their troublesome special teams unit, but because they were giving a lengthy $17.5 million deal to a player who almost exclusively contributes to special teams.
Indeed, Harris has just 16 receptions in his last two years with Dallas, where he wasn’t exactly the primary target of Pro Bowl quarterback Tony Romo. However, with players like Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz already in tow, the Giants didn’t bring in Harris because of his ability to catch the ball. He’s with New York because he knows how to return kicks and cover punt returns.
“I am a physical player,” said Harris, “I think all of the Giants fans are going to find that out soon. I am a physical player and I like the physical nature of the game. I like being the guy who hits players. I take a lot of hits during the game. It is always fun to return the favor.”
Although Harris grew up playing quarterback, he quickly learned that playing hard on special teams was his ticket to the NFL field. His selfless attitude is just what winning teams love to see in their players.
“Growing up, I was a quarterback,” said Harris, “Then when I got to college I changed to receiver and when I got to the league, special teams became a big part of me being able to get on the field and be able to play. I was always a good blocker, so I know just having all those skill sets helped me out to be a better football player. It is great. I am glad I have these skill sets to help the team win.”
No matter how good of a teammate Harris is, New York may still have overpaid to get him in a Giants uniform. On the other hand, there is some value in taking a player off of a rival’s roster. Not only will the Giants have Harris on their side in 2015, but they’re taking him away from the hated Cowboys.
“They are going to give me a chance to play my old team, the Dallas Cowboys, twice a year,” said Harris, “It is going to be fun. It is going to be a little strange playing against the guys I played with my whole career, but that will be a fun game to play.”