The New York Giants have added veteran safety Brandon Meriwether. The former first round pick was a pro bowler back in 2009 and 2010, but has been highly criticized for his overly aggressive play resulting in multiple penalties, fines, and has even been suspended on multiple occasions for illegal hits.
Meriweather, who last played with the Washington Redskins, is looking to return to his pro-bowl caliber play. Former college teammate at the University of Miami, Jon Beason, is excited for his teammate to join the team. Beason mentioned that one of the biggest hurdles for Meriwether is learning the new system and the terminology.
“He’s going to know it,” Beason said of Meriweather. “If I asked him right now, he’s going to know it. Just a guy I know is going to pick it up fast and help us out, especially with all the injuries.”
Meriweather was brought in to solidify some of the concerns at safety with two rookies projected as potential starters. Landon Collins, rookie second rounder, is projected to be a starter at safety, but he suffered a knee injury and is listed as day-to-day. Collins is expected to return shortly. However, Meriweathers’s move is probably more so to bring in physicality and a veteran presence.
More than likely, the Giants will not want to play both Meriweather and Collins at the same time as both are better as enforcers. Collins is seen more as a strong safety who can almost serve as a fourth linebacker, and coverage is not a strength for either of the two players. Starting both would leave a hole in the middle of the field that can be taken advantage of in the passing game.
But we need to remember that Meriweather is an older player who is more of an addition for providing depth than a starter at this point in time. He may become a key member, but Meriweather first needs to find a way to stay on the field, and avoid committing the penalties that will most assuredly drive Coach Tom Coughlin crazy. Beason also talked about how the rookies need to focus on their own game, and not to let this signing bother them.
“The young guys always have to be prepared knowing that their opportunity is coming and not thinking so-and-so is a starter, he’s older, he’s a veteran, he’s getting paid more,” noted Beason. “If you have that mentality, you’re going to miss your opportunity because you won’t see it when it comes.”
There isn’t a whole lot of risk with this signing, but Meriweather isn’t the same player as he was six years ago, and he can be a liability with his poor decision-making. I don’t foresee him getting a starting role, at least to start the year. The move could prove worth it if he gets his act together, and can add to the level of physicality, as long as it is legal and doesn’t hurt the team or the growth of the younger safeties.