Player Profile: Drafted in the second round out of California in 2011, running back Shane Vereen played a versatile role primarily as a third down back for the Patriots from 2011-2014 before heading to New York. The Giants utilized his ability to catch out of the backfield as he hauled in 59 catches on 81 targets for a total 495 yards and four touchdowns. Vereen will enter his sixth year in the NFL in 2016, his second with the Giants.
2015 highlights: Vereen proved to be as reliable as they come when passing out of the backfield with the Patriots, so the Giants jumped quickly on the back when he hit free agency in 2015. He became a huge asset for Eli Manning, which in turn, awarded Vereen with his best year in the league to date. He broke his career total in receiving yards with 495 and total touchdowns with four. While averaging 8.4 yards a reception, Vereen was also used in the run game gaining 260 yards on 61 touches. His best game came in the offensive battle with the Saints, where he caught eight passes for 60 yards and a touchdown.
Contract Situation: Vereen signed a three-year, $12.35 million contract with the Giants that include $4.75 million guaranteed including a $3.5 million signing bonus. In 2016, his base salary will be $3.15 million that accumulates to a $4.9 million cap hit after adding workout and roster bonuses.
Tradable/Untradeable: Vereen’s specific skill set makes him untradeable this year because the Giants love to pass. Vereen is vital in screens and quick outs to pick up quick yardage or to get a fresh set of downs. He’s one of the best receiving backs in the NFL, and at the young age of 26, the Giants could use him for years to come.
2016 Outlook: If 2015 was any indication of how Vereen can help the Giants on the offensive side of the ball, 2016 should be another solid year for the running back. Vereen acted as another pass threat that Manning could use and it showed in his production. Defenses were forced to watch Vereen running routes out of the back clearing some space for wide receiver like Beckham and Randle to get loose. In 2016, look for Vereen to continue his killer effects on offense and maybe catching defenses off guard with a few more touches on the ground.