Chase is on for Big Blue at 'Backer

With LaVar Arrington and Carlos Emmons no longer part of New York's LB equation, a new man has jumped to the forefront to become the club's starting strong-side linebacker.

Former rookie free agent Chase Blackburn has so impressed the Giants organization that it's unlikely the club will re-sign unrestricted free agent Brandon Short and will insert Blackburn as the top man at SLB.

One member of New York's starting defense said the move is certainly in the works and that he expects Blackburn to do "very well. The kid can really play."

The Giants still have an opening to fill on the weak side, where their hopes of landing free agent prize Lance Briggs evaporated when Chicago placed the franchise tag on the play-making linebacker. WLB help could come from free agency, which opens on March 2, in the form of Baltimore's Adalius Thomas or the draft (Penn State's Paul Posluszny).

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