The New York Giants happen to be one of the oldest franchises in the NFL. During this time, they’ve been able to establish themselves as one the league’s elite teams.
The Giants have also had their fair share of stars who have brought them to the playoffs almost year on year, with a handful of division, conference and Super Bowl championships in their trophy cabinets in East Rutherford, New Jersey. But, it hasn’t always been perfect for the Giants. They’ve had some fumbles in terms of their agent signings, time and time again.
Here are the five worst free agent signings in New York Giants history.
5. Carlos Emmons (2004)
One of the biggest busts in NY Giants history was top-tier linebacker, Carlos Emmons. Emmons capped of his four-year stint with the Philadelphia Eagles with an amazing career-high of 123 tackles in the 2003 NFL Season where was also named the league’s defensive MVP. As soon as Emmons was available come free agency, the Giants front office swooped the linebacker and signed him to a 5-year $16.5 million contract.
Unfortunately for the New York, it seemed as though Emmons’ peaked when he was in the Eagles as he failed to impress in his three years with the team. He was released by the team in 2007 after a career-ending back injury.
4. J.T. Thomas (2015)
A peculiar signing in 2015 was linebacker J.T. Thomas. Thomas was was failing to impress in his first few years in the league as he was struggling to sty on the field due to injuries. After two short years each with both the Chicago Bears and the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Giants seemed to have seen something in the linebacker – enough to sign him to a three-year $12 million contract in 2015. Injuries continued to plague Thomas’ young career as he spent all three years with the Giants on the IR list. He was released by the Giants in November of 2017 having started just 15 games for the team.
3. Larry Csonka (1976)
Though the great Larry Csonka had a fantastic NFL career, he’s still one of the worst signings the New York Giants made way back in 1976.
Csonka played fullback for the Miami Dolphins early in his career where he peaked – winning two Super Bowl Championships and being named to the Pro Bowl five times. After a short run in the World Football League, the fullback went back to the NFL and signed a three-year $2 million dollar contract with the Giants.
Those three years were probably the worst in Csonka’s Hall of Fame career, as the former Super Bowl MVP failed to impress for the struggling franchise. One of the lowest points in Csonka’s Giants career was the infamous play with QB Joe Pisarcik where the Eagles recovered an attempted handoff to the fullback to score in the “Miracle at the Meadowlands”.
2. Geoff Schwartz (2014)
It seems that 2014 was a rather forgettable year for the Giants in terms of their signings. Schwartz was at the pinnacle of his career when New York signed him to a four-year $16.8 million contract in 2014. He was one of the best offensive linesmen available and was poised to boost the Giants’ offense.
Disaster struck in the preseason as Schwartz suffered a broken toe against the New York Jets and eventually missed the first 11 weeks of the regular season. Different injuries continued to dampen the linesman’s stay in New York and was eventually released after just two seasons with the Giants.
1 LaVar Arrington (2006)
At the top of our list is one of the biggest signings in New York Giants history, LaVar Arrington. Arrington was coming from a six-year stay with the Washington Redskins after contract woes pushed the linebacker to free agency in the summer of 2006. The second overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft then signed a whopping seven-year $49 million contract with the Giants.
In week 7 of his first season in New York, the linebacker ruptured his achilles against the Dallas Cowboys and eventually missed the rest of the season. After just six games, 14 tackles and one sack, Arrington was released by the Giants in February of 2007 and never played in the NFL again.