New York Giants: What Does Bobby Rainey Signing Mean For Other Running Backs?
By Neal Lynch
Free agent running back Bobby Rainey signed with the New York Giants in what has to be considered a surprise move by Big Blue.
The news came Sunday evening when Rainey posted on his Instagram. The undrafted free agent out of Western Kentucky will join halfbacks Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen, Andre Williams, and Orleans Darkwa in what has to be a record for RBs on a roster. Jennings, Vereen, and Williams will all be unrestricted free agents after the 2017 season.
Bringing in Rainey most likely means the Giants won’t draft Ezekiel Elliott in the upcoming NFL Draft. If two’s company and three’s a crowd, six is just a blistering migraine headache. The acquisition also has to bewilder the incumbents; what’s going through their minds? The committee has to be collectively scratching their heads. There’s healthy competition and then there’s insane reality game show.
Many outside the organization were calling for some moves to be made when the Giants were 19th in rushing last season, however, throwing more running backs into the mix doesn’t seem right. Adding a young back like Elliott makes more sense, but Rainey is 28 and is known for primarily being a pass-catching back, which Vereen’s already got on lock. Not to mention, Rainey has a nasty case of fumble-itis.
With the First Pick
From James Kratch of NJ.com:
"“So, who is Rainey? He appeared in all 16 games for the Buccaneers last year, but started none, receiving a grand total of eight offensive touches. He was very active on special teams, though, returning 29 punts (10.0 yard average) and 19 kickoffs (24.7 yard average). Rainey played a team-leading 268 special teams snaps.”"
From Big Blue View:
"“As Pat Traina pointed out on Twitter, current Giants offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan was offensive coordinator in Tampa Bay in 2013. In nine games for the Bucs that year, Rainey gained 532 yards on 137 carries (3.9 yards per carry), and also caught 11 passes.”"
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So, it’s possible the Giants have concerns about the durability of Dwayne Harris, but the combo of Harris and Rainey returning kickoffs has to give opposing coverages anxiety.