New York Giants: 15 best free agent acquisitions of all-time

New York Giants. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
New York Giants. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Antonio Pierce, New York Giants
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

31. . Linebacker. 2005-09. Antonio Pierce. 3. player

  • Selected to the Pro Bowl in 2006
  • Started in all 69 games he played for Giants
  • Captain on Super Bowl XLII winning squad
  • Had 137 total tackles in 2006

The Giants attracted free agent linebacker Antonio Pierce away from NFC East rival Washington Redskins with a six-year, $26 million contract in 2005, according to ESPN.  As an undrafted free agent in 2001, Pierce was supposed to become a part-time contributor for Washington, as well as help out on special teams.

As fate would have it, while with the ‘Skins incumbent middle linebacker Michael Barrow (No. 11 on this list) was injured during the 2004 NFL preseason. Pierce took over as the new man in the middle. He parlayed his success that season into a huge payday with the G-Men.

For most of his time in the Big Apple, Pierce was a worthy recipient of his big contract. Not only was Pierce a vocal leader, he was also a very productive player for Big Blue. Twice he accumulated more than 100 tackles in a season (2006, 2007). He was elected to the Pro Bowl in 2007, according to Pro Football Reference.

The icing on the cake for Pierce was the Giants 17-14 victory over the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. According to Pro Football Reference, Pierce has a whopping 11 tackles in the championship game.

He’s remembered as a leader and champion for the Giants and surely was one of Ernie Accorsi’s best signings as general manager of the team. An unfortunate neck injury forced Pierce from the field and into the broadcast booth prematurely in 2010.