NY Giants sign former 1st-round pick John Ross, add speed to Daniel Jones’ arsenal

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross (Image via Cincinnati)
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross (Image via Cincinnati) /

The NY Giants signed a wide receiver Tuesday, just not the one fans have likely been clamoring for, adding former first-round pick John Ross on a one-year contract, sources confirm to GMenHQ.

News of Ross’ signing was first broken by Mike Garafolo, of the NFL Network, moments after the NY Giants agreed to terms on a long-term extension with defensive lineman Leonard Williams, which lowered his cap number to create spending flexibility for the cap-strapped organization.

Ross, 25, was originally chosen by the Cincinnati Bengals with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft after running the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in a blazing 4.22 seconds, dramatically boosting his stock.

However, Ross never quite lived up to his first-round hype with the Bengals, catching just 51 of 123 targets through the first four seasons of his career for 733 yards and 10 touchdowns. However, Ross has a career-average of 14.4 yards per reception, which will be a welcomed-addition to quarterback Daniel Jones’ arsenal at wide receiver.

Last season, Ross caught two of his seven targets for 17 yards, before suffering a foot injury while playing cornerback in practice that ended his season on November 14, when he was placed on injured reserve. Ross also spent time on the COVID-19 reserve list during training camp.

Injuries have dogged Ross throughout his career, suffering a shoulder injury in 2019, after suffering the same fate as a rookie back in 2017.

As fans have been coveting former Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay, signing a player of Ross’s caliber might have always been more prudent.

Likewise, it is unlikely that adding Ross on a one-year contract worth $2.5 million would preclude the NY Giants from going back to the top of the market and aiming to add a Golladay or a JuJu Smith-Schuster. The NY Giants absolutely needed to add playmaking speed at the skill positions this offseason, and Ross is a good first step in that direction.

The Giants’ ability to add another wide receiver, or fill other various needs in free agency, will likely be determined by how low Williams’ cap hit drops on his new deal.

Matt Lombardo is the site expert for GMenHQ, and writes Between The Hash Marks each Wednesday for FanSided. Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattLombardoNFL.