NY Giants catch Wink Martindale’s eye with perfect addition to practice squad
By Adam Weinrib
The NY Giants’ 2022 roster remains a work in progress, despite the initial 53-man unit being technically “set”.
Of course, this will be the case all season long, not just in the coming transaction-filled days. Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll are in this for the long haul, looking to reshape the team’s culture and find some potential diamonds in the rough. Could Daniel Jones be their long-term quarterback? Who can say? Will Saquon Barkley be a Giant beyond 2022? That’s what the season is for!
The more intriguing names they can import, the better. And the more veterans around who can sell the system (Wink Martindale’s defense, Daboll/Mike Kafka’s offense) the better.
That’s why fans were so up in arms about the Davis Webb cut … before he rolled up on Wednesday like George Costanza and pretended it never happened, having secured a practice squad gig to help tutor the offense.
And that’s why fans will also love the big, thumping veteran move the NY Giants pulled off on Wednesday afternoon, signing safety Tony Jefferson, formerly of the Ravens/Martindale’s D, and placing him on the practice squad as well.
NY Giants sign veteran Ravens safety Tony Jefferson to practice squad
When Jefferson’s official release came down the line on Monday (though it’d been rumored for weeks), he expressed that he wasn’t quite done yet.
It always felt inevitable that the NY Giants would nibble here, but it never completely seemed possible — at least, not without clearing Darius Slayton’s money in an Aaron Donald trade.
Still, though, the G-Men found a way, and Jefferson will become the winner of the Most Likely to Be Elevated superlative on this year’s practice squad.
The Giants are still cash-strapped and unlikely to contend in 2022, but the Jefferson signing is another veteran buy-in from someone who knows and trusts the systems the team is putting in place — as well as someone who can probably still be an effective player in the box.
New York needs all the secondary help they can get, and Jefferson was the biggest-name safety available, picked up alongside several lottery-ticket options like Bills DB Nick McLeod and Jets safety Jason Pinnock. Jefferson will be a mentor at worst and an impact player at best. For a team with so many remaining questions, both sides of that equation needed to be addressed.