Hixon opts for Carolina; Edelman visits

Free-agent receiver Domenik Hixon is following linebacker Chase Blackburn to Carolina.

The Giants are meeting with Patriots free-agent receiver Julian Edelman on Wednesday and Thursday, according to a source. Edelman would be a nice replacement for Hixon, who will sign a one-year deal with the Panthers, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter confirmed.

Edelman was scheduled to have dinner with coaches Wednesday night and then will visit the team facility on Thursday. A source also confirmed that former Houston center Antoine Caldwell, who has started 19 games in four seasons for the Texans, is also visiting this week with the Giants.

Hixon was the Giants' fourth receiver and a sure-handed returner. Hixon -- who had 39 receptions for 567 yards and two touchdowns and was the team's punt returner by the end of the season -- joins Blackburn and Dave Gettleman, who left the Giants as the team's pro personnel guru to become the Panthers' GM.

The Giants currently have Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle, Jerrel Jernigan and Louis Murphy, but can use another receiver.

Edelman would give the Giants an experienced returner on punts and kickoffs and a player who can excel in the slot and provide insurance if anything were to happen with Cruz, who is a restricted free agent.

Edelman had 21 receptions for 235 yards and three touchdowns and started in three games last season before suffering a foot injury in December. He is expected to be ready for training camp. The Patriots, though, likely want to re-sign Edelman and might be able to offer more than the Giants, who have been looking to sign productive free agents for minimum-type deals.

Tell us what you think of Hixon leaving and the Giants looking at Edelman.