New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese and head coach Tom Coughlin like signing NFC East players who've given them fits in the past, as you saw with former Cowboys defensive end Chris Canty. In the wee hours of Friday morning, the Giants struck again by signing former Eagles Pro Bowl offensive lineman Shawn Andrews.
They'd apparently been tracking Andrews for months and finally decided the timing was right. He's only played two games in the past two seasons because of various back injuries and a bout with clinical depression. I think Reese and Coughlin saw a guy desperate for one last opportunity and decided to take the risk. And it's probably not much of a risk since it's a six-year "prove it" contract, according to the player's agent.
There's never been a question about Andrews' talent. It's his desire to play football that has been questioned. I know it used to frustrate Eagles right tackle Jon Runyan to no end that football didn't seem to be Andrews' first priority. Now we'll see if being released by the Eagles this past spring will serve as motivation for Andrews.
"I'm laying it all on the line," the 27-year-old Andrews said Friday. "Not that I haven't before but this is it. The Giants are going to get everything from me. The back is feeling pretty good. I've been working hard. Going hard. Not that I never worked hard in my life but this is my last attempt at it. I'm going all out. I'm selling out right now."
I don't think this is a situation where Coughlin wants to rush Andrews into the starting lineup. Much like ex-Cowboys coach Bill Parcells did with former Bears first-round pick Marc Colombo, Coughlin will get Andrews in the weight room and try to build up his endurance. I'd be shocked if Andrews cracked the starting lineup in 2010, so you should look at this as more of a long-term project.
If Andrews is starting in Week 1, that would not be a good sign for the Giants. He'll likely line up at left guard, although Coughlin left the door open for him playing every position other than center. Andrews' goals for his return are off the charts.
"I'm a competitor and I'm trying to follow in the footsteps of the great Larry Allen," said Andrews. "I want to be that good and even better and I think I have a chance to do that. In this conference, it's competitive and I think I have a good shot to achieve that. So hopefully everything goes well, and it's back to kicking butt."
And yes, I can see Eagles fans rolling their eyes in unison, which is an interesting visual. Andrews hinted Friday that the Eagles may have done him some type of disservice with the timing of his release. I think that's a crock. Reid stood by him through some tough times, and for whatever reason, the player could not overcome the back injury. Hopefully he'll have a productive career with the Giants, but to suggest the Eagles left him hanging is silly.