Patterson is the second former Eagles defensive tackle to sign with the Giants, following in the footsteps of Cullen Jenkins. The Patterson addition, first reported by USA Today, gives the Giants more added muscle to a defense that finished 31st in total defense and 25th against the run last season.
"I'm happy to be a part of the Giants," Patterson said in a team release. "They have a lot of good players. It's going to be good. I'm happy the Giants signed me and believe in my talents and allowed me to be there this year. I'm looking forward to this opportunity.
"It's good to be (reunited with Jenkins). He's a good player and I enjoy his company. It's going to be great. They also have other players I played with in college (Terrell Thomas and Keith Rivers, his teammates at USC), so I'm happy to see those guys."
The Giants have been looking at receiving options and are meeting with Patriots free-agent receiver Julian Edelman on Wednesday and Thursday, according to a source. Edelman was scheduled to have dinner with coaches on Wednesday night and will visit the team facility on Thursday.
Patterson visited with the Giants this week and opted to be reunited with Jenkins, who signed with the Giants for a three-year deal worth $8 million earlier this offseason. Co-owner John Mara wants the Giants to get stronger on the offensive and defensive lines, and general manager Jerry Reese now has added Jenkins and Patterson to go with Linval Joseph, Shaun Rogers, Marvin Austin and Markus Kuhn at defensive tackle.
Patterson started 14 or more games per season for the Eagles from 2006-11 but underwent brain surgery in January 2012 to repair an arteriovenous malformation -- a tangle of blood vessels discovered when the defensive tackle had a seizure in camp in 2011.
Patterson, 29, was cleared and played in 15 games in 2011 with the help of medication. But he played in just five games last season before being placed on the reserve/non-football illness list last year with pneumonia.
The 6-foot-1, 300-pound Patterson adds size and experience to a defense that allowed 100 yards rushing or more in 10 games last season, including 200 yards or more in a game three different times.
Hixon is the second Giants free agent to head to Carolina, following linebacker Chase Blackburn. Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman used to be the Giants' pro personnel guru.
Hixon was the Giants' fourth receiver and also was a sure-handed returner. He had 39 receptions for 567 yards and two touchdowns and was the team's punt returner by the end of the season.
Edelman can return punts and kickoffs and can excel in the slot and provide insurance if anything were to happen with Cruz, who is a restricted free agent. Teams are not expected to make an offer for Cruz before the April 19 deadline, but the Giants have the ability to match any offer or receive a first-round pick as compensation.
Edelman had 21 receptions for 235 yards and three touchdowns and started in three games last season before suffering a foot injury in December. 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.