Giants add another starting linebacker

For the second time in four days, the New York Giants have added a starting linebacker, as the club reached an agreement Monday night with unrestricted veteran Barrett Green, ESPN.com has learned.

Green, 26, spent his first four seasons with the Detroit Lions. In New York, he'll take over the starting weakside position, a spot vacated when Dhani Jones opted to test the free-agent market.

On Friday, the Giants agreed to terms with former Philadelphia strongside linebacker Carlos Emmons. The revamped unit, with Michael Barrow still in the middle, appears to be an upgrade from 2003.

The contract Green will sign is a five-year deal worth $13.25 million. It includes a $2.75 million signing bonus and base salaries of $535,000 (for 2004), $1.465 million (2005), $2.5 million (2006), $3 million (2007) and $3 million (2008). In both 2005 and 2006, $250,000 of the base salaries is guaranteed.

A second-round pick in the 2000 draft, Green is not well-known outside the Detroit area, but he is regarded as an emerging star, an athletic defender with range and speed, and one who should benefit nicely in the scheme that will be installed by new coordinator Tim Lewis.

The former Pittsburgh coordinator will implement a defense in which the linebackers are playmakers and catalysts. That should be conducive to Green's natural skills.

Part of the reason Green was overlooked in Detroit stems from the Lions' losing record during his tenure there. But Green should merit plenty of attention in New York.

In his four seasons with the Lions, he started in 40 of 45 appearances and had 242 tackles, 5½ sacks, four forced fumbles and 10 passes defensed. Look for his to be very active in blitzing with the Giants.

Green became a starter in 2001 and has averaged 80-plus tackles the past three seasons.