Giants sign former Saints TE Boo Williams

The New York Giants on Thursday added a veteran tight end to the roster, signing unrestricted free agent Boo Williams, who had played for the New Orleans Saints the previous five seasons, but was released in February after missing the entire 2005 campaign with a knee injury.

New York also announced the release of tight end Matt Kranchick, who appeared in two games for the Giants in 2005 after being signed from the Pittsburgh practice squad.

Williams, 26, is a big target (6-feet-4, 265 pounds) with the ability to occasionally get deep. He is known more as a receiver than a blocker, and likely is a candidate for the No. 3 spot on the depth chart behind starter Jeremy Shockey and three-year veteran backup Visanthe Shiancoe.

In five seasons with the Saints, he registered 107 receptions for 1,143 yards and 12 touchdowns. A former wide receiver at Arkansas, Williams earned a spot on the New Orleans roster as an undrafted free agent in 2001, bulked up by about 30 pounds, and became a respectable tight end.

There is no denying Williams' physical ability, but he often drew the wrath of New Orleans coaches for his lapses in concentration, dropped passes and errors in routes and blocking assignments.

He totaled 74 catches, 798 yards and seven touchdowns in 2003-2004, and had eight receptions for 20 or more yards over the two seasons, despite starting just 17 games. But last Aug. 26, in a preseason game, Williams tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee when he was pinned between two Baltimore Ravens defenders while blocking on a running play.

Williams underwent surgery shortly thereafter and was placed on injured reserve. The knee is believed to be rehabilitated now.

For his career, Williams has appeared in 59 games and started 22 of them. Contract details on his deal with the Giants were not yet available.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.