George Selvie, a veteran defensive end who played the last two seasons with the Cowboys, signed a one-year free agency contract with the Giants on Friday that will reunite him with two men with whom he has previously worked.
Selvie was college teammates with Jason Pierre-Paul at South Florida; they were both draft picks in 2010, JPP going to the Giants in the first round and Selvie going to the Rams in the seventh. Those Rams were led by Steve Spagnuolo, who is now the defensive coordinator for the Giants.
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"I'm excited to be here," Selvie said. "It's a great opportunity for me. And I'm excited to be playing with JPP again, along with Spags. I'm excited for the opportunity to be here."
Selvie has played for the Rams, Panthers, Jaguars and Cowboys and also spent a brief time on the offseason roster of the Buccaneers. He has played in 68 games with 29 starts and has 117 tackles, 13.0 sacks, 31 quarterback hits, 24 tackles for loss, two passes defensed and two forced fumbles. Seven of his sacks came in 2013, his first season with the Cowboys.
"I think that's a great pickup," Pierre-Paul said through the Giants. "He's a good player. George can play the run and rush the passer. From the film I've watched, he's gotten better as a player."
The two were teammates only briefly at South Florida. Selvie played four years and left with just about every school record a defensive end could hold. Pierre-Paul was there for just a few months before leaving for the NFL.
Their pro careers have been opposite in terms of such stability. Pierre-Paul has spent his whole career with the Giants (and may play the rest of it, too, as the team attempts to work out a long-term deal with him while he is under the franchise tag for 2015). Selvie has bounced around from team to team, never spending more than two years on any one roster.
"I've been through it (changing teams) before, so it's going to be pretty easy," Selvie said. "Spags drafted me in St. Louis, so I've played in his defense before. It's a 4-3 defense, and I'm excited about playing in it."
Selvie is the latest former Cowboy to be signed by the Giants. Earlier this month the Giants signed WR Dwayne Harris. They also have former Cowboys WR Kevin Ogletree on their roster. The Giants have never been shy about plucking players from their division rival, going all the way back to Everson Walls and moving through to Chris Canty and Martellus Bennett.
While the Giants normally add defensive ends with a mind toward pressuring the quarterback, Selvie more than likely will be a rotational player who will be on the field mostly against the run. He will theoretically provide a balance to the pass-rushing skills of Damontre Moore, rotating with him based on situations. The Giants have focused on improving their defensive line against the run this offseason, parting ways with Mathias Kiwanuka and adding DT Kenrick Ellis from the Jets. The Giants finished 2014 ranked 30th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed (135.1 per game) and 32nd in yards allowed per carry (4.9).
"George is going to fill in that gap that we have on that other side," Pierre-Paul said. "He is going to fight for that starting spot. That's a good thing. That will make everybody work harder."
The two played together for just 13 games but combined for 87 tackles and 10 sacks in that span.
"We were on opposite sides, but we worked together," Pierre-Paul said. "He's a dedicated worker, and I know he's going to work to try to get better and better."
"It was a good year," Selvie said of the 2009 season. "We beat a lot of teams people thought we were never going to beat and both of us contributed to that. It was great having that type of season and playing with that type of player. JPP is a hell of a player. I'm excited to be playing alongside him, so it's going to be great."
As for Spagnuolo?
"Spags is a hell of a guy," Selvie said. "He's a fiery guy. He wants everything to be perfect. He likes to blitz and get after the quarterback. I know he loves his defensive linemen, so I'm excited to be here with him."