With no Giants deal, agent says Chase Blackburn ready to hit the market
Unable to come to an agreement with the Giants, Chase Blackburn will become a free agent and could wind up signing elsewhere when the NFL’s calendar year begins next week.
“There is no understanding with the Giants,” Blackburn’s agent, Richard Katz, told Newsday on Wednesday. “It appears he’ll hit the open market on the 12th.”
That would be another blow to the linebacker unit that is already less experienced and less deep with the release of Michael Boley earlier this offseason. The Giants have Mark Herzlich as a possible replacement for Blackburn at middle linebacker.
Katz said Blackburn would still be “open to listening to the Giants” once free agency begins. Teams can contact player agents regarding free agency beginning on Saturday at midnight, but no contracts can be signed and no player visits can take place until next Tuesday. Despite being a starter throughout the 2012 season and leading the team with 98 tackles, Blackburn seems unlikely to be involved in the first wave of big-name free agent signings. But he would be a solid veteran presence for a team in need of a voice in the middle of its defense.
Blackburn, who will turn 30 this summer, is a late bloomer in his career. He began as the last man into training camp in 2005 and evolved into a special teams captain and eventually a starting linebacker. He spent most of the 2011 season unsigned and contemplated a future in teaching before injuries – including one to Herzlich – forced the Giants to re-sign him. He wound up making a key interception in Super Bowl XLVI for the Giants and in 2012, despite pressure from Herzlich, held his starting job.
After playing for the league minimum and on year-to-year contracts for close to his entire career, Blackburn said at the end of the 2012 season that he was looking for more and he thought he finally had the leverage to get it.
“I would definitely love (more than a one-year deal),” Blackburn said as he cleaned out his locker in January. “I’d love a little bit of stability. I hope I played well enough to deserve that. I feel like I have. It would be great.
“I have two young boys now so it would be nice not to go one year, move and pack everything up again and go. It’s part of the business, but it would be nice not to have to do that.”