Six years ago, Andrew Adams walked into Giants training camp as an undrafted rookie trying to make the team. This week he returned to Giants training camp a savvy veteran, a new free-agent acquisition, and, a Super Bowl champion.
“Three hundred and seventeen diamonds later,” he said of the bling he won as a full-time defensive player for Tampa Bay two seasons ago.
But when asked to compare his two very different arrivals, the defensive back insisted he is treating them the same.
“You have to prove yourself every year like you are an undrafted rookie,” Adams said on Thursday. “That’s just how I approach it. My role is to help any way I can, whether that’s special teams or defense.”
Plenty has changed while Adams was gone. There are only two players left on the roster that he was teammates with during his first two-year stint with the Giants: wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who was in the same rookie class as Adams, and Saquon Barkley, who was a rookie in Adams’ last training camp with the Giants before he was cut.
That makes Adams the only active player in this camp at this point who has appeared in a postseason game for the Giants. He did so as a rookie in 2016 and while Shepard did as well, the receiver is currently on PUP.
“I didn’t know that,” he said. “I guess that’s kind of cool.”
Not for the Giants, whose playoff drought has reached five years.
There are a few more familiar faces in the front office, and when the Giants’ newer decision-makers were contemplating the Adams addition, those long-timers were able to vouch for him.
“The people who were here before us who interacted with him spoke very highly of him,” general manager Joe Schoen said of Adams.
Ideally, he’ll give the Giants depth, wisdom and experience in a very young safety room, and also provide some plays on defense and special teams.
“I would definitely say I am a better player [than in 2016 and 2017],” Adams said. “I’ve seen pretty much all you can see. When I first got here I was wet behind the ears so I am more seasoned now.”
Also more bejeweled, although being a Super Bowl champion is not something he seems especially comfortable talking about.
“All due respect to Tampa, I’m a Giant now,” he said. “Being here with the guys who are here now is what’s important.”
Besides, he added: “I’m trying to win another one.”