While most Giant free agents and veterans are more than happy to say they want to return to the team in 2019 and continue building, one seemed a little discouraged by the way 2018 played out.
Linebacker Connor Barwin said the most frustrating aspect of the 5-11 season he just endured was not that it saddled him with the worst record of his career, but that he was not afforded much opportunity to prevent it.
“There’s a lot that I felt that I didn’t get to contribute, so I guess for me it feels different because I feel like I missed a chance to help this team out,” Barwin said. “So you work and you make sure that doesn’t happen next year.”
Barwin is under contract with the Giants for 2019. He signed a two-year deal to join the team just before training camp. He played extensively in the beginning of the season but finished by playing in about one quarter of the defensive snaps this season. In the last three games, he saw just 11 total snaps.
That’s usually the sign that a player won’t be back. And it may also be a sign that he won’t necessarily want to be.
Others said unequivocally that they would like to return. “Why not rock out here in the blue?” said wide receiver Russell Shepard. Linebacker Olivier Vernon, whose cap number for 2019 makes him vulnerable to a roster move, admitted that a decision is out of his hands but said he would “love to be back.” Guard Jamon Brown expressed his desire to return as a free agent and safety Landon Collins said it’s always been his goal to finish his career with the Giants.
Barwin agrees with the general assessment that the Giants are heading in the right direction in general.
“Great locker room, great guys,” he said. “Tons of super-talented players. We just have to get better and find a way to make a few more plays to win those tight games.”
As for whether he’ll be part of that process, he doesn’t know. Nor is he apparently sure if he wants to be.
“I’m happy this one is over,” he said, “and I’m just looking forward to next year.”