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Giants keep free-agent guard John Jerry

John Jerry, #77, of the New York Giants

John Jerry, #77, of the New York Giants walks off the field after being looked at by the trainers during the NFL pre-season between the Giants and the Jets on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016, at Metlife Stadium East Rutherford, NJ. Credit: George McNish

The Giants may not have been able to sign any of the big-money offensive linemen in free agency this year, but they were able to bring in something they haven’t had with that group for a number of years: competition.

On Monday, the Giants agreed to terms to bring back free-agent guard John Jerry, a source confirmed. That reunion came two days after they signed former first-round pick D.J. Fluker, who can play guard and tackle. The two contracts likely mean the players will duke it out in training camp for the starting job at right guard. Fluker also is expected to compete with Bobby Hart at right tackle. The Giants also may add an offensive lineman early in the draft to boost their depth — and that competition — even further.

The Jerry deal is worth $10 million for three years, with $4.25 million guaranteed, according to NFL Network.

Jerry has been with the Giants for three years, starting 40 games in that span. He started every game in 2016, including the playoff loss, at right guard. He had a very strong season in pass protection, but Jerry also will be 31 when camp begins. Fluker turned 26 Monday.

The addition of Fluker with the return of Jerry falls in line with the overarching goal of improving the Giants’ blocking. Their main free-agency acquisition was tight end and fullback Rhett Ellison, and they also signed Brandon Marshall, who is known as a good blocker beyond his receiving skills. The Giants ranked 29th in rushing yards in 2016.

The Giants also signaled that they plan to have Shane Vereen as part of their running game in 2017 by paying his $500,000 roster bonus that was due Monday.

Vereen missed nearly all of this past season with a torn triceps. He suffered the initial tear in Week 3, was designated to return from injured reserve, then re-injured the muscle in his second game back in Week 15. He finished his second season as a Giant with 33 rushing attempts for 158 yards and one touchdown and 11 receptions for 94 yards. In 2015, when he played all 16 games for the Giants, he had 61 rushes for 260 yards and 59 catches for 494 yards and four touchdowns.


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