Deon Grant is not a doctor, but does his signing with the Giants tell us any more about the condition of Kenny Phillips?
Maybe. The Giants are certainly stocking up at the position. They signed Antrel Rolle and now have added Grant, a starting safety in 144 consecutive NFL regular-season games. If Phillips comes back healthy, that streak will end quickly. If he doesn’t, well, the Giants have a durable veteran they can rely on.
Of course, they thought the same thing last year when they brought C.C. Brown in as a free agent to back up Michael Johnson and Phillips. When Phillips’ season ended after Week 2 with microfracture surgery in his arthritic knee, Brown had to step into the starting lineup. How’d that work out? Well, not only did the Giants put a right-of-first-refusal tender offer on Brown as a restricted free agent last month, they rescinded it today to make room for Grant.
The Giants tried to make it very clear when they signed Rolle that it had little to do with the Phillips injury. They’re sending the same message with the Grant signing.
“We signed Deon Grant because, number one, he’s durable,” general manager Jerry Reese said. “He really hasn’t missed time. He’s a durable veteran who will bring depth and leadership to our safety position.”
Number two might very well be that he's an insurance policy in case Phillips' return is slowed.
As for Grant, he’s looking forward to playing in New York – something he said he wanted the last time he was a free agent prior to the 2007 season – and he’s also looking forward to playing a secondary role in the secondary.
“Hopefully, Kenny can come back one hundred percent and Rolle is going to do some big things, Grant said. “With those stud cornerbacks that we have, we can just line up and play ball.”