Giants sign QB Josh Johnson, release MLB Jasper Brinkley
Some teams made news yesterday by announcing their starting quarterback. The Giants did it by announcing who their third quarterback is.
Ryan Nassib wasn’t challenged much for his job as the backup quarterback during the preseason. That changes now, though, as the Giants signed seven-year veteran Josh Johnson yesterday.
“We’re going to give Ryan a little bit of competition with Josh,” Ben McAdoo said. “He’s a good player. He’s been around the block. It’ll bring out the best in both of them.”
Nassib played the majority of the preseason for the Giants with two starts. He completed 31 of 75 passes for 379 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.
The surprising addition came two days after the Giants cut down to their 53-man roster and kept two quarterbacks. At the time, McAdoo said he was “comfortable” with only Eli Manning and Nassib as active players. He said his comfort level with that did not change, even though the overall number now has.
“I am comfortable with two,” he said Monday. “We decided there is one out there, Josh, that we thought could come in and create some competition to get them both better.”
To make room for Johnson, the Giants released Jasper Brinkley, who had been competing for the starting middle linebacker job throughout the offseason and preseason. McAdoo said it “came down to numbers” when parting ways with Brinkley in a deep room that now holds seven linebackers.
Brinkley started nine games for the Giants last year and made 66 tackles, but although he was the incumbent, the Giants added two free agents (Kelvin Sheppard and Keenan Robinson) and a draft pick (B.J. Goodson) at the position this offseason. He also was the least versatile of the group, a downhill run-stopper who struggled in coverage and had little special-teams presence. Sheppard likely will be the starter in the base defense.
Rookie S Darian Thompson (shoulder) participated in practice and McAdoo said he likely will have to wear a harness to protect the injury if he plays Sunday against the Cowboys . . . LB Jonathan Casillas (ribs) also practiced . . . TE Will Johnson said doctors were unable to say how much time he could miss with a burner in his neck and that’s why the Giants put him on season-ending injured reserve.