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Hagan back on Giants roster

Derek Hagan celebrates with Mario Manningham.

Derek Hagan celebrates with Mario Manningham. Credit: AP, 2009

Derek Hagan was the last man out. He was then the first one the Giants looked to bring back in. According to a league source, the team has re-signed the wide receiver to a one-year contract and will likely place Ramses Barden on injured reserve this afternoon to make the move official.

Hagan got edged out of a roster spot by rookies Victor Cruz and Duke Calhoun at the end of the preseason. Now Hagan is back with the Giants to help fill spots that neither Cruz nor Calhoun can plug. With Pro Bowler Steve Smith out for the foreseeable future with a partially torn pectoral muscle and Barden heading to injured reserve with a broken ankle and torn ligaments, the Giants have re-signed Hagan to fortify their receiving corps.

His familiarity with the Giants’ offense, having played in 16 games last season and all of this past preseason, will undoubtedly allow him to be on the field for Sunday’s game against the Eagles. With Hagan, the Giants will still have only four healthy and available receivers.

Cruz was placed on injured reserve last month with a hamstring injury and Calhoun has contributed mostly on special teams. Calhoun has not had a pass thrown to him in his NFL career.

Tom Coughlin sounded like a big fan of Hagan’s during training camp, particularly for his abilities to play through injuries.

“It was a tough call,” Coughlin said when he made the final roster cuts in September. “Derek Hagan is a very good special teams player and he made our team a year ago because of that. We felt like our situation, particularly at the gunner spot, had not emerged the way we wanted to.”

Before cutting Hagan, Coughlin called him “a tough guy.”

“He’s had things that have been problems for him but he finds a way to fight his way through it because he knows he has to,” Coughlin said in August up in Albany. “There’s a certain thing about motivation but not just that, but about a guy that knows it. He knows it, he stays out there when other guys are done and fights like heck and he’ll end up with a job.”

It just took him a few months to get it back.


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