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Jonathan Casillas returns home with eye on third Super Bowl ring

New England Patriots outside linebacker Jonathan Casillas holds

New England Patriots outside linebacker Jonathan Casillas holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the second half of Super Bowl XLIagainst the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. Credit: AP / Charlie Riedel

Jonathan Casillas has won a Super Bowl with the Saints and a Super Bowl with the Patriots. Now the linebacker wants to win one with his home team.

The New Jersey native said he is excited about returning to the state where it all began for him; he was born in Jersey City and went to New Brunswick High School in New Jersey.

"It's hard to put into words," Casillas said after signing a three-year deal with the Giants on Wednesday. "After so much time away and playing ball in New Orleans and Tampa and New England, being able to come back home and be able to play in front of your home crowd and my family is really a blessing."

Casillas has been a spot starter during his career but a core special teamer. He had five special teams tackles in eight games for the Patriots during their Super Bowl season after arriving in New England via trade from the Bucs.

"Last year at the beginning was a little bleak," Casillas said of his start in Tampa Bay. "When you work at something and you care about something so much, you put your all into it and don't get anything back, it's tough. It takes a lot to wake up the next day and go to work and put a smile on your face when that's happening. Doing that for half a season and then all of a sudden changing to one of the most dominant teams of the last 10 years, it's unbelievable. It was good to be in a winning place again. Winning and losing means a lot in this league and life in general. It changed my life, and I'm blessed for that."

And now he's a Giant.

"The Giants are getting a real football player," Casillas said. "Since I've been in the league, I've been under the radar, and I've accepted that. I've found a way to make plays and contribute, and also to make a healthy contribution to the city I'm in by doing things in the community. I try to do things the right way."

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