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Report: Ramses Barden could return to Giants

Ramses Barden stiff-arms Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly during

Ramses Barden stiff-arms Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly during play at Bank of America Stadium. (Sept. 20, 2012) Credit: Getty

When the Giants were without Hakeem Nicks in Week 3 of the 2012 season, it was Ramses Barden to the rescue. Now, with the star receiver mysteriously AWOL from the start of (voluntary) OTAs -- and he would be limited even if he were on hand -- Barden may be once again filling in for Nicks.

The free agent receiver and former third-round pick of the Giants will be at the team’s complex on Thursday for a physical and may wind up re-signing with them. The Daily News first reported the possibility, which would seem to be stunning … even to Barden.

It was only a few months ago, in late February, right before the start of free agency, that Barden verbally severed ties with the team.

“I’m really seriously kind of excited for the offseason because as much fun as I’ve had in New York — and yeah, I’m comfortable there -- it’s probably best for me to start looking other places for a new system, for a refreshed sense of welcoming,” Barden said on SiriusXM NFL Radio at the time. “I think everybody can benefit from newness in their lives. This is going to be one of those for me.”

Newness never really presented itself and Barden remained unsigned. Now the Giants have a few things that make it possible for them to bring him back. They have an empty roster spot, carrying only 79 players with a limit of 80. They have limited depth at receiver with Victor Cruz out until his contract situation is settled and Nicks’ unexplained absence today. And they have a rookie quarterback to whom they are trying to teach their system, so having him throw to receivers who are familiar with it would be helpful.

If Barden can pass his physical and winds up signing, he’ll be back in a Giants jersey and could even participate in OTAs as soon as tomorrow. It’ll still be a long road to actually making the roster, especially if the Giants wind up keeping three quarterbacks. But Barden will get a chance for some newness in his life, even if it’s a little bit of the sameness.

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