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Giants terminate contract of WR/KR Dwayne Harris

Posted Mar 22, 2018

The Giants have terminated the contract of wide receiver/return specialist Dwayne Harris:


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - It has become very obvious that the Giants are going to be a far different-looking team in 2018.

The Giants announced this afternoon they have terminated the contract of wide receiver/return specialist Dwayne Harris in the second significant transaction of the day. Earlier in the day, the Giants traded defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a third round draft choice. The teams also swapped fourth-round draft picks.

Harris and JPP join Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Brad Wing, and Devon Kennard as players who recently made significant contributions to the Giants, but are no longer with the team.

Harris joined the Giants as a free agent on March 11, 2015. In three seasons with the team, Harris had 37 receptions for 409 yards (11.1-yard avg.). He had all but one of those catches in 2015. Harris also returned 53 kickoffs for a 25.5-yard average. That places him fifth on the franchise’s career list (minimum 40 returns), behind Rocky Thompson (27.2), Joe Scott (27.2), David Wilson (26.6) and Emlen Tunnell (26.4). Harris also had 70 punt returns for an 8.0-yard average.

In 2017, Harris played only in the season’s first five games. He suffered a fractured foot on Oct. 8 vs. the Chargers (the same game in which fellow receivers Odell Beckham, Jr., Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard were injured). Harris underwent surgery and joined Beckham and Marshall on injured reserve.

For the first time since his 2011 rookie season in Dallas, Harris did not have a reception. He did have a 20.9-yard average on nine kickoff returns and a 6.9-yard average on seven punt returns. In the game in which he was injured, Harris had season-long returns of 30 yards on a kickoff and 17 yards on a punt.

In 2016, Harris played in all 16 games with one start. He was selected to his first Pro Bowl as a special teamer. He caught just one pass, but made the most of it, scoring a touchdown on a 13-yard throw from Eli Manning at Cleveland on Nov. 27. Harris led the Giants in kickoff and punt returns for the second straight season. He finished fifth in the NFL with a 24.2-yard average on 22 kickoff returns, and averaged 5.9 yards on 29 punt returns.

In his first season with the Giants in 2015, Harris played in 15 games with six starts and recorded a career-high 36 receptions (three more than he had in his first four seasons combined) for 396 yards and four touchdowns, which were also career-highs. He finished third in the NFL with a 28.7-yard average on 22 kickoff returns, including a 100-yard runback for a touchdown vs. Dallas on Oct. 25. That was the fourth-highest average in Giants history among qualifiers for the league title. Harris also finished seventh in the NFL with a 10.0-yard average on 34 punt returns, including an 80-yard touchdown vs. the Jets. That was the fifth-highest average in Giants history.

Harris was just the third player in Giants history with kickoff and punt return touchdowns in the same season, and the first to do it in 60 years. In 1951, Pro Football Hall of Famer Emlen Tunnell scored on an 81-yard punt return vs. the Chicago Cardinals on Oct. 14 and a 100-yard kickoff return vs. the New York Yanks on Nov. 4. In 1955, Jimmy Patton scored on a 98-yard kickoff return and a 69-yard punt return, both against Washington on Oct. 30. Patton, of course, is the only player in Giants history with kickoff and punt return touchdowns in the same game.

Harris is the only player in Giants history to score on a punt return, kickoff return and a reception in the same season.