EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –** The Giants strengthened both their secondary and return game today when they signed free agent Quintin Demps.
"The Giants welcomed me with open arms," Demps said from his home in Texas. "I'm 28 years old now, and I'm ready to win a championship. This is a perfect fit for me and I'm excited about it."
Last season, Demwas third in the NFL with a 30.1-yard kickoff return average on 33 runbacks, including a 95-yard touchdown at Washington on Dec. 8. He also led the Chiefs with four interceptions.
In his career, Demps has a 27.5-yard average on 96 kickoff returns. As a rookie in 2008, he brought one back 100 yards for the Eagles at Baltimore.
The Giants finished 27th in the NFL with a kickoff return average of 21.2 yards. That was exactly five yards less than their average in 2012, when they were seventh in the league with David Wilson as their primary returner. Wilson missed most of last season with a neck injury and his status for the upcoming year is uncertain.
"I'm a fan of the game and I'm pretty sure we all know they could use some help in that area," Demps said. "That's kind of why they signed me. I'm here to do my part, play my role and hopefully help them win a championship."
Demps joins Antrel Rolle, Will Hill and Stevie Brown in the back of the Giants' defense.
"I've watched them and it's definitely a strong group," Demps said. "I'm looking forward to growing and working with those guys."
Demps has played in 64 regular-season games with six starts, all last season for the Chiefs. He also started eight postseason games with two starts (ironically, he never started a regular-season game for Philadelphia or Houston, but started a postseason game for each team).
His career totals include 93 tackles (73 solo), seven interceptions, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Demps entered the NFL as a fourth-round draft choice of the Eagles in 2008, the 117th overall selection. He played in all 16 games as a rookie, a feat he did not repeat until last year in Kansas City. In two years in Philadelphia, Demps played in in 25 games and had 12 tackles, including a sack. He also returned 58 kickoffs, a career-high 52 of them as a rookie.
Demps was waived by the Eagles on Sept. 10, 2010 and signed by Houston on Dec. 7. He played in two games that year, nine in 2011 (when he was released by the Texans at the end of training camp and re-signed on Oct. 25) and 12 in 2012.
Kansas City signed Demps on May 22, 2013. He had a career-high four interceptions and contributed 32 tackles (22 solo) and 10 passes defensed, plus his excellent work on special teams. He said it was his best NFL season.
"Without a shadow of a doubt," Demps said. "It was the first year since my year playing all 16 games, and the scheme the Chiefs ran fit my strengths. I just think I had a good year and I'm ready to capitalize on that. My confidence is back up. I think I'm hitting my stride. I'm excited and I think the best is yet to come for me."
A native of San Antonio, Demps intercepted 17 career passes at Texas-El Paso to rank second in both Conference USA and school history. He became the first player in school and conference history to have two 100-yard interceptions returns in both a season and a career (at Central Florida and at New Mexico State in 2007).