The New York Giants have re-signed veteran OL John Jerry and backup QB Josh Johnson:
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants today re-signed one player who started every game in 2016 and another who didn't take a snap all season.
John Jerry, one of their most durable and proficient offensive linemen, played every game at right guard. Backup quarterback Josh Johnson didn't play at all, because of the durability and proficiency of Eli Manning.
Both players had been unrestricted free agents, but they wanted to return to the Giants.
"No doubt about it, this is where I wanted to be the whole time," Jerry said. "I didn't care for going anywhere else. This is home for me. Everything about the organization is first class. It's player-friendly. I like my coaches. I have a camaraderie with my teammates. I've built a lot of strong bonds, not just on the field, but off the field with those guys. It's very important to me to keep that going."
Jerry is entering his eighth season in the NFL and fourth with the Giants. A 6-5, 340-pounder who spent his first four seasons with the Miami Dolphins, Jerry has played in 105 regular-season games with 85 starts. Most of his action has been at right guard, but he has also played left tackle and left guard. He has played in 86 consecutive games, including one postseason contest, dating back to the 2011 season.
"John doesn't say much, but he's a dependable, tough, hard worker," general manager Jerry Reese said. "John is a veteran who leads by his work ethic every day."
In 2016, Jerry started all 16 regular-season games and the NFC Wild Card Game at right guard. It was the fifth consecutive season he played in every one of his team's games, and the fourth time in five years he started every game. Jerry joined center Weston Richburg and left tackle Ereck Flowers as offensive linemen who started all 17 games. The Giants' offensive line allowed only 22 regular-season sacks, behind only Oakland (19) and Pittsburgh (21). The team finished 11-5 and earned its first playoff berth in five seasons.
"We can definitely build on that," Jerry said. "We know it takes a lot of hard work. It's a long journey."
From 2012-14, Jerry started 48 consecutive games at right guard – the first 32 for the Dolphins and the final 16 for the Giants, with whom he signed on March 21, 2014.
Jerry entered the NFL as a 2010 third-round draft choice of the Miami Dolphins. As a rookie, he played in 12 games with 10 starts at right guard and earned All-Rookie recognition by the Pro Football Writers Association. He missed four games that season while recovering from an illness, and three more the following year with a back injury. He has not missed a game since.
"The first thing is: to play 16 games, you have to want to play 16 games," Jerry said. "That mindset helps me out every single year. At the same time, I do a really good job taking care of my body."
Photos of Giants OL John Jerry
Jerry, Richburg and Flowers will all return in 2017, as will Justin Pugh, the starting left guard. Since the beginning of the free agency signing period, the Giants' O-line has added former Chargers lineman D.J. Fluker and lost Marshall Newhouse, who signed with the Oakland Raiders.
"We're a close group," Jerry said of the linemen. "I train with Weston in the offseason, and text the other guys a lot. It's just a lot of fun to come to work every day and see those familiar faces."
Johnson joined Ryan Nassib as a backup to Manning when he signed with the Giants on Sept. 5. It is a position in which inactivity is frequent, because Manning has started 211 consecutive games, including playoffs, since 2004. Johnson was inactive for 12 games and served as the backup for four games, but did not play. Nassib is currently a free agent.
Johnson, entering his 10th NFL season, played in 29 games with five starts for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns from 2009-11. He last threw a regular-season pass in 2011.
|QB Josh Johnson during pregame warmups in 2016|