When Antwaun Molden last played an NFL game, his opponents were the Giants.
When he next suits up, they will be his teammates.Molden, a cornerback who last season played for the Giants' Super Bowl XLVI foe, the New England Patriots, today signed with the reigning champions. He joins what promises to be a crowded and intense competition at cornerback with Corey Webster, Terrell Thomas, Prince Amukamara, Michael Coe, Bruce Johnson and Justin Tryon.
"It's exciting to be here," Molden said. "I like everything about this situation. I like the coaching staff. When I was coming out of college I liked the Giants – I liked the defense, I liked the players. They recruit good players. There's a team-first attitude. They're selfless. That's the blueprint for success and you see that here. That's what I want to be a part of."
Molden, a 6-1, 200-pounder, played three years for the Houston Texans prior to his season in New England. He has appeared in 48 regular season games with two starts, both last year with the Patriots.
Molden, 27, was claimed off waivers by the Patriots on Sept. 1, 2011, two days after he was released by Houston. He played in all 19 regular season and postseason games last year. Most of his playing time was in sub packages. Molden was credited with a career-high 28 tackles (22 solo) and intercepted two passes on defense and had 11 special teams tackles in the regular season and seven tackles in four postseason games.
In the Giants' 21-17 Super Bowl victory, Molden had four solo defensive tackles and another on special teams.
"It was a great experience playing in the Super Bowl," Molden said. "In the Super Bowl, you get a playoff atmosphere times five. I definitely had fun with the Pats. It's an experience I would definitely like to get back to."
Molden made his first career start against Kansas City on Nov. 21 and had five tackles on defense, two on special teams and broke up a pass. He started the next week at Philadelphia and came away with his first career interception, which he returned for 27 yards, and had four tackles. Molden had a career-high six tackles on defense, one on special teams and intercepted his second pass of the season vs. Buffalo on Jan. 1.
In 2010 with Houston, Molden played in 14 games, primarily on special teams, where he was credited with six tackles and a fumble recovery. Molden was limited to four games in 2009 because of a quadriceps injury that forced him to go on injured reserve. As a rookie in 2008, he played in 14 games and finished second on the Texans with 19 special teams tackles. Molden suffered a broken ankle late in the season and was placed on injured reserve.
Molden entered the NFL as the Texans' third-round draft choice in 2008, the 79th overall selection. A Cleveland native, he played his first collegiate season at Toledo before transferring to Eastern Kentucky. In four years at the two schools he played in 46 games with 16 starts and was credited with 155 tackles (94 solo) and intercepted three passes. He also recovered three fumbles. As a senior, he had career-best 72 tackles, all three of his interceptions and nine pass deflections.
Molden starred at Glenville High School in Cleveland, where his head coach was Ted Ginn, Sr., the father of Ted Gin, Jr. of the San Francisco 49ers. He earned three varsity letters in both football and track and field.
Molden was born on Jan. 23, 1985.