EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J – The Giants have brought back an old friend to shore up their depleted defensive line.
Barry Cofield, who played for the Giants from 2006-10 and was a member of the Super Bowl XLII championship team, was signed today. He adds depth at defensive tackle, where the Giants have lost Johnathan Hankins (season-ending torn pectoral last month) and, on Monday, Markus Kuhn with a knee injury.
The Giants released safety Brandon Meriweather yesterday, a moved that created the roster spot for Cofield.
Cofield played for the Washington Redskins from 2011-14. He was released on Feb. 27 and has not played in the NFL this season.
In nine seasons, he has played in 135 games with 129 starts. In his first eight seasons, Cofield played in all 16 games seven times and in 15 games once. Last year, he suffered a high-ankle sprain in Washington' season opener and was placed on injured reserve/designated for return on Sept. 9. He was activated on Nov. 11 and played in a total of eight games with three starts.
Cofield is a sturdy run defender whose career totals include 324 tackles (214 solo), 19.5 sacks, 26 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
Cofield joined the Giants as a fourth-round draft choice (124th pick overall) from Northwestern in 2006. In five years with the Giants, he missed only one game (the 2008 season finale, when the team had already locked up the No. 1 playoff seed in the NFC) and started all but two. He also started all six postseason games in which he played, including Super Bowl XLII. Cofield played under current defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo in 2007-08.
Cofield left the Giants in 2011 to sign with Washington as a free agent. He started every game in his first three seasons with the Redskins. Before he was forced to sit out last year, Cofield's 81 consecutive starts were the most among NFL defensive tackles.
Cofield will wear jersey number 98.
*Rookie defensive end Owa Odighizuwa, who on November 5 was placed on injured reserve with a designation to return with a hamstring injury, will practice today. The earliest Odighizuwa is eligible to be added to the 53-man roster is two weeks from today, December 31.
Photos of DT Barry Cofield's career with the Giants
5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
By Dan Salomone
1. Barry Cofield returns to the team that drafted him nearly a decade ago. Originally a fourth-round pick (124th overall) by the Giants in 2006, Cofield started all but one game in five seasons with Big Blue before signing with Washington in 2011. The 31-year-old played the previous four seasons with the Redskins before his release this past February. The last game he played was on Dec. 28, 2014.
2. Overall, Cofield, 6-4 and 303 pounds, has started in 129 of 135 games throughout NFL nine seasons, recording 310 tackles (36 for loss), 19.5 sacks, 55 quarterback hits, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. In seven career postseason games (six with the Giants), Cofield has 14 tackles, two quarterback hits and a forced fumble.
3. Cofield won Super Bowl XLII with the Giants, starting all four games in their thrilling postseason run. The Giants' defense did not allow more than 20 points in that stretch, as the team knocked off Tampa Bay, Dallas, Green Bay and the then-undefeated Patriots.
4. In 2007 and 2008 under defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, Cofield helped the Giants finish eighth (97.7) and ninth (95.8) against the run, respectively. The Giants also finished those seasons in the top 10 in both yards and scoring. Now they will be reunited in Spagnuolo's first season back leading the defense.
5. A native of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Cofield earned All-Big Ten honors in 2005 as a senior at Northwestern, where he finished with 197 tackles (88 solo), 6.5 sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss of 38 yards, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and an interception. He was a Super Prep All-Midwest Region defensive end at Cleveland Heights High School.