The Giants announced today they have signed linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka to a multi-year contract extension.
Kiwanuka, 29, is entering his seventh NFL season. He played in every game in the 2011 championship season at strongside linebacker and as a lineman on passing downs. Kiwanuka started all but three games (contests in which the Giants opened with an extra defensive back).
Kiwanuka finished fourth on the team with a career high-tying 81 tackles (61 solo), 3.5 sacks, 13 tackles for losses, nine quarterback hits, an interception, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. It was an impressive comeback season for Kiwanuka, who was limited to three games in 2010 because of a herniated disk in his neck.
In 2006, Kiwanuka was the Giants' first-round draft choice (he was the 32nd overall selection, as was Virginia Tech running back David Wilson last night). Originally a defensive end, Kiwanuka switched to linebacker in 2007, returned to end in 2008 and 2009 and back to linebacker in 2010.
In his career, Kiwanuka has played in 76 regular season games with 56 starts. He has been credited with 339 tackles (210 solo), 17.0 sacks, three interceptions, nine forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
Kiwanuka's extension is the second significant transaction the Giants have made in the defensive front seven in as many days. The team yesterday signed veteran tackle Shaun Rogers, a three-time Pro Bowler.