EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants today brought back an old friend to create renewed competition on their offensive line.
Jon Halapio, who earned the starting center job in each of the previous two training camps and started 15 games last season, was re-signed as a free agent. He becomes a contender at that position, where coach Joe Judge has called the contest between Spencer Pulley and Nick Gates even. The versatile Gates might also receive reps at tackle. And Halapio started six games at right guard in 2017.
The Giants also signed wide receiver Johnny Holton.
To create roster space, they released a pair of rookie free agents: tackle Jackson Dennis (waived) and defensive back Jaquarius Landrews (waived injured/neck).
View photos of the Giants' active roster as it currently stands.
Halapio, 6-4 and 315 pounds, started all 15 games in which he played last season. He was inactive with a hamstring injury at the Jets on Nov. 10, when Pulley started. Halapio tore his Achilles tendon in the season finale vs. Philadelphia and spent the offseason rehabbing.
In his career, Halapio has played in 27 games with 23 starts, all with the Giants from 2017-19.
Halapio entered the NFL as a sixth-round draft choice of the New England Patriots in 2014, when Giants coach Joe Judge was in his third season as the Pats' assistant special teams coach. He was also in New England's training camp in 2016. In the interim, Halapio did stints with the Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals. He joined the Giants' practice squad on Sept. 29, 2016 and was signed to a reserve/futures contract on Jan. 9, 2017.
Holton, 6-3 and 190 pounds, spent his first three NFL seasons with the Oakland Raiders and last year with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has played in 48 regular-season games with four starts and has 14 receptions for 273 yards and three touchdowns. Holton also played in one postseason game for the Raiders.
In 2019, Holton played in all 16 games with a career-high three starts for the Steelers. He caught three passes for 21 yards.
Holton's most productive season was 2017, when he had nine receptions for 218 yards and three touchdowns, including a career-long 64-yarder at Denver. He caught a season-high three passes for 39 yards, including a nine-yard touchdown, vs. the Giants on Dec. 3.