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Giants sign DBs KeiVarae Russell, Brandon Williams


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants today continued their quest to fortify their secondary when they signed cornerbacks Brandon Williams and KeiVarae Russell.

Both players were 2016 third-round draft choices who did not play in the NFL in 2019.

To create room on their 80-man roster, the Giants waived a pair of rookie free agents, running back Javon Leake and defensive back Christian Angulo.

Williams, 6-0 and 200 pounds, was selected 92nd overall in the 2016 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals after concluding his collegiate career at Texas A&M. Last year, he was placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list early in training camp after undergoing offseason back surgery. Williams was activated during camp, suffered a shoulder injury and spent the entire season on injured reserve.

In his three active seasons in Arizona, Williams played in 45 games with three starts. He made each of his starts as a rookie – when he appeared in 13 games – and played in all 16 games in both 2017 and 2018. His career totals are 26 tackles (20 solo) on defense and 11 stops (seven solo) on special teams. He also has returned 10 kickoffs for 192 yards, with a long runback of 29 yards.

Williams played running back for two seasons at Texas A&M before switching to cornerback as a senior. He began his collegiate career at Oklahoma in 2011 and sat out the 2012 season before playing for the Aggies.

Russell, 5-11 and 196 pounds, was drafted 74th overall out of Notre Dame in 2016 by the Kansas City Chiefs. He was inactive for the season opener in his rookie season before the Chiefs waived him. Russell was awarded the following day to the Cincinnati Bengals. In three seasons, he played in 20 games with one start – as a nickel back at Pittsburgh on Dec. 28, 2018, his final game in Cincinnati - and totaled 20 tackles (17 solo) and two passes defensed. Russell also made two special teams tackles.

In 2019, he was cut at the end of training camp and was on the Los Angeles Chargers' practice squad from Nov. 26-Dec. 10.

The Giants held a scrimmage last night and the players are off today, so Williams and Russell will practice for the first time tomorrow.

View photos of the Giants' active roster as it currently stands.


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