|The Giants may be interested in re-signing Chase Blackburn to bolster their linebacking corps. (US Presswire)|
Perhaps the New York Giants' most pressing defensive need is at linebacker, a spot in which Perry Fewell's defense struggled at times in 2012 in stopping the run and in pass coverage against opposing tight ends.
The need became even more glaring after the release of veteran linebacker Michael Boley further depleted the Giants' corps of linebackers. The Giants could look to solidify the position by working on a deal with middle linebacker Chase Blackburn before free agency begins on March 12.
“The Giants have expressed a desire to re-sign Chase,'' Blackburn's agent Richard Katz told the New York Post. “We believe Chase has been very valuable to the club, both on and off the field. Right now we are assessing his dollar value to the Giants and reviewing all possible alternatives including the Giants.”
Although Blackburn might not have top-end speed or athleticism, the former Akron linebacker has been regarded for his tenacity and instincts throughout his eight-year career. In 2012, Blackburn's first full season as a starter, he had career-highs in tackles, forced fumbles, sacks and pass breakups.
Blackburn, who is adept at reading opposing offenses in pre-snap situations, finished with 98 tackles, with at least seven in eight games. In Blackburn's previous three seasons he had 106 tackles combined.
Blackburn could return to the Giants if he doesn't demand an exorbitant pay raise. In 2012, he made a base salary of $825,000 and had a cap hit of $540,000. The cap-strapped Giants have already released former running back Ahmad Bradshaw, defensive lineman Chris Canty and Boley in recent weeks in an effort to get under the cap.
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