Orleans Darkwa was the leading rusher for the Giants in 2017, but he remains without a job this offseason. Darkwa had a solid campaign with more than 850 total yards and five touchdowns, and he scored at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league in six games. Keep in mind he didn't start getting increased touches until Week 5, and with how bad the Giants were on offense, it should be considered an admirable performance. Keep an eye on where Darkwa ends up, and he could be worth a mid- to late-round pick in the right situation. With better talent around him, Darkwa could become a starting Fantasy option in 2018
Darkwa (knee) announced via his personal twitter account that he has been medically cleared for football activities. Darkwa underwent a minor knee procedure in early May to remove a metal plate that was originally inserted in his leg last offseason to protect a fractured tibia, which he played through in 2017. He'll now look to catch on with a team ahead of the 2018 season. He reportedly had several interested teams prior to his surgery after he averaged 4.4 yards per carry for the Giants last year. Look for him to sign on as a backup or change-of-pace running back for the coming year.
Darkwa underwent minor surgery Wednesday to remove a plate that was inserted in his leg last offseason, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Darkwa's X-ray indicated that the fracture has fully healed, so the plate that limited his explosiveness has been removed and he should be ready for on-field activity in about four weeks. Darkwa reportedly has drawn interest from a number of teams this offseason, but apparently hasn't been satisfied with the offers presented to him. It doesn't sound like he'll face any health concerns heading into NFL training camps, so the procedure shouldn't affect the market for the 26-year-old back, who averaged 4.4 yards per attempt last season behind a Giants offensive line that Pro Football Focus ranked as the 26th-best unit in the league.
Darkwa is visiting with the Patriots on Monday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. This is Darkwa's first reported visit since the start of free agency, a surprising development given that he averaged 4.4 yards on 171 carries while reaching the end zone five times last season. His breakout campaign appeared to come at the best time possible, but he nonetheless figures to settle for a modest contract and a shot to compete for a committee role. The Giants have already signed Jonathan Stewart as a replacement, and the Patriots added Jeremy Hill to a backfield that also includes Rex Burkhead, James White and Mike Gillislee. There are probably a dozen teams that could still use another running back, but most of those squads are eyeing the NFL Draft as their likely solution.
Darkwa could re-sign with the Giants before March 14 when free agency begins, ESPN.com's Jordan Raanan reports. Darkwa had the best season of his career in 2017, averaging 4.4 yards on 171 carries, five of which went for touchdowns. He isn't particularly fast and doesn't offer much as a pass catcher, but his combination of size and special teams utility could be enough to warrant a multi-year deal with some guaranteed money. The Giants still have Wayne Gallman and Paul Perkins under contract, and they may consider signing Dion Lewis or drafting Saquon Barkley at No. 2 overall. The team ideally would re-sign Darkwa as a backup and special teams contributor, rather than as a crucial part of the offense. If nothing is worked out before the start of free agency, he shouldn't have much trouble lining up interest from other teams.
Darkwa carried 20 times for 154 yards and a touchdown Sunday against the Redskins. Darkwa received 20 carries for just the third time this season and responded with 7.7 yards per carry and a career high in rushing yardage. The bulk of his damage came on just the second offensive play of the game, when he went 75 yards for a touchdown to give his side a lead it would never relinquish. Darkwa was ineffective in several games this season and ceded touches to Wayne Gallman at times, but he did record career highs in virtually every rushing category. He will be an unrestricted free agent after this season and could command some attention on the market from teams in need of backfield depth.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|4||09/30||New Orleans Saints||12||17.22|
|10||11/13||@San Francisco 49ers||19||17.75|
|11||11/18||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||29||19.13|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||79||338||3||8||53||0||56|