The Giants signed Stewart on Tuesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. After he was released by the Panthers on Feb. 28, Stewart initially drew interest from the Seahawks and Lions, but the Giants will end up with his services in 2018. The soon-to-be 31-year-old is the Panthers' all-time leading rusher with 7,318 yards, which he churned out at a clip of 4.3 YPC. At the very least, the Giants will utilize Stewart on first and second downs this season, but Wayne Gallman and potentially a 2018 draft pick will eat into his overall volume.
Stewart and DeMarco Murray are scheduled for visits with the Lions on Monday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. With Ameer Abdullah entering the final year of his rookie contract on the heels of a season in which he was limited to 3.3 yards per carry, Detroit is one of the obvious destinations for free-agent running backs. Stewart turns 31 next week and managed only 3.4 yards per carry for the Panthers last season, but he did score five times in his final five games, including a 103-yard, three-score effort against the stingy Minnesota defense in Week 14. He'd be part of a committee in Detroit, where Theo Riddick is locked in on passing downs and Abdullah still figures to compete for carries.
Stewart, who was released by the Panthers last week, is slated to visit the Seahawks, the Seattle Times reports. Stewart, who turns 31 on March 21, recorded a career-low 3.4 yards per carry average in 2017, while logging 198 rushing attempts for 680 yards and six TDs in 15 games. Meanwhile, he was largely an afterthought in the Carolina passing attack, catching eight passes for the second season in a row. With 2017 first-rounder Christian McCaffrey now heading the Panthers backfield, Stewart will look to find a role elsewhere. Given that he's a native of Washington state and the Seahawks seem destined to part ways with Eddie Lacy, Stewart could be a decent complementary fit in a Seattle ground attack that cycled through ball carriers last season.
The Panthers released Stewart on Wednesday, Bryan Strickland of the team's official site reports. A first-round selection of Carolina in 2008, Stewart's 10-year tenure in the organization will come to an end following a season in which he averaged a career-worst 3.4 yards per carry while playing second fiddle to 2017 first-round selection Christian McCaffrey for much of the second half of the campaign. Stewart, who departs as the franchise's all-time rushing leader, had one year remaining on his contract after reaching an extension with the club last spring. Set to turn 31 years old in March and with his productivity on the decline, Stewart may be hard-pressed to find work elsewhere as anything more than a low-usage depth back.
Stewart finished with 11 rushes for 51 yards in Sunday's 31-26 NFC wild-card loss to the Saints. Stewart's total included an unlikely 29-yard gain to start the second half. With the help of that tote, he was able to average over four yards per carry for just the sixth time in 16 total appearances this season. That fact evidences the 30-year-old's growing limitations, which resulted in just 680 yards on 198 carries during the regular season. Although Stewart did find the end zone seven times, including once on one of his eight receptions, he's clearly not the threat he once was. The veteran's fantasy calling card is his consistent role in Carolina's run-based offense, which afforded him double-digit carries in all but one game. Slated to return to the Panthers for the final year of his contract in 2018, Stewart may continue to see decent volume, but it's obvious Christian McCaffrey is the team's top tailback, and it'd be surprising if the latter's role isn't expanded further in his second season.
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