Free agent linebacker Rey Maualuga left Arizona without a contract on Wednesday, and that could be good news for the New York Giants who have "at least some interest" in the veteran, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The Giants are clearly in search of some new linebackers, having had Jasper Brinkley in for a visit and Ruthers' Khaseem Greene in for a private workout. The Father of Karlos Dansby also said they were among the teams "in the mix to sign" his son.
Having released Michael Boley, and with Chase Blackburn seeking a larger deal than the Giants are willing to offer, Big Blue has no choice but to restock their linebacker crops. And in all likelihood, they're going to need more than one player, so it should come as no surprise that they'll look at all available linebackers on the market, possibly sign one, and then also draft one.
As far as Maualuga, he's an improvement over what Brinkley, who left without a contract, would have been, but not quite as valuable as what Dansby would be.
Originally a second-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2009, the 26-year-old Maualuga had a career year in 2012, collecting 122 tackles, one sack and four passes defended. However, he would also come with a number of potential character and off-field concerns.
Maualuga has had several run-ins with the law, including a DUI and careless driving charge in 2010 and an assault charge, stemming from a violent bar fight, in 2012.
General Manager Jerry Reese has been known to give players second chances despite their suspect history, but most of the time they are rookies or second year players whom the team can mold and develop. With Maualuga, he's already been in the league for four years and appears no more mature now than when he first came out of college. For that reason, and that reason alone, the Giants should proceed with caution.
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