NFL Free Agency Rumors: Jeremy Shockey Not Worth Risk to New York Giants

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2012

LONDON - OCTOBER 28:  Giants Tight End, Jeremy Shockey #80 carries the ball during the NFL Bridgestone International Series match between New York Giants and  Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium on October 28, 2007 in London, England. This is the first ever regular season NFL match to be played outside of the United States.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Jeremy Shockey is no longer worth the risk despite having some terrific seasons with the New York Giants in the past. A player who isn't afraid to speak his mind, even when those thoughts are negative, shouldn't be someone the defending champions pursue.

Gary Myers of the New York Daily News reports that Shockey hopes he can land on his feet in New York. The Giants signed another tight end after free agency opened, however, which could throw a wrench into his plans.

Jeremy Shockey, who forced his way out of New York four years ago, needs a job and has let the Giants know he would like to return, the Daily News has learned.

The Giants have not ruled out a sequel with Shockey, but Martellus Bennett, the former Cowboy, was their tight end priority—they signed him Wednesday to a one-year, $2.5 million contract.

Upon hearing the report, Shockey sent out a tweet denying its accuracy. Since interest from the Giants appeared to be timid, he could simply be trying to save face. That or returning to New York truly doesn't interest him.

It's funny how the Ny media still try's to make money off me!Can anyone find a quote from me on me wanting to play for the GAINTS?

— Jeremy Shockey (@JeremyShockey) March 15, 2012

Shockey continues to prove why the Giants would be crazy to chase him by getting in a Twitter war with Amani Toomer. The former receiver tweeted that Shockey was a bad teammate, which didn't sit well with the Shockey.

@garymyersNYDN No!!Shockey"I will never play4 you again!"he yelled at jerry Reese in 08. Let him keep his word. Bad teammate, worse person.

— Amani Toomer (@AmaniAToomer) March 15, 2012

Of course, the tight end immediately shot back:

Amani Toomer on Jeremy Shockey: Bad teammate, Haha. Well he was the lazy one that broke my leg!!

— Jeremy Shockey (@JeremyShockey) March 15, 2012

Injuries to Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum have forced the Giants to seek out alternative options for at least the beginning of next season. Bennett, an underrated option who should thrive in New York, was a nice pickup.

They could still use one more tight end, but Shockey isn't the answer. His production has dropped off while playing for the Carolina Panthers. He caught just 10 touchdown passes over the last three seasons and never broke the 50-catch mark.

When a player produces elite numbers, it's a lot easier to deal with the off-field issues. When the stats start dropping, however, the risk increases markedly as has been the case with Shockey. That's why interest in him has been limited so far.

Shockey's potential upside just isn't high enough to consider bringing him into a locker room where the players really seemed to gel down the stretch last season. A couple weeks of low targets from Eli Manning and he could ruin that chemistry.

The Giants would be much better off using the draft to find another tight end. Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener, the draft class' two best tight end prospects, should both be available when New York selects to end Round 1. They are better options than Shockey.

While talk of a reunion might bring back thoughts of better times when Shockey was playing like a top-tier tight end, the reality is he's fallen off that pedestal. He's nothing more than a depth piece right now and, once everybody gets healthy, the Giants will have enough of those.

Shockey shouldn't even be on the team's radar. There are far more important things to address than a tight end who will likely be more trouble than he's worth.