Kelvin Sheppard to Giants: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 06:  Kelvin Sheppard #52 of the Miami Dolphins looks on during a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Sun Life Stadium on December 6, 2015 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The New York Giants continued their offseason defensive reload on Monday with the signing of free-agent linebacker Kelvin Sheppard, per a team announcement.

Sheppard first announced on Sunday that he would sign with the Giants:

Sheppard, 28, spent the last two seasons with the Miami Dolphins. He set a career high with 105 tackles in 2015.

The 2011 third-round pick has bounced back and forth between backup and starter roles throughout his career. He worked primarily as a starter during his first two seasons with the Buffalo Bills before being used for depth with the Indianapolis Colts (2013) and during his first year in Miami (2014).

In 2015, Sheppard started 14 games primarily in the middle linebacker spot.

Bleacher Report's Patricia Traina indicated that it's unclear where Sheppard will play:

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The Giants have backed up the Brink's truck this offseason in hopes of reinvigorating their defense. They spent big money on cornerback Janoris Jenkins and defensive end Olivier Vernon while also bringing back Jason Pierre-Paul. The team also brought in defensive tackle Damon Harrison from the New York Jets.

While details on Sheppard's contract have not been made public, he's likely to be one of the biggest bargain-bin players signed this offseason.

Sheppard ranked 84th among linebackers in Pro Football Focus' grading system, grading out as a negative against both the run and pass. The Dolphins suffered injuries throughout their linebacking corps in 2015, but it's telling that they made little effort to bring Sheppard back—even on a discounted deal.

Heading into camp, Sheppard's likely going to compete for a starting spot. Linebacker is still a pretty glaring weakness, as it's one of the only spots the Giants didn't spend big on to improve.

It wouldn't be a surprise to see Sheppard's biggest competition come via the draft later this month.

Jordan Raanan of suggested the team could look at Georgia's Leonard Floyd with the No. 10 overall pick, though it hasn't taken a first-round linebacker since 1984. An interesting name who could be available in the later rounds is Notre Dame's Jaylon Smith, who is a first-round talent coming off a knee injury.

As it stands, Sheppard is an improvement over what the Giants had on their roster—at least for now.