Each week we share insights, analysis, and opinions of the week’s transactions. To see previous posts, click here and start working back.
The biggest name to cross the transactions wire this week was Giants DE Mathias Kiwanuka, who was officially ruled out for the season with a herniated disc in his neck. Kiwanuka had four sacks in the first four games playing as a defensive end this season before his injury, and the former first-round pick has also played outside linebacker in the past. That kind of versatility has made him especially valuable to Big Blue, and it may make him an attractive option to 3-4 defenses in free agency this offseason. Luckily for the Giants, they can use rookie Jason Pierre-Paul as the primary backup to starting DEs Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck, which should allow the front four to remain a strength for perhaps the NFC’s best team.
Now for the other transactions of the week…
Texans (add DT Damione Lewis, put LB DeMeco Ryans on IR) – Ryans is a vaccuum cleaner of a middle linebacker who cleans up everything in the middle. Houston will really miss him now that he’s out for the season with an Achilles injury. Lewis is a veteran DT who can occasionally create pressure up the middle.
Jaguars (add OT Erik Pears, put OT Eben Britton on IR) – Britton, one of two rookie tackle starters for the Jags last year, has emerged into a promising right tackle, but he’ll now miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury. Pears adds depth, but the Jags will struggle to replace Britton.
Rams (add S Michael Lewis) – Lewis, who was benched in San Francisco and then asked for his release, lands in St. Louis. He’s a nice veteran but not nearly the playmaker he once was. Still, he’ll add some veteran wiles and should get on the field at an injury-plagued position for St. Louis.
Buccaneers (cut TE Jerramy Stevens) – Stevens, a former first-round pick in Seattle, was released after another arrest this week. He’s a talent but has never come close to living up to his ability at any of his NFL stops.
Chiefs (add LB Mark Simoneau) – Simoneau is a solid linebacker who has been really banged up in recent years, but he could help the Chiefs if he stays healthy enough to get on the field over the rest of the year. Now that the Chiefs are a contender, adding a vet like Simoneau makes sense.
- The Fifth Down: Kiwanuka’s Time With Giants Could Be Over (fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com)