Giants Re-Signing Jihad Ward Named Top Under The Radar Move

Jihad Ward, Giants
NFL Analysis Network

The New York Giants made major strides during the 2022 season. They will be looking to improve upon that success in 2023 as they are bringing back virtually every main piece of their coaching staff and roster from last year.

New York shocked everyone when they went 9-7-1 during the regular season. The surprises kept coming when they upset the Minnesota Vikings during Super Wild Card Weekend before getting trounced by the Philadelphia Eagles during the Divisional Round.

The talent gap between the teams was evident in that matchup. That meant it was time for general manager Joe Scheon to shine this offseason. With a ton of cap space, he got to work upgrading the team’s roster to continue building upon the foundation that was built in 2022.

Schoen has brought in some new weapons for Daniel Jones offensively, headlined by the trade with the Las Vegas Raiders for tight end Darren Waller. Wide receivers Parris Campbell and Jamison Crowder were also signed, along with Sterling Shepard being re-signed.

Defensively is where Schoen made the biggest splash, signing linebacker Bobby Okereke. Okereke will help shore up the team’s run defense, which was abysmal last season. That is part of the reason that they re-signed defensive end Jihad Ward, who is considered one of the top under-the-radar signings this offseason.

Ward is a perfect fit in Wink Martindale’s offense as a hard-nosed, edge-setter against the run. He complements pass rushers Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari perfectly and was productive for Big Blue last season. Ward led the team with seven tackles for loss and led the team’s linebackers with six stuffs and a 2.3 stuff percentage.

The Illinois product is durable, appearing in 17 games for the second consecutive season. He provides some pass-rushing juice off the edge as well, registering 3.0 sacks with 13 quarterback hits. The familiarity with Martindale’s system is also a plus, as they spent one season together on the Baltimore Ravens and Martindale is a big fan of Ward’s.

Ward is part of the culture reset that the Giants underwent in 2022. He is an integral part of their defensive game plan and a veteran whom the younger players on the roster can lean on and learn from.

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