Giants sign 30-year-old running back Jonathan Stewart despite recent struggles

Jonathan Stewart is out to prove he has plenty left in the tank

On Tuesday, the New York Giants made one of their first moves of free agency, officially signing veteran running back Jonathan Stewart.

Carolina selected Stewart with the No. 13 overall pick in 2008 out of OR, and he became the Panthers' all-time rushing leader with 7,318 rushing yards in his career.

Stewart, the Panthers' leading rusher with 7,318 career yards, recently said he could still be a productive back.

Stewart will be reunited with general manager David Gettleman and offensive coordinator Mike Shula in NY.

Reuniting with GM Dave Gettleman as well as offensive coordinator Mike Shula was part of the appeal for Jonathan Stewart
Reuniting with GM Dave Gettleman as well as offensive coordinator Mike Shula was part of the appeal for Jonathan Stewart

His yards per carry ranked 32nd among the 34 running backs who had at least 150 carries last season, ahead of only Adrian Peterson and Ameer Abdullah, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He finished the season with 680 rushing yards on 198 carries (3.4 #Yards Per Carry).

In addition to his rushing totals, Stewart has caught 162 passes for 1,295 yards and seven touchdowns.

Stewart's signing shouldn't take the Giants out of the running for Barkley or another rookie running back, but the decision is a puzzling one - and one that seems to signal that Gettleman believes the Giants can rebound from a disastrous 2017 season rather quickly. His best game of the season came in a week 14 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Wayne Gallman and Paul Perkins are also on the roster. Four weeks later, he rushed for 103 yards, including a season-long 60-yard touchdown, in a victory against eventual NFC finalist Minnesota.

The Giants were 26th in rushing yards and tied for 28th in rushing touchdowns in 2017, so Stewart fills a need at running back to some extent.

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