Giants Sign WR Russell Shepard
The New York Giants officially announced they have wide receiver Russell Shepard to a one-year, $1.3 million contract on Tuesday. The deal will be worth up to $2 million if Shepard meets the incentives. The signing was first reported on Monday by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record.
This is now the second consecutive season that Dave Gettleman reached an agreement with Shepard on a deal. Just last offseason, Gettleman signed the receiver to a three-year, $10 million contract with the Carolina Panthers.
Shepard did not live up to the deal last season, as he caught 17 passes for 202 yards and one touchdown in 15 games. This was a drop off from his 2016 season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he hauled in 23 receptions for 341 yards and two touchdowns. After refusing to take a pay cut, the Panthers released Shepard last week.
What Shepard Brings to New York
It will be a reunion for the 27-year-old, as he joins former LSU teammate Odell Beckham Jr. in New York. In regard to where he will be on the depth chart, he will likely compete for the No. 3 receiver role this summer. The team already signed Cody Latimer from the Denver Broncos this offseason, and have mainstay Roger Lewis.
However, he is not seen as an primary option at wide receiver. Shepard’s value is at special teams. Shepard reunites with former special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey from Carolina and LSU. Just last season with the Panthers, he averaged 21.7 yards per kickoff return (three returns for 65 yards). In his career, Shepard has recorded 39 total tackles, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery.
Even if Shepard does lose out in the No. 3 receiver competition, he will likely earn a spot on special teams. That is, if he has an impressive Training Camp.