Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Giants re-signing Isaiah Simmons: Where hybrid defender fits into Shane Bowen’s scheme

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The New York Giants traded for Isaiah Simmons last season, and will make sure he’s part of their new defensive scheme for 2024. New York announced it agreed to terms with the former first-round pick, and will have the versatile defender as part of the plans for this season. ESPN reports it’s a one-year deal.

Simmons played safety for the Giants in Wink Martindale’s defense last season, playing all 17 games (starting four) and recording 50 tackles with an interception, sack, and three passes defended. Simmons allowed just a 59.3 passer rating in coverage last season.

What bringing Simmons back means for Giants 

The Giants listed Simmons as a safety and linebacker when announcing the move, meaning the versatile Simmons will have a hybrid role in new defensive coordinator Shane Bowen’s scheme. Simmons played linebacker with the Arizona Cardinals, notching 105 tackles in 2021 and a career-high four sacks in 2022. When Simmons was with the Cardinals, he appeared out of place in Vance Joseph’s scheme as the Cardinals couldn’t find a steady position for him.

Simmons has appeared to embrace that role under Bowen, as he can line up in coverage as a box safety or rush the passer as a linebacker. Bowen likes versatile players and Simmons could be used in a Malik Hooker-type role in New York. 

Where Simmons fits on the depth chart

The Giants signed Jalen Mills at safety this offseason and have Jason Pinnock as the projected starter at the other safety spot. Simmons can play the No. 3 safety spot or compete for a one of the starting jobs, while also being able to line up in the slot.

Simmons will also have to compete for playing time with Micah McFadden at one of the outside linebacker spots, not actually having a set role in the defense. Bowen will give Simmons snaps, but where Simmons plays in certain sub-packages will be determined this summer. 

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