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Looney, 30, nearly became a member of the Giants last year.
Things happen fast with the Giants and their ever-changing roster, which is why there was a new offensive lineman wearing No. 77 on the practice field Saturday night.
The site of this practice — Newark, N.J. — was different, as the Giants held a community outreach program and worked in front of fans for the first time since the end of the 2019 season. The new player on site, Joe Looney, was signed earlier in the day and adds depth to a unit that could undergo even more change as training camp moves on.
Looney, 30, nearly became a member of the Giants last year, as there was an offer on the table when Looney was a free agent. He re-signed with the Cowboys, though, and ended up starting 12 games at center after the retirement of Travis Frederick.
With the Giants, Looney moves in as a backup to starting center Nick Gates — for now. It is certainly possible there are machinations to come on the offensive line and the presence of Looney gives the Giants more options. Could Gates move to a guard spot? Could Looney? Looney did make one start last season at right guard.
The Giants got a scare this past week when Shane Lemieu, the starting left guard, went down in practice with a knee injury and was carted off. It turned out to be nothing serious and Lemieux should be back soon. The incident does further magnify the need for quality depth across the board on the offensive line and Looney provides some of that, with 104 games played in the NFL, including 42 starts. He played all 1,076 snaps while starting all 16 games for the Cowboys in 2018. In his five years with the Cowboys, he played the first four with Jason Garrett as his head coach, Garrett is now in his second season as the Giants’ offensive coordinator. Garrett no doubt had good things to say about Looney a year ago, when the Giants almost signed him, and again this year, when they landed him.
Looney was a 2012 fourth round draft pick of the 49ers out of Wake Forest and he also played for the Titans. His arrival on the roster affects Jonotthan Harrison, a 29-year old backup center signed during the off-season who is currently on the physically unable to perform list.
Earlier in the day on Saturday, the Giants signed inside linebacker Todd Davis and wide receiver Damion Willis, as the roster shuffle continues.
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Paul Schwartz