Giants may reunite with Ramses Barden
BY RALPH VACCHIANO
Victor Cruz is still unsigned and Hakeem Nicks was mysteriously absent from the start of spring drills, but the Giants may soon get a reinforcement at receiver.
Ramses Barden is about to return.
Barden, the Giants’ third-round pick in 2009, is heading back to the New York area and will take a physical with team doctors on Thursday, the Daily News has learned. And if all goes well for the unrestricted free agent, according to an NFL source, he could sign a one-year deal to return before the end of the day.
It is not believed that Barden’s possible return has anything to do with worries about the absence of Cruz or Nicks. The Giants seem to expect Cruz will be re-signed in the coming weeks. And while Nicks’ absence from the start of organized team activities (OTAs) on Wednesday was unexplained – and seemed to irk Tom Coughlin – the team seems to expect him back this week and he has been participating in the offseason program.
The Giants had some interest in bringing the 27-year-old Barden back long before the free-agent signing period opened in March, but only for one year and for an NFL minimum salary. Barden, knowing he’d return as at least the fourth receiver and maybe even lower on the Giants’ depth chart, quickly closed the door on a return and said “it’s probably best” to move on.
But despite rumored interest from the Carolina Panthers, a market for the 6-6, 224-pounder never materialized. Then, according to a source, sometime in the last week discussions re-opened with the Giants who have one open spot on their 90-man roster.
Barden came to the Giants as a surprise third-rounder out of Cal-Poly and was envisioned as a dangerous red-zone threat with his size and reach. But in four seasons with the Giants he caught just 29 passes for 394 yards and no touchdowns. He caught 14 passes for 220 yards in 12 games last season, including a brilliant, 9-catch, 138-yard game in Week 3 in a win at Carolina when he filled in for the injured Hakeem Nicks.
Barden soon headed back to the bench, though, and caught just four passes the rest of the way.