Giants acquire S Isaiah Simmons in trade with Cardinals

The ninth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Simmons has never missed a game, appearing 50 times in the regular season with 37 starts. In three NFL seasons, he has recorded 181 tackles, 7.5 sacks, four interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), 16 passes defensed, 11 quarterback hits, 13 tackles for loss, seven forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. Last season, Simmons posted career-highs in sacks (4.0), interceptions (two), tackles for loss (five), and passes defensed (tied with seven).

His real value, though, is his versatility.

“That’s one of the reasons why we made the trade,” Daboll said. “We thought there’s some upside there. Again, we’ll put him in, we’ll ask him to do probably quite a bit of things just to see what he takes to. A guy that’s, again, athletic, explosive, has good size. I’ve seen him do some multiple things. Until we get him here, I’ll give you a better answer, but certainly happy to have him.”

That goes double for defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, who just yesterday talked about not wanting to put players “in a box” with labels.

“We like to put pressure on the quarterback in different ways because, like I have said many times, pressure breaks pipes,” Martindale said. “It’s one of those things where I say it’s a positionless defense, so I just don’t limit them and put them in a box. … It’s what they do best, how can we get a free runner to the quarterback, and what it takes is 11 selfless guys out there and that’s what you are seeing with us, with our guys. They are selfless players.”

Daboll said they expect to have Simmons at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Friday, one day before the preseason finale against the New York Jets. Then it’s just two weeks until the season opener on Sept. 10 against the Dallas Cowboys.

Simmons will see some familiar faces in the building as he gets up to speed. He has worked out in Arizona with running back Saquon Barkley and wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins. Of course, Simmons also won a national championship with Pro Bowl defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence at Clemson, where they both had illustrious college careers.

Simmons was the first player in program history to win the Butkus Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top linebacker.

The 2019 ACC Defensive Player of the Year also became the sixth unanimous All-American in school history at the time, joining former Giant Terry Kinard (1982), Gaines Adams (2006), C.J. Spiller (2009), Da’Quan Bowers (2010) and Christian Wilkins (2018).

Simmons transitioned from safety in 2017 to the starting nickel/sam linebacker position in 2018. He concluded his Clemson career with 253 tackles (28.5 for loss), 10.5 sacks, 22 pass breakups, four interceptions (including one returned for a touchdown), five forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery in 1,856 career snaps over 44 games (29 starts).

“That’s why he was picked where he was picked,” Daboll said. “Again, we’ll get him here and see how he looks and start teaching him our stuff, but excited to have him.”



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