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Giants Sign LB Deone Bucannon

The New York Giants addressed a need at linebacker depth.

On Tuesday afternoon, the team announced that they have signed former Arizona Cardinals linebacker Deone Bucannon to a contract. In a corresponding move, the Giants waived rookie linebacker Tuzar Skipper.

Bucannon is yet another player familiar with defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s scheme. The two spent time together from 2014 to 2017, where Bettcher served as Bucannon’s linebacker coach and defensive coordinator.

He will also reunite with numerous former Cardinals teammates. Those include linebacker Markus Golden, safety Antoine Bethea, linebacker Kareem Martin, and defensive lineman Olsen Pierre.

Arizona drafted him 27th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Washington State. With Bettcher, Bucannon served as a hybrid safety/linebacker.

Once Bucannon’s rookie contract expired following the 2018 season, he joined former head coach Bruce Arians in Tampa Bay, signing a one-year deal with the Buccaneers earlier this year. Bucannon’s stint in Tampa was short lived, as he was cut on Oct. 9, after playing just six defensive snaps in five games.

Since his release, it was essentially a foregone conclusion that Bucannon would end up with the Giants, given his relationship with Bettcher and the team’s injuries at the position.

Rookie Ryan Connelly is out for the remainder of the season after suffering a torn ACL in Week 4. Alec Ogletree missed two games due to a hamstring injury, while Tae Davis was sidelined for three with a concussion.

In his career (75 games), Bucannon recorded 408 total tackles, 12 passes defensed, seven sacks, seven forced fumbles (five recoveries), and two interceptions.

Signing Deone Bucannon is a low-risk, high-reward move by the New York Giants, who has the chance to earn a starting linebacker role this season.

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