Giants add depth to defensive line with addition of Bernard


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants gave new defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan a little more depth, signing former Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Rocky Bernard as a free agent.
Rocky Bernard, DT
New York Giants

2008 Statistics
Tackles: 55
Sacks: 4
Forced Fumbles: 1

Bernard signed what is believed to be a four-year, $16 million deal Saturday night, hours after the Giants signed former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Michael Boley.

“He’s a veteran defensive tackle with skins on the wall,” Giants general manager Jerry Reese said of Bernard. “He plays hard, he’s stout against the run and he has to be accounted for as a pass rusher.”

Fred Robbins and Barry Cofield, the Giants’ starting tackles last season, both have had arthroscopic surgery in the offseason.

“I’m really, really excited to be coming to the Giants,” Bernard said. “I wanted to go to a team that has had a lot of success and has a really good defense. That’s what the Giants have. It feels good to be part of a great organization. They’re a good football team.”

Bernard, entering his eighth NFL season, started 55 of 103 regular-season games with Seattle, which went 4-12 last season. Bernard has 282 tackles, 29 sacks and seven fumble recoveries in his career.

The Giants were ranked fifth overall in defense last season under Steve Spagnuolo, who left to become head coach of the Rams. Sheridan was promoted from linebackers coach to replace Spagnuolo.