A major reason why Jonathan Stewart is now on the New York Giants has to do with general manager Dave Gettleman, the two reuniting after finding success together with the Carolina Panthers. If Stewart finds similar success in New York as he did in Carolina, then it will be a tremendous signing for the Giants.
The recently signed free-agent running back had one of the best seasons of his NFL career in 2015 when Gettleman was the general manager of the Panthers, a season that saw Stewart in the Pro Bowl. Now having signed a two-year deal with the Giants, Stewart is hoping to extend his career as he runs towards an 11th season in the NFL.
Saying that he still has “got a lot left” in his career, the presence of Gettleman helped lure Stewart to the Giants. New York has had one of the worst rushing attacks in the NFL the past two seasons and Stewart will be counted on to lift that.
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Gettleman’s presence, he said, helped in making the deal possible.
“It played a significant role. Dave believes in mem, and it's just good to know that the GM believes in what you can do on the field, and Mike Shula, there is a familiarity with the offense and the scheme, and I believe in what they're going to do moving forward with the draft,” Stewart said Wednesday on a conference call with the media. “They're definitely a good team, they've got a lot of good players on offense and defense and I'm just excited to be a part of it.”
Stewart had spent the previous decade in the NFL all with the Panthers, making this a looming year of transition. It is unclear what his role will be, especially since the Giants could potentially draft a stud running back in Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick.
Right now, Stewart is merely looking to fit in and fight for a role with this team.
“I expect to compete at the end of the day. That's what we do. If you're not competing, if you're not expected to have competition amongst the group, then you shouldn't be in this business,” Stewart said on the call. “It doesn't make you better if you're not willing to compete and get better and I see this as an opportunity for that for everyone and I'm excited to get things going.”