by PATRICK ROBERTSON Staff Write
New York Giants Super Bowl starting linebacker Chase Blackburn and previously injured wide receiver Domenik Hixon both agreed to contracts with the Carolina Panthers.
Blackburn agreed to his two year contract with the Panthers on Tuesday, March 26, and Hixon agreed to a one year contract on April 3.
These players were both unrestricted free agents and, according to the Daily News, the Giants had little interest in picking up these players. That is understandable in the case of Hixon.
Hixon had been with the Giants for five years before they decided not to re-sign him. He recorded 102 receptions, 1,405 yards, and six touchdowns. He only played in 57 games, 13 of which he started.
Hixon was also riddled with injuries. He ruined his ankle twice on catches. One of those catches was an acrobatic one-handed touchdown catch, which tore ligaments in his ankle.
Freshman Shane Patel said, “It’s a great loss for the Giants because we lost our best line backer and a dedicated wide out.”
Hixon was an actual inspiration to the Giants Super Bowl team. His dedication to get back to the team in time for the Super Bowl made everyone want to win that game for him.
Hixon has two Super Bowl rings under his belt and Blackburn has one as well, although Blackburn’s résumé is much more impressive. He has 113 games played, 334 combined tackles, four and half sacks, and four interceptions, one of which was a clutch fourth quarter interception in Super Bowl XLVI.
Freshman Shane Ferraro said, “I am very upset. The Giants lost their Super Bowl starting linebacker. He even had an interception in the game.”
The Carolina Panthers have a new General Manager, Dave Gettleman, who used to be an executive with the Giants, so it is not entirely a surprise why these players decided to go here.
“Thanks for 8 great yrs @Giants,” Blackburn tweeted. “But it’s time for the #nextChapter @Panthers. Excited for the new opportunity.”
It is a great choice by the Panthers. Their team has been struggling with wide receivers, their only great receiver being Steve Smith, so picking up Hixon was a great move. Also, the Panthers linebacker core will be very strong with Blackburn, Kuechly, and Beason.
From a Giants fan perspective this would be a very bad move. Hixon was one of Eli Manning’s most reliable target, only dropping two passes in two seasons. Blackburn was also their best linebacker.
No one knows why the Giants took no interest in the two players. Hixon may not have been a huge part of the offense, but he was reliable and influential. Blackburn was their starting middle linebacker and a major part of the defense. Now these players have moved on to different teams with no regret.