Giants Most Valuable Asset: Bobby Okereke

December 11, 2023

Athlete Studio

When it comes to free agency in the NFL, many general managers tend to shy away from making big splashes. The fear of not getting what you pay for often holds them back. However, the New York Giants have proven that sometimes taking a risk can lead to incredible rewards.

Last offseason, the Giants made a bold move by signing veteran linebacker Bobby Okereke. The 27-year-old had previously spent four years with the Colts, but it was clear that his disruptive force on defense was something the Giants desperately needed.

In a Week 17 game against the Giants last season, Okereke showcased his talent by leading all defensive players with an impressive 17 tackles, including two for a loss. The Colts decided not to re-sign the former Stanford defender, and the Giants seized the opportunity by offering him a four-year, $40 million contract - their biggest and longest free agent deal of the year.

Since joining the Giants, Okereke has been nothing short of exceptional. As a team co-captain, he currently leads the Giants' defense with an impressive 113 tackles, ranking ninth overall in the league before Week 14's games. He has also recorded nine tackles for a loss, placing him at third in the league in that category. Additionally, Okereke has eight pass breakups, tying him with safety Xavier McKinney for second on the team.

Playing under defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, Okereke has flourished and has been given the freedom to lead both on and off the field. His growth as a player and leader has been evident, and he has formed a strong partnership with Martindale in analyzing opposing offenses and making critical defensive decisions.

Pro Football Focus has recognized Okereke's exceptional performance this season, as he has accumulated 44 STOPS - the third-highest total of his career. His coverage skills have also been outstanding, boasting a career-low NFL coverage rating of 94.9.

It's not just Okereke's on-field contributions that have impressed his teammates. His relentless work ethic and attention to detail have garnered respect and admiration from those around him. Cornerback Adoree' Jackson, upon Okereke's arrival, recognized his character and genuine nature, both on and off the field.

Despite playing through injuries, including a cracked rib, a broken finger, and a hip ailment, Okereke has not missed a single snap for the Giants this season. His dedication to maintaining his body and his unwavering commitment to the team have not gone unnoticed by defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, who heavily relies on Okereke to lead the defense.

Overall, Okereke's presence has not only provided the Giants with a much-needed upgrade at inside linebacker but has also been the catalyst for the growth of second-year linebacker Micah McFadden. The Giants' investment in Okereke has paid off in ways beyond their wildest expectations.

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