How the Giants’ addition of Brian Burns will affect Azeez Ojulari

nfl: new york giants at washington commanders, azeez ojulari

The New York Giants have no intentions of cutting bait with edge rusher Azeez Ojulari this offseason. The Giants’ acquisition of Brian Burns adds a two-time Pro Bowler to the roster. Albeit, there’s still room for Ojulari on the depth chart.

Giants to keep Azeez Ojulari for linebacker depth

As The Athletic’s Dan Duggan outlined (per Heavy Sports’ James Dudko), the Giants will roll with the 23-year-old Olujari until his contract runs its course:

“Ojulari may seem expendable, but the Giants aren’t planning to trade the 23-year-old as he enters the final year of his rookie contract, according to a league source. Having a third edge rusher with 16 sacks over the past three seasons gives the Giants much better edge depth than they’ve had in years,” Duggan said.

Ojulari has shifted positions in each of his three NFL seasons. With that has come a marked regression in 2023. After posting eight sacks as a rookie, the Georgia product wowed with 5.5 sacks and three forced fumbles in only seven games in 2022, five of which he started.

No matter, last season, Ojulari struggled with only 2.5 sacks across 11 appearances. His Pro Football Focus player grade plummeted to 51.8 as a result.

Will Ojulari look to replicate his production from 2021-2022 on another team in 2025?

The former second-round draft pick has been in a crowded linebacker unit with talents like Kayvon Thibodeaux and Bobby Okereke. Now that Burns is in the equation, opportunities may be further limited.

Ojulari may look to reclaim some of his spark from his first two seasons elsewhere when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2025. The Giants will have to consider this as the 2024 campaign takes shape. Though, they’ll have just over $47 million in cap space to pay him what he’s worth should he decide to remain in New York in a reduced role.

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