Giants’ Ryan: ‘I believe the future is bright here’

The Giants announced today that Ryan, the standout defensive back who joined the team on a one-year contract just prior to the season, has agreed to a three-year extension through the 2023 season.

According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport,  it’s a three-year deal for $31M with $20 million guaranteed.

“I feel super grateful,” Ryan said. “Thankful to the Mara family, the Tisch family, (general manager) Dave Gettleman, (assistant G.M.) Kevin Abrams, the coaching staff, (coach) Joe Judge, (defensive coordinator) Pat Graham. I really took a bet on myself waiting as long as I did and signing a one-year deal. I just wanted to prove to the fan base, the coaching staff and my teammates what type of player and leader I can be. And I honestly think I was proving it to myself as well. This year has been about a lot of belief. I always believed in myself and held my head high and worked out for me in the end and it worked out for the team in the end. I think it was a perfect fit from the beginning.”

So do the Giants. Ryan has been one of the team’s most productive and valuable defensive players for the 5-9 Giants, who face the Ravens in Baltimore on Sunday. He has played in all 14 games with 13 starts (10 at free safety, including each of the last nine). Ryan is second on the team with 81 tackles (58 solo) and has 1.0 sack, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and nine passes defensed. He also had a game-clinching interception in the Giants’ victory in Washington on Nov. 8.

In addition to his contributions on the field, Ryan has become a vocal team leader, a presence in the community and was the Giants’ nominee for the Art Rooney Citizenship Award.

“I love the culture, the history, the passion, the fan base and the expectations to win here,” Ryan said. “I love being in the NFC East and the history of it. I believe the future is bright here. I’ve won championships. I know what good teams look like and we have a good team here. And I’m going to do everything in my power to bring championships to the organization and to be a good leader on and off the field. I do a lot of good work off the field that is equally important in my opinion, if not more important. And to have the platform and the spotlight that being a New York Giant brings me allows me to do everything I want to do off the field in the right light.”

Judge and Ryan were together for four seasons (2013-16) with the New England Patriots.

“He’s just a phenomenal person,” Judge said when Ryan’s Art Rooney Award nomination was announced. “He’s always been very direct, very honest. He’s just a genuine person. He doesn’t have a lot of time for fluff. He’s going to look you in your eye and tell you what he thinks, and that’s really what you ask of a man. But he’s a guy that puts his team first. He does a lot of things in the community that he keeps very quiet because he’s doing it for the right reasons, not for some kind of public acknowledgement. He has a tremendous wife, a tremendous family behind him. I think that says a lot about him, obviously, the people he’s closest to and what kind of people they are.

“He’s a great vet to have in our locker room. You talk about guys who can lead by example. He’s definitely a guy who comes in every day and works his absolute hardest. He empties the tank, and we couldn’t ask for anything more from him.”

Ryan, 29, spent four seasons with the Patriots and three with the Tennessee Titans before signing with the Giants on Sept. 4. He has played in 123 regular-season games with 98 starts and in 15 postseason games with 10 starts. His totals include 603 tackles (432 solo), 18 interceptions, including 2 he returned for touchdowns, 12.0 sacks, 87 passes defensed, 11 forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Ryan played on the Patriots teams that defeated Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX and Atlanta in Super Bowl LI.

Ryan was raised in South Jersey, where he was a star quarterback and cornerback at Eastern High School. He was a first-team All-Big East defensive back at Rutgers. Now the Jersey kid and the NFL’s Jersey team are tied to one another for an additional three years.

“It means everything to me,” Ryan said. “We recently played in Seattle, I’ve been to London to play football, I’ve played in almost every state where there’s an NFL team. To come back home, I didn’t always think it was possible. To be financially secure and to give all those Jersey kids that are in high school like I was 10, 12 years ago an example to strive and to work like I was late nights and early mornings to become a New York Giant and make that all come true. It lets all those kids know what they accomplish if they work hard and put their minds to it.

“I’m the true fact of a kid born and raised in Jersey, to come on home and make his career be complete by coming back and being a part of a great team here like the New York Giants.”

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