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Giants agree to terms with Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison

Damon Harrison, who finished with 72 total tackles in 2015, has emerged as an elite run-stopper. Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Damon Harrison, who finished with 72 total tackles in 2015, has emerged as an elite run-stopper. 

The expensive rebuilding of the Giants’ defense continued in earnest on Wednesday afternoon as the Giants closed in on a deal for former Jets defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison.

The Giants had been pursuing the 350-pound Harrison since they were first able to talk to his agent on Monday afternoon, according to a league source, and they were believed to be the front-runners for him all along. They won the bidding, the source said, with a five-year offer worth $ 46.5 million that includes $ 24 million guaranteed.

Harrison would be the third big signing of the free-agent frenzy for the Giants. On Tuesday they re-signed defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul to a one-year, $ 10.5 million contract with $ 8.5 million guaranteed. And on Wednesday  morning they agreed to terms on a blockbuster contract with former Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins.

Back cover of the New York Daily News for March 9, 2016 on Giants interested in signing Jets' Damon Harrison: Snacks Attack.New York Daily News

The Giants are hungry for help on the defensive line, and looking for Snacks.

The Giants gave Jenkins a five-year, $ 62.5 million contract with $ 29 million in guaranteed money, according to a league source. The deal will pay him $ 40 million in the first three seasons and make him the second-highest paid cornerback in the NFL, right behind the Jets’ Darrelle Revis.

And the Giants likely weren’t done yet. They opened free agency with approximately $ 56 million in salary cap room, and likely spent about half of it on those three players. Yet they were still one of five teams in hot pursuit of free agent defensive end Olivier Vernon, according to a league source. Vernon had his “transition tag” rescinded by the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday morning, freeing him up to talk to other teams.

Damon Harrison (l.), seen here with Sheldon Richardson, may be too expensive for the Jets.Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Damon Harrison (l.), seen here with Sheldon Richardson, may be too expensive for the Jets.

The Giants also weren’t solely concentrating on defense. They were one of several teams trying to sign Cincinnati receiver Mohammed Sanu, according to a league source.

The 27-year-old Harrison fills a huge need for the Giants along their defensive line, which they are desperately trying to rebuild. They have high hopes for Jonathan Hankins, their 23-year-old defensive tackle who missed half of last season with a torn pectoral muscle. But they needed a young, strong player to play next to him.

Harrison, a huge, 6-4, 350-pound run-stopper, fits that description perfectly. And if the Giants can have Harrison and Hankins inside and Pierre-Paul and possibly Vernon rushing from the outside, they believe they will have one of the best defensive lines in the league – one year after they arguably had one of the worst.

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