John Ross: 3 things about NY Giants signing as team takes flyer on speedy receiver

Art Stapleton
NFL writer
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The Giants have added to their group of wide receivers, although it's not yet with the big name many are expecting.

They're taking a chance on former Bengals 2017 first-round pick John Ross, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal worth up to $2.5 million, including $1 million guaranteed, an individual with knowledge of the situation told and USA TODAY Network.

It's believed the Dolphins, among others, were vying with the Giants in negotiations, as is the case with several other receivers, including Kenny Golladay, who is at the top of the market.

Here are three things to know about the 25-year-old Ross:

1. The need for speed

Sep 8, 2019; Seattle, WA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross (11) catches a touchdown pass during the first half against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Ross dazzled at the Scouting Combine coming out of the University of Washington, and everyone took notice in the 40-yard dash when he recorded a blazing time of 4.22 seconds, besting Chris Johnson's record-breaking time of 4.24.

There's no question the speed component is most appealing to the Giants, who have lacked that kind of vertical threat in their offense. 

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2. Boom or bust

Injuries have contributed to Ross' inability to take advantage of the opportunity afforded to him as the No. 9 overall selection of the 2017 NFL Draft. 

In four seasons with the Bengals, Ross' production just wasn't there as Cincinnati floundered offensively. He had a total of 51 receptions with his best season coming in 2019.

The Bengals declined his fifth-year option entering 2020, though, and he dressed for just three games. His frustration built throughout the challenging season during which he publicly hoped for a change of scenery and a trade that did not come. Ross also spent time on the reserve/COVID-19 list during the summer after leaving camp to care for his son, who reportedly tested positive for the virus.

3. Happy returns

Ross has not returned kicks in the NFL, but he was an elite kick returner at Washington, averaging 24.2 yards per return. He was a teammate of Giants' Dante Pettis, and now the duo will likely compete for opportunities with the Giants.

Art Stapleton is the Giants beat writer for For unlimited access to all Giants analysis, news, trades and more, please subscribe today and sign up for our NFC East newsletter.  


Twitter: @art_stapleton 

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