Michael Eisen of Giants.com reported that the New York Football Giants have signed former Dallas Cowboys' kicker David Buehler to a free agent contract. Buehler did not play in the NFL last year after being waived by the Cowboys in March 2012.
According to Eisen, " Buehler, who turned 26 last week, was with the Dallas Cowboys from 2009-2011. He handled kickoff duties throughout the first two of those seasons and in four games in 2011. In three years, Buehler had 60 touchbacks on 175 kickoffs, a 34.3 percentage. He led the NFL with 29 touchbacks (on 76 kickoffs) as a rookie in 2009."
The signing of Buehler may be a hedge against Big Blue's incumbent kicker, Lawrence Tynes, not returning for the 2013 season. Tynes is an unrestricted free agent, and according to Spotrac.com, his five-year, $7 million contract, signed after the Giants' victory in Super Bowl XLII, expired at the end of the 2012 NFL season. Tynes' cap hit of $1.4 million is currently off the books for New York.
Tynes will turn 35 years old before the start of the 2013 NFL season, so the G-men may want to go younger and cheaper in the kicking game.
Earlier in the off-season, New York signed veteran quarterback Curtis Painter to a free agent contract. Painter also did not play in 2012 after being released by the Baltimore Ravens at the end of training camp last year.
Painter was a sixth round draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 2009, out of Purdue University. Painter made eight starts for the Colts in 2011, as the regular starter, Peyton Manning, missed the entire 2011 season after undergoing neck surgery.
Painter was signed because incumbent backup quarterback, David Carr, is also an unrestricted free agent. According to Sportrac.com, Carr made $990,000 last season as Eli Manning's backup in a one-year deal.
While the Giants may have a comfort level with Carr as Manning's understudy, the team may save about $400,000 in salary in an area that is under-utilized. Manning has been extremely durable throughout his career in the NFL, so Carr has not played much during his time with New York.
Carr was the first-ever draft pick of the Houston Texans in 2002 as well as the first overall pick in that draft. The former Fresno State star has also played for the San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers in his NFL career.